Soma Capital Portfolio Jobs

Robotics Engineer

Chef Robotics

Chef Robotics

San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Chef Robotics is on a mission to accelerate the advent of intelligent machines in the physical world. As the rise of LLMs like ChatGPT has shown, AI has the potential to drive immense change. However, we believe AI’s biggest impact will be in the physical world, given industries like manufacturing, food, and transportation represent 90% of global GDP. We're starting with food, with a goal to put an intelligent robot in every commercial kitchen in the world. We have signed multiple multi-year contracts with various large food companies and we are growing fast. We're backed by investors like Kleiner Perkins, Construct, Bloomberg BETA and Promus Ventures. We have a great team, where you will be surrounded by talented engineers and tech leaders from companies like Cruise, Zoox, Google, Verb Surgical, Tesla, Nuro, Vicarious, Amazon Robotics, Strateos, Built Robotics, Facebook, Plenty, Yelp, and Microsoft.
Chef is looking for a Robotics Engineer to help us scale our fleet of robots. You will be making a large impact on a small team, developing a novel and scalable robot manipulation system that allows our robots to reliably serve millions of meals in production environments.

Responsibilities and Example Projects

  • Develop classical or ML/RL-based motion planning and manipulation algorithms that work across thousands of different foods with varying physical properties (stickiness, density, viscosity, etc.)
  • Develop novel algorithms to learn ingredient properties on-the-fly and intelligently adapt manipulation parameters
  • Incorporate new sensor data (e.g. force control, cameras) as needed for trajectory optimization and metrics to measure ingredient manipulation performance
  • Analyze manipulation performance across ingredients and optimize trajectories for throughput
  • Contribute to overall software architecture design and standards, including designing interfaces between subsystems
  • Champion engineering excellence, ensuring high-quality, well-structured, and well-tested code
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest robotics research and apply insights in a practical way to our system


  • BS, MS, or PhD in computer science, robotics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or related field
  • 3+ years experience developing and testing robust robot manipulation solutions deployed on real robots
  • 3+ years experience in Python and/or C++
  • Understanding of both classical and machine/reinforcement learning approaches to robot manipulation, and the tradeoffs between various techniques
  • Experience with robotic waypoint generation, path planning, and trajectory smoothing
  • Experience with common deep learning frameworks like Tensorflow or Pytorch
  • Excellent software engineering fundamentals
  • Excellent mathematical skills, especially with geometry, probability and statistics, linear algebra, and machine learning

Bonus Points

  • Startup experience
  • You’ve shipped working products under tight deadlines
  • Robotics research experience, including publications
  • Experience with trajectory optimization
  • Experience with the robotics tech stack, e.g. Linux, ROS, OpenCV, CUDA
  • Experience with calibration, state estimation, sensor fusion
  • Experience with basic mechatronics and electronics
Equal Opportunity Employer
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizen status, uniform service member and veteran status, marital status, age, pregnancy status, protected medical condition, genetic information, disability, or any other protected status.
Multiple studies have found that a higher percentage of women and BIPOC candidates won't apply if they don't meet every listed qualification. Chef values candidates of all backgrounds. If you find yourself excited by our mission but you don't check every box in the description, we encourage you to apply anyway!