City:  Stuttgart
Date:  Apr 11, 2024

Master Thesis - Point Cloud Segmentation for LiDAR Localization of 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.
Natural outdoor environments like farms and forests are filled with highly complex geometrical forms compared to constructed areas or indoor environments. The classification of surface or obstacle types is a major assistance for mobile robots to navigate autonomously in such environments. Besides the obstacles detection and environment classification based on camera data, the LiDAR point clouds can be utilized to increase the robustness and precision of these classifications.


What you will do

In this thesis you will contribute to the environment understanding of the robot by developing a point cloud segmentation method based on classical and/or deep learning techniques. This work will lay the foundation of localization algorithms like 3D LiDAR SLAM and sophisticated obstacle classification and avoidance algorithms.
You will work on the development and implementation of a point cloud segmentation method that separates dynamic and static objects into different classes to improve the interpretation of the environment. Based on a current state of research, you will evaluate existing approaches and derive a novel concept for segmentation in versatile outdoor environments. During the implementation with ROS in C++/Python you will regularly test your algorithms on our outdoor robot platform and evaluate the performance.


What you bring to the table

  • Background in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics or similar 
  • Profound knowledge of C++ /Python 
  • Experience with ROS
  • Experience with neural networks for image or point cloud processing
  • 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: 71219                Application Deadline:


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