City:  Stuttgart
Date:  Apr 11, 2024

Master Thesis - Data Fusion for Traversability Analysis in Outdoor Environments for Mobile Robots

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft ( currently operates 76 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany and is the world’s leading applied research organization. Around 30 800 employees work with an annual research budget of 3.0 billion euros. 

In the Professional Service Robots - Outdoor research group we develop autonomous, mobile robots for a variety of outdoor applications, such as agriculture and forestry. The focus is on the development of an autonomous outdoor navigation solution as well as the hardware of the robots.
One of the main features of autonomous navigation in outdoor areas is the analysis of traversability based on sensor data, mainly 3D LiDAR and camera. A major challenge is to fuse this information in a format that can be used by planning algorithms to find optimal paths that are collision-free and traversable. In your master's thesis, you will contribute to the development of such a data fusion algorithm.


What you will do

Your work will be focused on the development and implementation of a data fusion algorithm for traversability analysis. Based on a state of art research you will evaluate existing approaches and derive a novel concept for combining multiple traversability information sources. The result will be a dense map of traversability costs specifically calculated for certain robots considering their dimensions and driving capabilities. This map will serve as basis for planning algorithms.
For your implementation with ROS in C++, you will have access to data recordings of real world scenarios and for evaluation of the performance; you will regularly test your algorithms on our outdoor robot CURTmini.


What you bring to the table

  • Background in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics or similar 
  • Profound knowledge of C++ 
  • Experience with ROS 
  • Analytical mindset and experience in algorithm development
  • Enthusiasm for mobile robotics
  • Fluent in English or German 



What you can expect

  • Cutting-edge technology in the field of outdoor mobile robotics 
  • Hands on with our robots on our own test fields in Stuttgart
  • Take on responsibility and freedom to implement your own ideas
  • Work with the best students in their discipline 
  • Familiar atmosphere including Cake Friday


We also offer the possibility of direct entry for excellent graduates.


We value and promote the diversity of our employees' skills and therefore welcome all applications - regardless of age, gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion, ideology, disability, sexual orientation and identity. Severely disabled persons are given preference in the event of equal suitability. 

With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial utilization of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. As a pioneer and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and scientific excellence, Fraunhofer helps shape society now and in the future. 

If you are interested, please submit a short letter of motivation on your personal favourite topic listed above, CV, current grade transcript to 

Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA 


Requisition Number: 71227                Application Deadline:


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