Autonomy Robotics Engineers (Learning & Active Perception) – Multiple Levels

at AeroVironment
Published January 26, 2023
Location Minnesota, United States of America
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Full-time  


Worker Type


Job Description

For over 50 years, AeroVironment has been a leader in advanced technologies and diverse innovations that have redefined how the world drives, flies, and connects.

We created MacCready Works Advanced Solutions, named for our founder, Dr. Paul B. MacCready, Jr., to ensure that creativity and long-term thinking remain at the core of our culture. With a focus on the future, this group of select, visionary scientists and engineers partner with our customers to explore breakthrough technologies that open new, more powerful ways to tackle difficult challenges. Together, they research and develop advanced technologies in robotics, sensors, software analytics and connectivity to identify innovative solutions that push beyond the current applications. These revenue-generating projects significantly contribute to the growth of the company and stretch our imaginations to spawn new inventions.

Once conceptualized, we can apply these new technologies to other projects, keeping us and our customers at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation. We are currently working on tomorrow’s solutions by creating highly autonomous, mission-centered products that operate jointly across multiple domains, and position our customers at the leading edge of interconnected systems.

We are here to tackle the impossible…without hesitation.



We are looking for Autonomy Robotics Engineers to join the Learning and Active Perception (LEAP) group in AV’s MacCready Works division and develop a variety of innovative computer vision detection, classification, localization, and tracking solutions for defense and commercial applications. The Autonomy Robotics Engineer works with a highly collaborative team of engineers to develop machine perception and autonomy capabilities and integrate these with AeroVironment’s unmanned vehicles and/or other systems. As an Autonomy & Robotics engineer, one designs, implements, and tests the algorithms and tools necessary to achieve complex platform behaviors.


Position Responsibilities (may vary slightly based on position level):

  • Focuses on delivering well architected, functionally complete, and rigorously tested research products.
  • Contributes to development of core technology including:
    • Target detection, classification, localization, and tracking (DCLT)
    • Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC), especially as integrated with computer vision
    • State estimation, especially using combined visual / inertial inputs
    • Embedded systems architecture, with emphasis on video processing chains
    • Autonomous agent behavior modeling and design
    • Sensor characterization and integration – EO, Camera, Radar, Acoustic, and/or Lidar
    • UI/UX design for mobile operator platforms
    • Modeling and simulation
    • Software development and testing
  • Leads and mentors junior employees
  • Interacts with customers and partners to provide integrated, collaborative solutions
  • Works on problems of diverse scope where analysis of data requires evaluation of identifiable factors
  • Other duties as assigned


We are pipelining for Engineers with various level of experience:

  • Autonomy Robotics II with a minimum of 2+ years of relevant experience
  • Autonomy Robotics III with a minimum of 5+ years of relevant experience
  • Sr. Autonomy Robotics with a minimum of 5+ years of relevant experience


Basic Qualifications (Required Skills & Experience):

  • Bachelor’s degree in Degree in Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science/Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or related field is required or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience
  • Experienced implementing algorithms and software on real hardware in field robotics applications. Bonus: experience with low size, weight, and power (SWAP) devices
  • Experience with C/C++ required.Modern standards (11, 14, 17+) preferred
  • Experience with Matlab and/or Python preferred
  • Familiarity with one or more of the following technology areas (bonus points for UAS applications)
    • Computer vision: feature extraction, object detection, template matching, image descriptors, object detection and localization, single/multi-object tracking
    • Computer vision: structure from motion, visual odometry, photogrammetry
    • Vision-based guidance, control, and estimation
    • Behavior modeling approaches including finite-state machines, behavior trees, and utility AI
    • Path planning and trajectory generation
    • Multi-vehicle coordination
    • Advanced control methodologies: robust adaptive control, optimal control with dynamic programming, model predictive control (MPC)
    • Experimental design and interpretation of results


Other Qualifications & Desired Competencies:

  • Advanced degree in related field is highly preferred
  • Proficiency with office software and computer-based productivity tools
  • Demonstrates strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrates effective problem-solving, analytical, interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Must be a team player and collaborates effectively
  • 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


Physical Demands

·         Ability to work in an office and R&D 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)

This is a pipeline requisition posted in advance of approved headcount for future hiring needs.

Note: Our team is always interested in speaking with exceptional candidates though please note this is a Pipeline posting with more of an eye towards our future needs rather than necessarily being an immediate hire.  Only qualified candidates will be contacted.


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:

We also encourage you to review our company website at 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.