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Requisition Number 16-0185
Post Date 12/2/2016
Title Robot Controls Engineer
Position Type Full Time
Work Hours 40 hpw
City Fairmont
State WV
Description Purpose
This position will assist the WV Robotic Technology Center with applied expertise in advanced robotic control and implementation. A particular task of interest is supporting NASA GSFC and LaRC in the development of a ground-based simulator for a controlled restraint system (CRS) for the Asteroid Redirect Mission. The CRS simulator implements a triad of planar robotic arms on an air-bearing surface to simulate capture of an asteroid. The simulator uses advanced control, modeling, and visual navigation to perform asteroid capture dynamic simulation. This position performs a vital and wide-ranging role in the robot control architecture and simulator development. This position will be primarily responsible for generating, debugging and tuning the algorithms associated with the CRS control system and provide analytic assistance to other engineering groups, such as analysis of the structure and targeting for the navigation system.

This position serves as a resource contact and independently uses professional concepts and techniques, as well as organizational policies to solve a wide range of moderate to complex problems in imaginative and practical ways. Depth skills, knowledge, and interpretive abilities, as well as some creativity, are required to successfully perform duties. Work effort often addresses non-routine matters within established protocol, guidelines, and/or policies. Work effort has significant impact on client services and operations, producing moderate to major organizational, legal and financial results and/or liabilities. Position duties may require oversight of projects or programs, including coordination of work by others providing support of basic objectives.

Duties & Responsibilities
Responsibilities are functional in nature, and performed under limited supervision. Specific tasks include, but are not limited to:
1) Robotics kinematic and dynamic simulator development, Simulink or Linux/C++ environment
2) Deployment on real-time robotic hardware platforms
3) All aspects of the modern software development lifecycle: unit testing, continuous integration, version control, debugging, documentation
4) Support to the users for setting up new robotics experiments

Supervisory/Lead Role
Position reports to the WVRTC Research Program Manager. Normally receives no instructions on routine work, and general instructions on new assignments. Typically determines methods and procedures on new assignments. General sharing of knowledge and team participation is expected in the role. Program, project, or activity lead and work coordination responsibilities may occur or be assigned in this position. Guidance or supervision of others may be required.

Physical Demands
Activities are predominantly non-manual though some manual work not directly involved with altering or transporting of products may be included. Job requires the ability to stand, walk, sit, climb up or down using hands and feet where body agility is emphasized, and balance to prevent body from falling on narrow, slippery, or erratically moving surfaces. Job also requires manual dexterity and feeling to perceive the attributes of objects such as size, shape, temperature, or texture and the ability to reach hands and arms in any direction and stoop to allow the body to bend forwards or downwards which may require the full use of the lower extremities and back muscles. Job requires the ability to kneel, crouch, and crawl. The incumbent must also possess the ability to talk clearly and express or exchange ideas and instructions to workers, clients, or the public accurately, loudly, or quickly. Incumbent must have the ability to hear detailed information through verbal communication and make fine discriminations in sounds such as making fine adjustments on running engines.

Work Environment
The work environment involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of such places as offices and labs. The work area is adequately lit, heated, and ventilated. Exposure to mechanical parts, electricity, chemicals, and vibration. Responsible to know and comply with all safety procedures.
Requirements Requisite Qualifications
Education and/or Experience
1) BS in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or related field;
2) 5 - 7 years of experience and successful development track record for simulation-based software projects and hardware-based real-time robot platforms;
3) An equivalent combination of education and experience.

Skills, Knowledge, Abilities
1) Experience in robotics control software development
2) Experience in robot kinematics and dynamic modeling
3) Strong experience in C++
4) Strong ability to isolate and debug mechanical, embedded hardware and software problems
5) Familiarity with working in a team environment using modern software development life-cycle
6) Excellent communication (written, oral), presentation and documentation skills
7) Ability to collaborate effectively with a multidisciplinary team of co-investigators from diverse disciplines, orientations, and organizations.
8) Ability to read, analyze, and interpret complex documents
9) Ability to write articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format as well as use original or innovative techniques or style due to the nature of the scientific content of the material being presented
10) Skill to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, as demonstrated by journal publications and presentations at technical meetings
11) Ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems
12) Ability to deal with nonverbal symbolism (formulas, scientific equations, graphs, etc.) in its most difficult phases
13) Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions
14) Ability to meet deadlines, prepare, present and report results effectively
15) Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services
16) Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models
17) Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes

Behavioral Competencies
1) Technical skills – Strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; pursues training and development opportunities; assess strengths, weaknesses, and shares expertise with others.
2) Problem solving – Gathers and analyzes information, identifies problems, develops alternatives, uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics and works well in groups and resolves matters timely.
3) Internal & External Customer Service – Manages difficult or emotional matters with objectivity and openness; responds promptly to needs and requests for service and assistance; meets commitments and dates, notifies others if change occurs; provides, solicits and applies feedback; and builds goodwill through balanced contributions, positive approach, respect and support of others.
4) Communications – Demonstrates group presentation skills, participates in meetings, listens and gets clarification, is responsive and speaks clearly and persuasively in positive and negative situations. Writes and edits clearly and informatively, varies style to meet needs, presents numerical data effectively, and able to read and interpret written information.
5) Organizational Support – Aligns work and develops strategies to meet organizational goals; seeks to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; and upholds organizational expectations and values.
6) Self -Management – Responds to management direction; resourcefully adapts to changes in work environment and circumstances; responds well under pressure and manages competing demands; takes calculated risks, asks for and offers help when needed; exercise discretion and sound judgment; is tactful and responsible for own actions. Adheres to work schedule and complies with leave management responsibilities.

Preferred Qualifications & Credentials
Education and/or Experience
1) Masters or PhD
2) Proficiency in the development of robot control paradigms and writing code (C++, ROS, python, OROCOS) and its implementation on real-time hardware.
3) Proficiency in debugging software and hardware systems
4) Expertise in the practical implementation of tele-robotic systems (e.g. experience with real time control systems, multi-tasking, embedded operating systems, etc.
  • AA/EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability/E-Verify Compliant Employer.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information.
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