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Senior Robotics and Controls Engineer

Job Description

Job: Engineering
Primary Location: United States-California-Sunnyvale-US-CA-Sunnyvale
Schedule: Full-time
Requisition ID: 201065


Joining Intuitive Surgical means joining a team dedicated to using technology to benefit patients by improving surgical efficacy and 
decreasing surgical invasiveness, with patient safety as our highest priority.

Patients First. Always. We build the world’s most sophisticated robotic surgical systems. With over a million robotic surgeries worldwide per year, our systems continue to benefit many patients get back to their families faster and with less pain. 

  • Do you like to build technologies to help surgeons complete surgical tasks more effectively? 

  • Are you passionate about building complex safety-critical control systems?

The new product development team at Intuitive has an opening for a robotics and controls algorithms engineer to build the infrastructure for embedded shared control and vision-based control of surgical robots. We need someone who is knowledgeable in both robotic control and computer vision algorithm development. 

A Senior Robotics and Controls Engineer/Systems Analyst (SA) at Intuitive is typically involved in the analysis of complex robotic surgical systems, as well as the integration and evaluation of fully functional prototypes all the way up to formal product testing. There is a lot of recent developments in computer vision and machine learning that is yet to be integrated into a surgical system in order to benefit patients.


Some of the responsibilities of this role include the development of novel algorithms for motion planning, vision-based control, and intelligent intraoperative image-guided navigation; application of machine learning and shared control theory to the design, verification and validation of tele-robotic and semi-automated systems; and analysis of large-scale video, kinematics and events data to report performance, accuracy, precision, and sensitivity of algorithms to uncertainty. This SA role interacts with both the integrated imaging team and the motion control team.

It's important to emphasize though, that while there is some real Systems Analysis work associated with this role, this is not a typical Systems Analysis and control engineering role you might find elsewhere. We are ultimately looking for a strong algorithms and control engineer experienced in building real-time vision-based control systems in C++ who will deliver high-quality solutions in a cross-functional team.

We take software development very seriously and constantly strive to improve group workflow through tool building and teaching others as well as regularly conducting technical design reviews with team members. The role may require participation in the in-vivo experiments and evaluation of algorithms in pre-clinical and clinical settings. 



  • A desire to deliver high-quality and innovative products that improves people’s lives is essential.
  • Masters in EE, ME, or CS (or equivalent) with minimum 6 years of experience in vision-based control algorithm development is required. PhD with expertise in vision-based control of mechatronic systems is preferred.
  • A strong publications track record in the areas of image guidance, vision-based control, motion planning, shared control, or autonomous systems is required.
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of classical and modern servo control systems are required.
  • Excellent C++ programming skills and strong embedded C programming capabilities are required.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with robotic platforms or other real-time systems are required.
  • Knowledge of software design patterns and data structure is required.
  • Knowledge of numerical techniques and optimization is a plus.
  • A passion for learning and finding the root cause of complex technical problems is desired.
  • Ability to excel in a high-energy team and excellent communication skills are required.
  • Commitment: Must be available to work full-time hours.

We are an AA/EEO/Veterans/Disabled employer.
We will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records in accordance with fair chance laws.