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Self-Directed Study Internship - Human Performance and Robotics


Description: This unpaid internship is designed around the student's course of study and research interests. This internship is focused around student learning and growth, and can be an ideal opportunity for visiting researchers. One internship example is the learning of a new skill, such as programming, use of a software package, or prototype fabrication. Another example is researching a specific academic area, such as bipedal balance algorithms, actuator design, or neural networks. Often, an internship can be part of the student's degree program and receive course credit or have the research topic turn into a bachelor's or master's thesis, or become part of a doctoral dissertation. For this internship, if you have an idea or area of interest, be it programming, mechanical design, or algorithm development, we may be able to provide the facilities and guidance to help you be successful in your pursuits.

Platforms in the robot lab currently include our DRC-era Atlas, NASA Valkyrie, MIT Mini-Cheetah, Quix exoskeleton, and the in-progress Nadia humanoid, as well as several small UAVs. Research and development on any of these platforms is possible. Current areas of interest in the lab include but are not limited to:

  • Multi-contact locomotion planning
  • Perception for localization and locomotion planning
  • High-speed autonomous behaviors
  • Whole body manipulation
  • Virtual reality for operator interfaces
  • Autonomous exoskeleton balance
  • High-speed, efficient exoskeleton locomotion
  • Understanding inherent balance in fast-running robots
  • Lightweight mechanical design
  • Hydraulic and electric actuator control

Requirements: Have obtained or currently pursuing a degree in Engineering, Science, or related STEM field. A fundamental knowledge of programming is highly recommended.

Duration: between 3-9 months

Compensation: unpaid

Location: Pensacola, Florida

To apply: Email the following to with 'Self-Directed Study Internship - FirstName LastName' in the subject line:

  • PDF of your CV/resume with filename as LastName_Resume,
  • a one-page cover letter explaining your research goals and how they align with our lab,
  • email and phone number for three (3) professional references,
  • the dates that you are available for an internship.

IHMC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

Client Description

The Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) pioneers technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. 

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System and is affiliated with several Florida universities.

Researchers at IHMC pioneer technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. Our human-centered approach often results in systems that can be regarded as cognitive, physical, or perceptual orthoses, much as eyeglasses are a kind of ocular orthoses. These systems fit the human and machine components together in ways that exploit their respective strengths and mitigate their respective weaknesses. The design and fit of technological orthoses and prostheses requires a broader interdisciplinary range than is typically found in one organization, thus IHMC staff includes computer scientists, cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, linguists, physicians, philosophers, engineers and social scientists of various stripes, as well as some people who resist all attempts to classify them.

Current active research areas include: artificial intelligence, cognitive science, knowledge modeling and sharing, human interactions with autonomy, humanoid robotics, exoskeletons, advanced interfaces and displays, cybersecurity, communication and collaboration, linguistics and natural language processing, computer-mediated learning systems, intelligent data understanding, software agents, expertise studies, work practice simulation, knowledge representation, big data and machine learning, as well as other related areas.

IHMC faculty and staff collaborate extensively with industry and government to develop science and technology that can be enabling with respect to society’s broader goals. IHMC researchers receive funding from a wide range of government and private sources. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, NSF, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, NIH, IARPA, DOT, IDEO, Raytheon, IBM, Microsoft, Rockwell Collins, Boeing, Lockheed, and SAIC, among others.

Opportunity Details

  • Self-Directed Study Internship - Intelligent Systems and Robotics - Pensacola Florida