Autonomy and Robotics Engineer

Alexandria, VA

Heron Systems Inc. is seeking a new or recent graduate with a background in robotics, swarming behaviors, and/or autonomy to join our Research and Development Group. This position will support an ongoing research and development projects advancing Heron Systems’ swarming architecture, associated autonomous behaviors, and related applied solutions for certain DARPA, NASA, and DoD missions. The work will be based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and require approximately 0-10% travel.

Desired Experience Level(s)

Entry level, Graduate degree, PhD, 2+ years experience

About the Position

Heron Systems has developed MACE, a swarming framework capable of rapidly instantiating large swarms of heterogenous platforms. In addition, Heron Systems has developed novel collaboration methods for swarms. Customers seek Heron’s swarm solutions to meet advanced requirements for autonomy and collaboration between UAVs, UGVs, kinetic systems, and manned teams. This position will serve as part of the autonomous behaviors or swarm architecture team (dependent on skill alignment) to optimize Heron’s products to meet specific customer or research requirements. The person will serve as part of a small (3-4 person) team and likely lead the development of specific elements within our portfolio. This may include behavior development, modeling and simulation development, laboratory (hardware in the loop) testing, or something similar. This position will support field testing and demonstration of Heron’s solutions to include regular flight testing.

Further Responsibilities:

  • Scientists and engineers in our R&D Group are tasked with performing the research and development activities of one or more projects. Leadership tasking includes managing the development activities of the entire project, and a project team of 3-4 engineers.
  • R&D Group members are encouraged to cultivate their own tasking and funding and are therefore free to explore new and innovative projects. Current projects are applying swarm architectures, advanced collaboration algorithms, reinforcement learning, neural network algorithms, non-linear dynamics, and complex systems theory in support of UxVs, next-generation military aircraft, and advanced weapon systems.


  • Graduate level degree in computer science, engineering, mathematics or related technical degree. Alternatively, an undergraduate degree with significant demonstrated robotics and autonomy course work and excellent academic performance will be considered.
  • Experienced candidates should demonstrate prior professional work directly implementing algorithms and/or performing system integration of autonomy algorithms/mission systems.
  • Demonstrated experience applying autonomy concepts to challenging problems. Swarming or autonomous behaviors research/experience is a plus.
  • Experience obtaining funding and managing projects is a plus. Demonstrated excellence in grant writing, proposal development, and technical writing is preferred.
  • US citizenship is required.

Apply with your Resume, References and any Supporting Documentation to

Heron Systems Inc. is a small engineering firm that provides a dynamic and challenging environment where engineers and researchers can expand their skills in a range of fields. Our Research and Development Group desires entrepreneurial inclined researchers looking to develop their own topics. We empower our scientists and engineers to pursue their technical interests, believing that innovation is driven by motivated and passionate research and development.
We take pride in creating a friendly, warm, and fun work environment where hard work is rewarded. We offer excellent salaries, competitive benefits, and a team of motivated, competitive individuals.