Scientific Programmer For Research Into Robots That Can Evolve And Learn

Research / Academic
The research of the Computational Intelligence Group ( addresses fundamental issues about how to design, use, and understand autonomous machines that can evolve, learn, and self-organize. We are interested in embodied intelligence that is not hosted in an abstract digital entity, but has a ‘body’ capable of acting in the world, producing its own behavior and generating its own experiences. One of our long-term motivational scenarios concerns the development of a group of robots for complex tasks in unstructured environments like seafloors, rain forests or other planets.

Our facilities include a robot lab with different hardware platforms, such as e-puck, Thymio II, Robobo, Crazyflie 2.0, and our custom-made robot system with evolvable robot bodies and brains. Furthermore, we have a cluster of powerful computers to run simulation experiments and a simulator called Revolve (, Our research and publications rely heavily on our software and hardware, where the latter includes the cluster as well as the robots themselves.

To increase the quality of our underlying infrastructure we urgently need a good programmer with an affinity for scientific research and interest in robots for a diverse set of tasks.  

Your duties
  • Refactoring and improving the Revolve simulator (Linux and MacOS) and implementing a sustainable system to maintain software quality while several PhD students are using and developing Revolve
  • Acting as system manager for our computer cluster (5 Linux PCs at the moment) and as a robot lab manager in collaboration with the active researchers
  • Creating and maintaining “student-proof” versions of Revolve for Bachelor and Master projects (Linux and MacOS) and helping students with issues regarding Revolve and/or the robots in the lab
  • Collaborating with other research groups of the Department for robot research
  • If you are interested: co-authoring scientific papers with researchers


  • Programming skills in Pyhton and C++
  • Software engineering, code versioning
  • Experience with data analysis, in Python, R, or Matlab is a plus
  • Experience with robots will be positively recognized

Salary Benefits:

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,790 (scale 10) and a maximum €4,402 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The employment contract will affect a period of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP),
  • contribution to commuting expenses,
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package.

Work Hours:

32 hours per week


De Boelelaan 1105