Soma Capital Portfolio Jobs

PhD Research Intern, AI for Robotic Manipulation

Chef Robotics

Chef Robotics

Software Engineering, Data Science
San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Chef is looking for PhD interns to help us develop cutting-edge, AI-based manipulation methods for our fleet of robots. You will work with a research mentor to conduct research on novel, learning-based approaches to robotic manipulation of food, and evaluate results on real robotic systems used for food production in a manufacturing environment. This is an exciting opportunity to apply the latest AI research to a real-life practical application, and leave a lasting impact on Chef and the food production industry.

Responsibilities and Example Projects

  • Develop DL-based computer vision, motion planning, and/or manipulation algorithms that work across thousands of different foods with varying physical properties (stickiness, density, viscosity, etc.)
  • Develop algorithms to learn ingredient properties from past data or on-the-fly and intelligently adapt manipulation parameters
  • Incorporate new sensor data (e.g. force control, additional cameras) into learning algorithms
  • Contribute to software infrastructure for training, deploying, and evaluating ML models


  • Currently enrolled in a relevant PhD program focused on embodied AI or robotics
  • Experience with at least one of the following areas: imitation learning/learning from demonstration, reinforcement learning, multimodal learning
  • Ability to independently drive and execute on a well-scoped but open-ended research project
  • Experience with common deep learning frameworks like Tensorflow or Pytorch
  • Excellent programming skills
  • Excellent mathematical and statistical foundation in ML concepts