Robotics Research and Engineering Co-op

Cambridge, MA /
Robotics – Dexterous Manipulation /
At Toyota Research Institute (TRI), we’re on a mission to improve the quality of human life. We’re developing new tools and capabilities to amplify the human experience. To lead this transformative shift in mobility, we’ve built a world-class team in human-centric AI, energy and materials, machine learning, and robotics.

Robotics Research and Engineering Co-op - Dexterous Manipulation team
Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is an R&D enterprise designed to bridge the gap between fundamental research and product development. Its mission is to improve the quality of human life through advances in artificial intelligence, automated driving, and robotics.

TRI Robotics is researching and developing innovative robot technologies to help people achieve new levels of independence and mobility in their daily lives. These technologies will revolutionize in-home assistive care and have significant potential to improve the quality of life for all people.

Please take a look at some of TRI’s work:

We are currently looking for a hard-working Robotics Research and Engineering Co-op to make meaningful contributions, primarily to the Dexterous Manipulation team’s robot hardware development and testing. 

Primary Responsibilities

    • Design and fabricate soft, sensing electromechanical and other robotic systems.
    • Integrate, validate, and configure new robotics hardware components, such as newly acquired or prototype sensors and actuators.
    • Help maintain a safe, clean and effective robotics lab environment.
    • Maintain regular contact with team leads to support their needs and requirements.

Secondary Responsibilities

    • Record and document testing activities, conditions, and results.
    • Develop test plans and protocols for in-lab (and eventually) out of lab experiments.
    • Perform printed circuit board assembly, including hand soldering and reflow soldering.
    • Perform builds and tear-downs of deployment facilities, workstations, etc.
    • Collect and share insights from observations of robot system operations.
    • Occasional travel may be required.
    • Additional responsibilities may be assigned.


    • Engineering student (undergrad and master’s, any year) 
    • A strict safety-first mindset, strong attention to detail, and a growth mindset.
    • Ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
    • Strong organizational and written communication skills.
    • Understanding of common robot sensors and mechanical components.
    • Experience performing electronic and/or mechanical fabrication and assembly techniques.
    • Experience designing, executing, and summarizing system tests.
    • Ability to interpret and work from documentation, including schematics, layouts, harness specifications, and manufacturer datasheets.
    • Desire to deploy and test robots both inside and outside of the lab.

Bonus Qualifications

    • Exposure to mechanical and/or electrical CAD software (e.g. Solidworks, Altium).
    • Exposure to rapid prototyping techniques like 3D printing, laser cutting, etc.
    • Machine shop experience.
    • University or work experience in a robotics lab or company.
    • Experience using test equipment for debugging and testing PCB and cable assemblies.
    • Programming experience in MATLAB, Python, C++ or similar.
Applicants must be available for a six-month co-op.

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TRI provides Equal Employment Opportunity without regard to the applicant's race, color, creed, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, religion, marital status, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state or local laws.

TRI is committed to the safety of our workforce and community. Thereby, we require COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters, for all employees and applicants. Applicants are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. Any offer of employment will be conditioned upon, among other things, vaccination status against COVID-19. TRI provides reasonable accommodations to our COVID-19 vaccination policy in accordance with applicable state, federal and local laws.