City:  Stuttgart
Date:  Apr 11, 2024

Master Thesis - Development of a Lightweight Continuous Track for Autonomous Small 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.
For outdoor robots to be able to move robustly and reliably in difficult environmental conditions with highly variable and uneven surfaces, track drives are often essential instead of wheel drives. 
This poses particular challenges for small electrified systems, as the available energy is lower than that of combustion engines. For this reason, the drive system must focus in particular on weight and lightweight design. Part of this work will be to choose new material and design approaches based on the analysis of existing systems in order to achieve the target values.


What you will do

In this thesis, you will establish the basis for the development of a lightweight track-based drive for the CURTmini robot. For this purpose, a requirements analysis and a research on the state of the art should be carried out in order to derive requirements. Based on the requirements and on systematic material selection, initial concepts will be implemented in CAD and evaluated. 
After the final concept selection, one will be designed in detail and validated under real conditions, i.e. on test areas of our research group. 


What you bring to the table

  • Background in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics or similar 
  • Profound knowledge mechanical design and technical mechanics
  • Profound CAD skills (SolidWorks or similar)
  • Strong problem solving skill
  • Fluent in English or German 
  • Excellent grades


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: 71235                Application Deadline:


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