PhD position within semantic simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) for agriculture robotics - Deadline: Saturday, April 15, 2023

Norwegian University of Life Sciences
April 15, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Are you interested in mobile robotics, localization, SLAM, and machine learning for agriculture?

PhD position within semantic simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM)

for agriculture robotics

About the position

The Faculty of Science and Technology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant PhD–position related to semantic simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), and autonomous navigation for mobile robots in agriculture. The PhD position is for a period of 3 years, or up to 4 years if teaching and other work duties are agreed. The starting date for the position will ideally be May 1st, 2023, but some flexibility is possible for the right candidate.

The PhD candidate will focus on the challenging field of autonomous agricultural robots. We want to know if it is possible to achieve concurrent autonomous navigation and semantic mapping capabilities for a mobile robot in agricultural environments. Due to the unstructured and complex planning environment in agriculture, precise mapping and semantic reasoning about present objects, arrangements, and structures is difficult but necessary. The main objective of the position is to integrate autonomous navigation with SLAM for mobile robotic platforms in agriculture. Specifically, combining machine learning-based semantic segmentation with SLAM and motion planning to achieve precise localization, mapping, and semantic segmentation, will be the main tasks in the position. You will get to work with advanced robotic platforms from Saga robotics, Robotnik, and Clearpath Robotics as well as precise sensing devices such as 3D lidar, imu, vision camera, and GNSS.

Integrating the available hardware with state-of-the-art software for autonomous navigation, semantic segmentation and mapping will result in a novel, fully autonomous robotic system capable of performing challenging tasks in agriculture. This position is for a candidate with knowledge and interest in robotics, machine learning, and sensor-fusion.

As a member of NMBU Robotics group you will be working closely with other academics, as well as lab and support staff, to develop robotic systems for real-world field applications primarily within agriculture robots. NMBU Robotics has developed the agriculture robotics platform, “Thorvald”, which has been successfully commercialized by Saga Robotics. You would also be in contact with our external partners such as RobotNorge, SINTEF, NIBIO, and NOFIMA. This combination of partners will create a strong network for achieving your goals!

An application for a PhD position at NMBU is at the same time an application for admission to a PhD programme at the institution. The documentation that is necessary to ensure that the admission requirements are met must be uploaded as an attachment.

Main tasks

The position is focused on integrated navigation and semantic SLAM for a ground mobile robot.

The selected candidate will work on:

  • Development and implementation of autonomous navigation model for ground mobile robots in unstructured 3D environments.
  • Design and implementation of simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) architecture for creating 3D maps based on live or recorded data from the fusion of 3D lidar, vision camera, imu, odometry, gnss, etc.
  • Design and implementation of a real-time semantic segmentation module based on sensor-fusion and machine learning.
  • Performance evaluation of the results through simulation and experimental studies.
  • The successful candidate is expected to enter a plan for the progress of the work towards a PhD degree during the first months of the appointment, with a view to completing a doctorate within the PhD scholarship period.


    The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year master's degree or a degree, with a learning outcome corresponding to the descriptions in the Norwegian Qualification Framework, second cycle. Candidates submitting MSs thesis within 15. May 2023 may be considered. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and be able to document proficiency in both written and oral English. For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the relevant PhD programme description.

    The applicant must document expertise and interest in the research subject.

    Required Academic qualifications:

  • M.Sc. within a relevant field
  • Experience with robotic systems
  • Advanced programming skills
  • Experience with machine learning implementation
  • The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:

  • Proficiency in programming with Python/C++ and ROS
  • Experience within motion planning and obstacle avoidance
  • Experience with localization, SLAM, and sensor-fusion
  • Experience with machine learning algorithms including deep learning
  • Previous research and publications within these domains
  • Proficiency in a Scandinavian language
  • You need to:

  • Be curios, result-oriented and highly motivated
  • Possess strong communication and cooperation skills
  • Be a team player
  • Have a solid interest in robotics and machine learning
  • Remuneration and further information

    The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017. PhD fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 501.200,-) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

    Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars.

    The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology.

    Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NMBU.

    For further information, please contact Dr. Weria Khaksar, Associate Professor, E-mail: [email protected]; phone +47 462 16 735

    (do not use this e-mail for application, it is only for questions)

    Information for PhD applicants and general Information to applicants


    To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button above. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

    Application deadline: 15.04.2023

    In the application, the candidate must confirm that information and documentation (in the form of attachments) submitted via the job application can also be used by NMBU in a possible admission process.

    Applicants invited for an interview are expected to present original diplomas and certificates.

    The following documents must be attached to the application:

  • Motivation letter (maximum 1 page)
  • Complete CV
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates. (i.e. Di-ploma, transcript. Diploma supplement for both bachelor and master). Diplomas, transcripts and diploma supplements that are not in Norwegian or English must be uploaded in the original language. An English translation of these documents must also be attached.
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement, or a similar document, which describes in detail the study program and grading system.
  • Documentation of proficiency in written and oral English in accordance with NMBU PhD regulation section 5-2 (3).
  • Names and contact details for two references
  • Additional relevant documentation of professional knowledge (for example, list of scientific works). If it is difficult to judge the applicant's contribution for publications with multiple authors, a short description of the applicant's contribution must be included.
  • About The Faculty of Science and Technology

    The Faculty of Science and Technology (REALTEK) develops research-based knowledge and educates civil engineers and lecturers needed to reach the UN's sustainability goals. We have approximately 150 employees, 70 PhD students and soon 1500 students. The education and research at REALTEK cover a broad spectrum of disciplines.

    This includes data science, mechanics and process engineering, robotics, construction and architecture, industrial economics, environmental physics and renewable energy, geomatics, water and environmental engineering, applied mathematics as well as secondary school teacher education in natural sciences and use of natural resources such as in agriculture, forestry and aquaculture. The workplace is in Ås, 30 km from Oslo.

    What is it really like to work at the Faculty of Science and Technology (REALTEK) at NMBU?

    - Guided tour of the Faculty of Science and Technology on Vimeo

    The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

    NMBU's focus is a joint effort for a sustainable future. Our university will contribute to securing the future of life, through outstanding research, education, communication and innovation.

    NMBU has 1,900 employees of which about 500 phd scholarships and 6,700 students. The university is divided into seven faculties.

    NMBU believes that a good working environment is characterised by diversity.

    We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or whether you have been outside the labour market for a period. If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at www.


    15th April 2023


    Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)




    Fulltime (1 positions) Fulltime (%)


    Fixed Term

    Place of service

    From this employer

    Recent blogs

    Recent news