Robotic System Engineer
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc
 Reston, VA

  • Robotic System Engineer

    Job Location


    Posted Date

    6 months ago(4/24/2019 10:35 AM)

    Requisition ID


  • Overview

    Draper is an independent, nonprofit research and development company headquartered in Cambridge, MA. The 1,800 employees of Draper tackle important national challenges with a promise of delivering successful and usable solutions. From military defense and space exploration to biomedical engineering, lives often depend on the solutions we provide. Our multidisciplinary teams of engineers and scientists work in a collaborative environment that inspires the cross-fertilization of ideas necessary for true innovation. For more information about Draper, visit

    Our work is very important to us, but so is our life outside of work. Draper supports many programs to improve work-life balance including workplace flexibility, employee clubs ranging from photography to yoga, health and finance workshops, off site social events and discounts to local museums and cultural activities. If this specific job opportunity and the chance to work at a nationally renowned R&D innovation company appeals to you, apply now

    Equal Employment Opportunity

    Draper is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer.   We understand the value of diversity and its impact on a high-performance culture.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information.   

    Draper is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. To request reasonable accommodation, please contact


    As a Robotic System engineer with a focus on UAS, you will be exposed to a broad range of technical challenges where you can apply your knowledge as well as learn new skills while being involved with solving problems of national interest. In this role, you will tackle practical problems, supporting the development of advanced robotic systems from concept through delivery, including software development, hardware development, software and hardware integration, prototype fabrication, bench testing, field testing, and customer interaction. You will have the opportunity to support flight test operations, develop and execute flight test plans, man UAS ground stations, pilot prototype UAS, trouble-shoot UAS hardware and software problems in real time in the field, and integrate unique payloads. This is an exciting environment and we are looking for energetic and motivated engineers to build our team.

    The ideal candidate must have an interest in all aspects of the development and rigorous testing of unique robotic systems. The position requires practical hands-on development and testing, and includes both laboratory and in-the-field analysis and trouble-shooting. As such, the candidate must be flexible and willing to tackle any aspect of system test, development, fabrication, troubleshooting and packaging. The ability to work well as part of a small, tightly integrated team is a requirement, and some travel is expected.

    Technical responsibilities will vary depending on project needs, however example project topics include:

    • Robotics and autonomous systems development and field testing including ROS implementation

    • Hardware component design and modification using 3D CAD software and rapid prototyping

    • Flight controller tuning and modification

    • Flight test data analysis

    • Software/Hardware integration and bench testing


    Bachelor of Science degree in a relevant field such as mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, robotics engineering, etc. (Master’s degree is a plus). Five or more years of professional work experience desired.  Depending on the specific project assignment the following skills are expected, though applicants are not required to have every skill listed:

    • Experience with field testing of systems and sub-systems

    • Familiarity with open source flight controllers including Ardupilot and PX4

    • Familiarity with common UAV ground control software and interfaces, such as QGroundControl and MAVLink

    • Familiarity with ROS (Robot Operating System) and Gazebo

    • Experience with C++, Python, Matlab

    • Experience with physical UAV platforms such as DJI and Parrot

    • Familiarity with 3D CAD packages, specifically SolidWorks

    • Familiarity with hardware prototyping skills including soldering, 3D printing, etc.

    • Excellent writing/presentation skills

    • Experience with Microsoft products

    Secret Clearance required.

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