Toyota Research Institute

Robotics Intern, Whole-Body Sensing and Manipulation - Hardware

Nov 07, 2023

Cambridge, MA

At Toyota Research Institute (TRI), we’re on a mission to improve the quality of human life. We’re developing new tools and capabilities to amplify the human experience. To lead this transformative shift in mobility, we’ve built a world-class team in Human-Centered AI, Human Interactive Driving, Energy and Materials, Machine Learning, and Robotics.

This is a summer 2024 paid 12-week internship opportunity. Please note that this internship will be a hybrid in-office role.

The Team

The Dexterous Manipulation Team’s charter is to push the frontiers of research in robotics and machine learning to develop the future capabilities required for general-purpose robots able to operate in unstructured environments such as homes and physically assist humans. As part of this work, we are seeking a summer Research Intern to join our whole-body manipulation project, “Project Punyo”.

Project Punyo bridges complementary research and engineering expertise in physical human-robot interaction, soft robotics, contact planning and controls, humanoid systems, software development, robots for entertainment, machine learning, and user-centered design. We're working on highly compliant, tactile-sensing robotic systems for manipulating the larger, heavier objects in one’s home and physical mobility assistance.

The Internship

This individual will have the opportunity to develop hardware to support and push our high-level research pushes in:

- Contact-rich planning and control for compliant manipulation systems

- Robot learning methods for contact-rich skills

- Multimodal tactile sensing and sensor fusion

- Physical human-robot interaction

- Compliant, tactile-sensing hardware

The intern will have the opportunity to work on a focused project within our core research areas. Your goal will be to create working prototypes, conduct experiments on robot platforms, interact frequently with team members, transfer code, and participate in publishing your work. The ideal candidate should be able to distill high-level project goals into an actionable work plan, possess strong knowledge of an above research area, and have demonstrated strong design and rapid prototyping skills.


  • Currently pursuing (or recently received) M.S. or Ph.D. in Robotics, Mechanical, Materials, Electronics or Electrical Engineering, or related field.
  • Experience in at least one of these topics: Tactile sensing, soft robotics, rapid prototyping, advanced 3D printing, topology/design optimization, contact-rich manipulation, multimodal sensor fusion, physical human-robot interaction
  • Demonstrated expertise in one or more of these areas through publications or through any other evidence of cutting-edge research work.
  • Experience working with robot hardware platforms and system integration is highly desirable.

Please add a link to Google Scholar and include a full list of publications when submitting your CV to this position.

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