City:  Stuttgart
Date:  Apr 11, 2024

Master Thesis - Development of a Model Predictive Local Planner for Mobile Outdoor 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 modules in outdoor navigation is the local planner, which guarantees collision-free motion in the various environments. There are many different approaches for the exact design of a local planner. In this master's thesis, you will contribute to the development of a model-predictive local planner for our CURT navigation as part of the CURT robots ecosystem.


What you will do

Your work will be focused on the design and implementation of a model-predictive local planner for mobile outdoor robots. The motion planner should be able to find optimal collision-free trajectories on uneven outdoor terrain and send the appropriate velocity commands to the robot base. For your implementation with ROS in C++, you will have access to a simulation environment, as well as our outdoor robot CURTmini for regular testing and evaluation.


What you bring to the table

  • Background in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics or similar 
  • Profound knowledge of C++ 
  • Experience with ROS
  • Experience in Model Predictive Control
  • 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: 71224                Application Deadline:


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