Autonomy & Robotics Engineer, Principal (Autonomy COE)

March 09, 2023
Offerd Salary:$167,200 - $250,800
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Worker Type


Job Description


The Principal Autonomy & Robotics Engineer has the opportunity to work with a highly collaborative team of world class engineers as they develop robust autonomous capabilities into the AeroVironment diverse portfolio of unmanned systems. As Principal Investigator on advanced customer-focused research and development programs, one will work directly with customers to define new programs, write proposals, and provide technical leadership for the execution of programs. Highly capable autonomous execution is crucial to the continued success of AV in the UAS marketplace. As a Principal Autonomy & Robotics engineer, one designs the architectures, algorithms and tools necessary to achieve this. Having broad expertise and unique knowledge, one uses one's skills to both lead and contribute to development of company objectives and principles as well as to achieve goals in creative and effective ways.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Oversees the development of an autonomy research portfolio suitable for application across a multitude of autonomous systems

  • Interacts with customers to create new research programs in the area of autonomy

  • Provides technical leadership for customer focused autonomy research programs as Principal Investigator

  • Leads architectural design efforts to integrate autonomous capabilities spanning autopilots, sensors, radios, networks, ground stations and user interfaces

  • Designs and develops autonomy capabilities related to:

  • Automated target recognition using computer vision and machine learning

  • Autonomous surveying and mapping

  • Target tracking and following

  • Multi-vehicle coordination

  • Perimeter security and overwatch

  • Operating in contested areas with GPS and link denied conditions

  • Assists in developing autonomy software development processes including CI/CD, simulation, automated testing, SIL and HIL

  • Works with systems and QA teams to capture functional and performance requirements that are fully validated

  • Transitions existing demonstrated capabilities into production environment

  • Develops simulation requirements and integrate into a full featured HIL/SIL

  • Some intrastate travel and other travel within the Continental U.S. may be required (up to 30%)

  • Other duties as assigned

  • Basic Qualifications (Required Skills & Experience):

  • Bachelors Degree in Scientific, Engineering, Mathematical discipline or related field is required or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience

  • PhD + minimum 8 years in related field

  • Masters + minimum 12 years in related field

  • Bachelors + minimum 15 years in related field

  • Minimum 5 + years of experience in a professional software development environment in robotics or unmanned systems

  • Demonstrated success in writing US DoD research proposals

  • Demonstrable experience in providing technical leadership for US DoD research contracts/grants, Principal Investigator preferred

  • Experience leading teams of 3-5 engineers to execute advanced research and demonstration programs

  • Deep familiarity with one or more key technology areas including:

  • Advanced control methodologies

  • Uncertainty quantification/estimation

  • Path planning and trajectory generation

  • Multi-vehicle coordination

  • Experimental design and interpreting of results

  • Throughput analysis and optimization

  • Computer vision

  • Edge based autonomy and machine learning

  • Proficiency with common networking and serial protocols

  • Demonstrated experience leading technical development efforts including:

  • Sprint planning

  • Task management

  • Technical mentoring

  • Scoping, scheduling, and tracking of progress

  • Demonstrated competency in designing and bringing up complex system from the ground up

  • Other Qualifications & Desired Competencies:

  • Advanced Degree

  • Management and budget planning/tracking experience preferred

  • Experience with robotic field testing, UAV testing preferred

  • Experienced in C++ required; modern standards (11, 14 17+) preferred

  • Experience using agile work management tools like Jira and Jama preferred

  • Experienced in Python preferred

  • Experience with ROS, ROS2, DDS preferred

  • Experience using Linux and Docker preferred

  • Experience working in the defense sector preferred

  • Proficiency with office software and computer-based productivity tools

  • Demonstrates strong verbal and written communication skills

  • Demonstrated effective problem-solving, analytical, interpersonal and leadership skills

  • Able to excel in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment, where small teams share a broad variety of duties

  • Displays strong initiative and drive to accomplish goals and meet company objectives

  • Takes ownership and responsibility for current and past work products

  • Is committed to learning from mistakes and driven to improve and enhance performance of oneself, others, and the company

  • Focuses on teamwork and puts the success of the team above one's own interests

  • Physical Demands

  • Ability to work in an office environment (Constant)

  • Required to sit and stand for long periods; talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone keyboard (Frequent)

  • The salary range for this role is:

    $167,200 - $250,800

    AeroVironment considers several factors when extending an offer, including but not limited to, the location, the role and associated responsibilities, a candidate's work experience, education/training, and key skills.

    ITAR Requirement:

    This position requires access to information that is subject to compliance with the International Traffic Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) and/or the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”). In order to comply with the requirements of the ITAR and/or the EAR, applicants will be asked to provide specific documentation to verify U.S. person status under the ITAR and the EAR. A “U.S. person” according to their definition is a U.S. citizen, U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder), or protected individual such as a refugee, or asylee. See 22 CFR § 120.15. Some positions will require current U.S. Citizenship due to contract requirements.

    Benefits : AV offers an excellent benefits package including medical, dental vision, 401K with company matching, a 9/80 work schedule and a paid holiday shutdown. For more information about our company benefit offerings please visit: https:// www.

    We also encourage you to review our company website at https:// www. to learn more about us.

    Principals only need apply. NO agencies please.

    Who We Are

    Based in California, AeroVironment (AVAV) is a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and tactical missile systems. Founded in 1971 by celebrated physicist and engineer, Dr. Paul MacCready, we've been at the leading edge of technical innovation for more than 45 years. Be a part of the team that developed the world's most widely used military drones and created the first submarine-launched reconnaissance drone, and has seven innovative vehicles that are part of the Smithsonian Institution's permanent collection in Washington, DC.

    Join us today in developing the next generation of small UAS and tactical missile systems that will deliver more actionable intelligence to our customers so they can proceed with certainty – and succeed.

    What We Do

    Building on a history of technological innovation, AeroVironment designs, develops, produces, and supports an advanced portfolio of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and tactical missile systems. Agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense and allied military services use the company's hand-launched UAS to provide situational awareness to tactical operating units through real-time, airborne reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.

    AeroVironment Incorporated is an equal opportunity employer, M/F/D/V and works in compliance with both federal and state laws. We are committed to the concept regarding Equal Employment opportunity. Qualified candidates will be considered for employment regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital status, medical condition nor disability, genetics, veteran and all others that may apply.


    U.S. Citizenship required. Must be willing to work on government contracts and have the ability to obtain a security clearance.

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