Development of a multi-robot system for accurate infrastructure inspection

January 08, 2023
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2022-05612 - Development of a multi-robot system for accurate infrastructure inspection

Contract type : Fixed-term contract

Level of qualifications required : Graduate degree or equivalent

Other valued qualifications : PhD

Fonction : Temporary scientific engineer

Level of experience : Recently graduated

About the research centre or Inria department

The Inria Université Côte d'Azur center counts 36 research teams as well as 7 support departments. The center's staff (about 500 people including 320 Inria employees) is made up of scientists of different nationalities (250 foreigners of 50 nationalities), engineers, technicians and administrative staff. 1/3 of the staff are civil servants, the others are contractual agents. The majority of the center's research teams are located in Sophia Antipolis and Nice in the Alpes-Maritimes. Four teams are based in Montpellier and two teams are hosted in Bologna in Italy and Athens. The Center is a founding member of Université Côte d'Azur and partner of the I-site MUSE supported by the University of Montpellier.


Within the framework of a collaboration with CEREMA, The ROAD-AI Challenge objective is to design a multi-robot system comprising ground vehicles and aerial drones collaborating in the collection of data on structures with on- board sensors. Aerial drones seem to be a very promising solution for data acquisition because they can have points of view not obscured by obstacles and access structures more easily. On the other side, the ground vehicle seems better appropriated to supervise the mission of data acquisition for environment exploration and mapping. In this project, we want to study active strategies of data acquisition involving a master robot (the ground vehicle) and two slave robots (aerial robots) in order to optimize in terms of accuracy and stability the mapping of the environment. Each robot will be equipped with its own large field vision with a time stamping. We assume also that synchronized velocity control inputs can be sent to the ground and aerial robots. The master robot centralizes the information and manages the multi- robots formation. One robot of the formation, so-called the leader (not necessary the master) is manually driven by a human operator who ensures the completeness of the exploration of the scene.


Within this context we offer a research engineer position in robotics for 2 years. The engineer will work in the ACENTAURI team (https: //, at Centre Inria d'Université Côte d'Azur in Sophia-Antipolis. Travels to Rouen to work with the ENDUM team are foreseen for this post (all expenses are covered within the limits of the scale in force). The candidate will have to integrate the ACENTAURI engineering team and participate in the animation of the project. In addition, he (she) will have to perform the important tasks of communication, report writing, and methodology implemented in ACENTAURI (project monitoring and project management under Gitlab).

With the help of a Postdoc and a PhD student, the recruited person will be in charge of the implementation of the multi-robot system. He/She will be in charge of:

• integrating and calibrating sensors on the robots • setting up the the communication between robots (aerial to aerial, ground to ground and aerial to ground) • developping the automatic take-off and landing of drones from the ground vehicle • implementing the SLAM algorithms developed by the Postdoc • implementing the real-time algorithms for robots localisation and control developed by the PhD • carrying out the experimental validation and support during demonstrations • implementing unitary and non-regression tests, change up until validation • writing the documentation and reports

The system will be evaluated on our robots on a structure known to the Cerema services, for which the civil engineering service will be requested. The objective is to take measurements using a frequency hopping radar (coupled at least to a visible camera) for auscultation of vertical structures, inaccessible without scaffolding or nacelles. To map the measured physical parameter (i.e., the complex permittivity, the temperature map, the RGB levels), it is necessary to obtain a precise location of the sensors in relation to the structure.

Main activities

Main activities :

  • Analyse the requirements of partners
  • Develop programs/applications/interfaces
  • Develop and maintain experimental platforms
  • Write documentation and reports
  • Test, change up until validation
  • Present the works' progress to partners
  • Provide user training for the collaborators
  • Skills

    The candidate should preferably have a PhD in Robotics or a degree in Engineering, solid foundations in software development (C / C ++, Python, LINUX, ROS 1, ROS 2, Git, CMake). Driving license and drone remote control license are a plus. Finally, a good level in read / written / spoken English is also important.

    Benefits package
  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs
  • Leave: 7 weeks of annual leave + 10 extra days off due to RTT (statutory reduction in working hours) + possibility of exceptional leave (sick children, moving home, etc.)
  • Possibility of teleworking (after 6 months of employment) and flexible organization of working hours
  • Professional equipment available (videoconferencing, loan of computer equipment, etc.)
  • Social, cultural and sports events and activities
  • Access to vocational training
  • Social security coverage
  • General Information
  • Theme/Domain : Embedded and Real-time Systems Scientific computing (BAP E)

  • Town/city : Sophia Antipolis

  • Inria Center : Centre Inria d'Université Côte d'Azur
  • Starting date : 2022-05-02
  • Duration of contract : 2 years
  • Deadline to apply : 2023-01-08
  • Contacts
  • Inria Team : ACENTAURI
  • Recruiter : Malis Ezio /
  • The keys to success

    The candidate should be endowed with a strong passion for multidisciplinary studies and all aspects of research ranging from fundamental work to experimental work.

    About Inria

    Inria is the French national research institute dedicated to digital science and technology. It employs 2,600 people. Its 200 agile project teams, generally run jointly with academic partners, include more than 3,500 scientists and engineers working to meet the challenges of digital technology, often at the interface with other disciplines. The Institute also employs numerous talents in over forty different professions. 900 research support staff contribute to the preparation and development of scientific and entrepreneurial projects that have a worldwide impact.

    Instruction to apply

    Defence Security : This position is likely to be situated in a restricted area (ZRR), as defined in Decree No. 2011-1425 relating to the protection of national scientific and technical potential (PPST).Authorisation to enter an area is granted by the director of the unit, following a favourable Ministerial decision, as defined in the decree of 3 July 2012 relating to the PPST. An unfavourable Ministerial decision in respect of a position situated in a ZRR would result in the cancellation of the appointment.

    Recruitment Policy : As part of its diversity policy, all Inria positions are accessible to people with disabilities.

    Warning : you must enter your e-mail address in order to save your application to Inria. Applications must be submitted online on the Inria website. Processing of applications sent from other channels is not guaranteed.

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