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Research Assistantship positions


Several research assistantships supported by full scholarship are available for M.S. and Ph.D. students in the areas stated below. Full tuition vaiwer + TUBITAK BIDEB equivalent monthly salary(2250TL/Mo for PhD, 1800TL/Mo for Ms, salary amount updated yearly).

  1. Reinforcement learning for dynamic systems (2014-):

    Reinforcement learning is an unsupervided leraning method where a behavior can be taught using punishments and rewards. It is also possible to use methods such as policy iteration to learn the control of complex dynamic systems such as robots through reinforcement learning. We can start with a coarse dynamic model of a robotic arm for example, and refine it using reinforcement learning to obtain precise control of the end effector.

    We are investigating methods for reinforcement learning of dynamic systems to be applied to complex robots. After theoretical analysis, the methods are tested on detailed simulations and finally on physical robotic systems.

  2. Coordination of autonomous underwater vehicles (2015-):

    Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) are widely used in research, but have limited application in the industry. They could, for example, be used in the construction, installation and inspection of the underwater foundations for off-shore wind turbines. Such an application would require the coordination of several underwater robots doing different tasks (e.g., bulldosing the seafloor, measurement, communication relays, concrete pouring, positioning of anchor structures and monitoring. All of this must be done under adverse conditions where communication and sight are impaired due to water currents and turbidity.

    We have started an EU H2020 project, "SWARMS", under the ECSEL coordination with 32 artners from many EU nations to build such a system. Our mission is to build and demonstrate a coordinated control method for AUVs where communication is delayed and lossy, and position measurements cannot be made accurately. We will demonstrate an autonomous docking maneuver first implemented as a simulation, then as an experiment.

    The project requires several trips to partners in the EU for meetings and carrying out experiments.

  3. Linear motor design for vertical applications(2007-ongoing):

    1. Real-time networked control of thousands of motor drivers.
    2. Embedded programming for real-time control of motor.
    3. Multi stator and multi mover cooperative control of linear motors
    4. Magnetic design of stator and rotor and other motor components, optimized for speed or lift force.
    5. Active position sensing for linear motors. (Patented)
    6. Hybrid brake control and mechanical design of safety brake.

  4. Networked control systems/IoT (2015-):

    Although I have been working on this subject for some time, I will be investigating it more from the poing of view of embedded systems.
    1. Design of networked control systems:
      Embedded control systems that can work under unpredictable communication delays and losses.
    2. Real time embedded systems:
      Design and implementation of real-time operating systems. Real-time embedded systems programming, Linux.
    3. Real time communication:
      Design and modifications to real-time communications protocols such as EtherCAT.
    4. Motion control system implementations.

    Some of these projects are funded by TUBITAK or companies, and will involve short-term visits overseas and attending international conferences.
    Interested students should contact Ahmet Onat and send a resume, transcript, brief statement of research interests and experience. They should also apply for graduate study at Sabanci University (see Sabanci University applications web pages ).

    Research Hand positions

    Motivated undergraduate students who wish to contribute in these areas are also welcome. Please write me an e-mail stating your purpose and possibly any relevant experience.

    Students interested in design and building embedded systems are needed. Generally some experience with microprocessors and 'C' language is sufficient. Some hourly scholarship stipend is available for these positions. It is also a great way of getting experience.
    Some examples:
    • ARM embedded systems design and wireless communications ( Raspberry PI, BeagleBoard, etc.)
    • Implementation and porting of RTOS to ARM boards ( RIOT-OS, OPEN WSN, Free RTOS, etc.)
    • Design and implementation of mechatronic systems ( 3D printer, high power laser cutter, solar powered wireless data acquisition, etc.)
    • Design of simple robotic systems ( Arduino, SUBOARD, etc.)
    • Data acquisition and alarm generation of the temperature for our linear motor, implemented over USB.
    • Autonomous quadcopters for infrared image based crop inspection.
    • Telepresence robot
    • OpenCV programming for embedded image processing. See openCV Wiki page
    • Kinect Open implementations. See Kinect and OpenKinect
    • Motor control electronics design.
    • And similar.

    Contact: Ahmet Onat

    Last updated: April 2015