Robot ROSE – Autonomous manipulation


Our society is ageing, resulting in fewer caregivers available to provide care for an increasing number of geriatric and physically disabled clients. Because of the ageing population and corresponding growth in care needs, HIT is developing Care Robot ROSE. ROSE will be able to 1) support care workers, reducing workload and shifting their daily work towards more client centered care, and 2) improve client autonomy by making clients less dependent on care workers, due to various physical tasks being able to be delegated to ROSE (e.g. getting a class of water).

One of the developments that HIT performs are those that involve the robot’s ability to autonomously perform pick-and-place tasks. For example, ROSE must be able to grab a glass of water from the kitchen counter and provide this to a physically disabled client. The autonomous manipulation involved in such a task is very challenging considering the unstructured environment of for example the kitchen. Part of the challenge lies in the vision of the robot, but subsequent execution of manipulation tasks in a safe and robust manner is equally challenging. For example, the glass must be kept horizontal, regardless of outside influences!

Nederland, Delft, 3 juli 2018.
Zorgrobot Rose.
Foto: Jeroen Poortvliet.


This project involves the development of robot ROSE autonomous manipulation capabilities. This includes the usage of all robot vision components, weighing of available information, and path planning of manipulation tasks performed with the robot arm of robot ROSE. Not only should objects be avoided at a safe distance, but also must clever grasping strategies be defined, weighed and selected, relative to the type of object that needs to be picked up. In addition, sensory information obtained using the Force/Torque sensor that ROSE has incorporated in the wrist may be used to improve object handling & safety. All aspects of these tasks (and more) are involved in this project with the final goal to allow ROSE to safely(!) and robustly handle various objects found in unstructured care environments.

Expected output:

The outputs of this project are various. You will expand upon the work already performed at HIT by both professional developers as well as interns, with the goals to:

  • Use robotic vision system measurement input towards robot arm path planning (e.g. OctoMap);
  • Devise autonomous grasping strategies;
  • Select and implement the optimal path planning algorithm;
  • Ensure object avoidance;
  • Define failure states and recovery strategies.


  • Excited about new technologies, eager to work on state-of-the-art technologies;
  • Independent, enthusiastic, critical and research-driven;
  • Sense of responsibility, duty fulfillment;
  • Eager to work in an international environment, team-player, and able to collaborate with multiple organizations and companies;
  • Determined to dedicate time to the project, able to set priorities;
  • Skilled in documentation and presentation of (intermediate) achieved results;
  • Understanding of math and programming (C++, Python);
  • Familiarity with the Robot Operating System (ROS).

What do we offer?

  • International environment;
  • Hands-on experience with robotics in the face of real-life challenges;
  • State-of-the-art hardware (e.g. haptic simulator, care robot, etc.)
  • Bi-weekly progress meetings;
  • A daily supervisor to provide guidance if needed.