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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2017 can be found here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

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Project:  Underwater Robot Vision and Manipulation
Disciplines:  Computer Engineering, Computer Science
Mentor:  Renaud Detry, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 354-1068
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  As part of its effort to prepare for ocean worlds, JPL is interested in the problem of underwater robot vision and robotic manipulation. We are currently investigating means of exploiting active stereo and acoustic sensors for 3D scene reconstruction, to enable mobility and eventually manipulation. Our current effort focuses on leveraging image processing to enhance stereovision, and fusing information coming from stereo with sonar data. In parallel, we are designing a 7-DoF Robosimian-inspired underwater robot arm.
Description:  The student will assist in all or a subset of the following areas, depending on skills and interests: (1) Implementing image processing algorithms for enhancing color perception and improving 3D reconstruction (see ref below) (2) Software development: rewriting research code into high-performance implementations. (3) Hardware integration: Integrating 7-dof manipulator and vision/acoustic sensors into a ROS framework (, including transformation graph, MoveIt!, RViz. (4) Experimental design and realization: Drawing experimental protocols. Supervising robot experiments in on-lab water tank.
References:  image processing for underwater vision: Roser, Martin, Matthew Dunbabin, and Andreas Geiger. "Simultaneous underwater visibility assessment, enhancement and improved stereo." 2014 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). IEEE, 2014.
Student Requirements:  Required: Strong software development background (C++, Python) Experience with open-source software, including GNU/Linux. Beneficial: Familiarity with
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: Yes.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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