High-performance artificial muscles provide new opportunities for the field of robotics:

The Robotic Materials Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems aims to fundamentally challenge current limitations of robotic hardware, using an interdisciplinary approach that synergizes concepts from soft matter physics and chemistry with advanced engineering technologies to devise robotic materials that enable creation of intelligent machines that mimic the astonishing capabilities of organisms in nature.

We are looking for:

Student Assistant/HiWi (f/m/div) for material characterization among laminating methods

One of our central goals is the development of new classes of actuators – a key component of all robotic systems – that replicate the sweeping success of biological muscle, a masterpiece of evolution featuring astonishing all-around actuation performance, the ability to self-heal after damage, and seamless integration with distributed sensing. Our fundamental research aims to allow practical applications for soft robotic systems that span from industrial automation, over medical and wearable robotics all the way to new types of human-machine interfaces.

Department website: https://rm.is.mpg.de/

Department videos: https://www.youtube.com/@RoboticMaterials

Roles & Responsibilities

    The student assistant position will allow the student to gain hands-on experience with hardware systems, as well as to be exposed to ongoing robotics research.

    The tasks are majorly focusing on characterizing laminated films, including:

    • Sample preparation: laminating films using various methods with collaboration of your colleagues.
    • Characterization of mechanical performance: testing strength of heat seals using ASTM F88.
    • Characterization of electrical performance: testing breakdown strength across sealing lines based on ASTM D149.
    • Exploring new testing methods for pouch leaking based on ASTM F2338/F2054 /F1140.
    • Realizing test setups.

Education & Experience

    Applicants should

    • have high motivation.
    • be pursuing a master’s degree.
    • be currently enrolled in a German university.
    • have strong academic performance in relevant bachelor’s and master’s courses.
    • want to work in an international and interdisciplinary research group.
    • have good oral and written communication skills in English.  
    • be able to work on site at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany.

    We are especially interested in applicants who have:

    • experience in CAD, engineering drawing, and rapid prototyping techniques.
    • interest and/or experience in
      • metrology.
      • material characterization.
      • designing and setting up testing setups.

Our offer:

  • Master students holding a Bachelor’s degree will be paid €13,03 per hour.
  • Working time of up to 20 hours per week
  • Contracts are given per semester


Please upload your application via our application portal: https://jobs.is.mpg.de/fn91p.

Your application should including a CV, a short motivation letter in English (why you are interested in this position/research), and optionally other documentation helpful to evaluate your background.

Starting date as soon as possible. The posting is open until filled or no longer needed. Preference will be given to applications received before June 15, 2024.

Questions about the position should be addressed via email to Xingrui Wang at xingrui@is.mpg.de.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. The Max Planck Society strives for gender equality and diversity. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in its workforce in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

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