Head of Robotics

Los Angeles
7 days ago
Full time role


We make grid batteries from used EVs with intelligent robotics to electrify the world. Our mission is to scale battery ...

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Job Description

We are Universe Energy and we make batteries eternal.

Our mission is to make the next billion batteries out of used ones and reverse the need for mining. The problem is that batteries are challenging to reuse today because supply is constrained by expensive shipping, non-standard testing, and dangerous disassembly by hand. We streamline the supply of 2nd life batteries by scanning how good they still are and dismantling them. We automate this process for all types of EV batteries using a visual "brain scan" on the battery and robots to dismantle them at 50% of the cost. Once we have thousands of batteries flowing through our disassembly line, we’ll turn batteries into cheap grid storage packs. This prevents the need for new battery manufacturing, mining raw materials, and postpones recycling. Our vision is to become the world’s largest maker of clean batteries by making the next billion batteries from used ones. It will power a truly clean energy revolution and reduce 7 Gton of CO2 by 2050.

The Bonobo Robot dismantles batteries

We are building a cognitive robot that we call Bonobo that automatically diagnose, discharge, and disassemble EV batteries using robotic manipulation, autonomous controls, and computer vision. The first-generation robotic system will automatically assess the battery’s state of health, remove covers from arbitrary battery packs (500 kg), and perform safe discharging. It then disassembles these batteries from the pack level (500 kg) down to the module level (25 kg). Bonobo can take batteries apart 4x faster and safer than a human at 6x the throughput, leading to 50% lower unit economics.

Job objective
You will be in charge of developing and delivering the Bonobo robotic system for battery recognition, discharging, and disassembly procedures from concept to physical prototype. Robotic controls steer mission and path planning, machine perception recognizes the batteries and mechanical end-effectors take covers from the batteries.

You will conceptualize, architect, engineer, and deploy the first integrated robotic system of Bonobo. You manage critical interfaces toward perception algorithms, path-planning functions, software infrastructure, and mechanical end-effectors. One by one you will deploy process functions applied to battery disassembly. 

To make this happen, you will recruit, lead and mentor a team of robotics-, perception-, software- and mechatronic engineers. This is an exciting opportunity where deep technical knowledge, insight into commercial viability, and technical leadership are combined.

Your responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the co-founding team on product and technology strategy, engineering road mapping, and research activities. 
  • Lead design, development, and delivery of products, technology, and initiate efforts in applied research.
  • Recruit, lead, and mentor a team of robotics-, perception-, mechanical- and software engineers.
  • Grow the team by sourcing, hiring, and onboarding of talented and passionate engineers. Nurture a strong engineering culture, responsible for delivering creative and scalable solutions.
  • Perform system design reviews, trade-studies decisions, and lead make-buy decisions for the hardware & software technology stack. 
  • Manage industrial & research partnerships on technical development and deploy technology for pilot programs operationally.
  • Support in drafting, managing, and filing the Intellectual Property portfolio with the IP firm.

How you will contribute

  • Design and deliver the Bonobo mission planning software by integrating functions in path planning, robotic controls, and computer vision.
  • Guide the development and deployment of robotic control software for positioning, actuation, path planning, inverse kinematics, and gripper functions.
  • Architect and prototype the mechanical systems integrating industrial robotic systems and gantry-based motion systems.
  • Make a selection of industrial robotic systems (like Fanuc, Kuka, ABB, and Comau), gantry-based motion systems, and industrial PLC controllers.
  • Lead the integration of production-level & robust computer vision modules for classification, counting, tracking, 3D reconstruction, camera calibration, and segmentation.
  • Manage the development of control and mechanical interfaces for end-effectors & manipulators like screwing, gripping, drilling, laser cutting, and milling.
  • Guide the build of prototype end-effectors & manipulators for cutting, screwing, decoupling, and uncovering using cutters, heat guns, skewers, and grippers.

The skills & experience that you bring

  • At least a B.Sc. in either Computer Science, Mathematics or Robotics-, Mechanical -, Electrical -, Controls Engineering, or a relevant field.
  • 3-5 yrs experience in advanced product development within the domains of Robotics, Automotive, Aerospace, Battery, or Perception.
  • 3-5 yrs experience delivering first-of-its-kind technology from concept to prototype that involved the integration of software, ML & perception with robotics, controls, and mechanical hardware. 
  • 3+ years experience as an engineering manager performing system design reviews, trade-studies selection, product development methods, and prototype releases.
  • 3+ yrs demonstrated experience leading, mentoring, and developing mid to large-size hardware & software engineering teams in a fast-paced environment within a venture-backed startup.

Technical experience

  • 3-5 yrs developing robotic control software to deliver mission and path planning, subroutines for automation tasks, and collision avoidance. Academic knowledge in Classical, Multivariable Feedback, Model Predictive or Nonlinear controls. 
  • 3-5 yrs developing software from architecture to production-level code in industrial environments, like assembly lines, industrial robotics, and CNC machines. Deeply skilled in C/C++, Python, and Matlab-Simulink. 
  • 3-5 Hands-on experience in configuring industrial systems like Kuka, Fanuc, and Staubli as well as gantry-based systems like CNC machines and 3D printers.
  • 3+ yrs experience with robotic development and simulation in ROS, ROS-I, MoveIt for path planning and inverse Kinematics, and Gazebo for simulation. 
  • 3+ yrs experience in machine learning, deep reinforcement learning, and computer vision spanning hardware and software. Developed ML tools in Torch/TensorFlow built and Classical computer vision algorithms in C++ and OpenCV.

How to hit a homerun

  • Deep reinforcement learning applied to robotic control systems and path planning.
  • Build continuous integration and testing infrastructure to ensure robust and production-ready robotics software.

Reach out to careers@universeenergy.ai for questions, comments and/or feedback before applying.

We make grid batteries from used EVs with intelligent robotics to electrify the world. Our mission is to scale battery ...

View Company Profile

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