Pittsburgh’s KEF Robotics one of nine finalists worldwide in prestigious Lockheed Martin drone competition


Robotic Software Engineer

Robotic Software Engineer - US Persons Only

Full time - Pittsburgh, PA - Open immediately - US Persons Only

Salary range: $75k-$120k; 4:1 employer match on 401K.

KEF Robotics Inc. is seeking talented Robotic Software Engineers to join our team. We’re a new company (founded December, 2018) on a strong trajectory in a disruptive technology area, and have already attained a number of significant milestones:

We’re looking for smart, bold, driven, humble researchers who bring a great attitude to work and want to help us draft out, build, and polish a great company.  We want the types who dig in to their work and try to solve technical problems, and who are fearless learners and active questioners. We’re working on our first product, and we need your help to get it perfect.

KEF was founded by an experienced and proven R&D team, which arrived at drone autonomy after achieving recognition as the premier spacecraft navigation software development team in the world (The tech we pitched and built was going to land us on the Moon and Saturn’s Enceladus!). We’ve honed an ability to operate efficiently, and know how to get our message out, so you’ll be joining a competent and cohesive team with zero extra baggage.

Our office is different from where you are working now. We limit distractions and offer you a huge amount of freedom (You want to bring your dog to work? Glad you asked!  Hope it likes attention...) If you need equipment or outside connections to solve a problem, we will get it for you. Our goal is to help you become a world-class expert within three years, and our philosophy is simple: bring in great talent and help them get to work.

At this stage we’re offering substantial equity, and we offer big-company benefits where we can: subsidized healthcare for all employees, unlimited vacation (take it), and a generous 401k match. While we tackle huge technical challenges and demand excellence, working hours are reasonable--we assume that the best talent will seek robust lives outside the office.

Finally, we’re committed to diversity on the ground floor and will take the time to train great talent from unusual backgrounds. We  will select personality and drive over experience and expertise.

OK, look: it’s taking a lot of words to say “why we are different”, but basically it’s just this: we’re deadly serious about kicking butt, but we’re having a ton of fun while we do it.  Send us a note and tell us why you’d make a great teammate!

contactus@kefrobotics.com - Linkedin & Facebook - www.kefrobotics.com


  • Develop state-of-the-art autonomous drones capable of flying rapidly through challenging environments

  • Research and implement new approaches within guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) and machine learning (ML) 

  • Optimize algorithms for real-time computation on embedded platforms

  • Field test UAVs in a variety of environments, both indoors and outdoors

  • Improve physics based simulation environments and validate autonomous behavior within simulation

Strongly Recommended Skills:

  • Empathetic and collaborative team player 

  • Proficiency with C++ and Python

  • Experience with robotics state estimation and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithms

  • Experience programming for embedded environments

  • Familiarity with Linux and Linux tools

  • Experience in developing computer vision algorithms

Bonus Skills:

  • Machine learning and experience programming within a popular ML framework (TensorFlow, PyTorch, etc)

  • Hardware prototyping skills (3D printing, soldering, assembly)

  • GPU programming (CUDA / OpenCL)

  • Familiarity with nonlinear optimization techniques

  • Familiarity with ROS (Robot Operating System)

  • Unreal Engine / Unity experience

  • Julia programming experience

  • Clear, concise technical writing skills

Salary range: $75k-$120k

Health Care: $200/month subsidy per employee

Equity: 1 year cliff, 4 year vest

401k Match: 4X match on first 3% of employee contribution



KEF Robotics is a software startup based in Pittsburgh, PA.  We focus on developing technologies to accelerate the deployment of UAV autonomy for applications in defense and aerospace. Co-founded by Kerry Snyder, Eric Amoroso and Fraser Kitchell in 2018, KEF has extensive experience in robotics research and development and commercialization, and finished as the leading team in DRL and Lockheed Martin's AlphaPilot Challenge.

Kerry Snyder: Kerry leads the development of Guidance, Navigation, and Control software and hardware deployment at KEF. Prior to KEF, he led the development of numerous hardware-software robotic systems for vision-based state estimation and embedded computing on rovers, drones, and spacecraft. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science with an additional major in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Avery Horvath: KEF's first hire, Avery leads research and development of the companies' UAV guidance software. She holds a B.S. in Astrophysics from the University of North Carolina.

Eric Amoroso: Eric oversees the development of machine learning and simulation technologies at KEF Robotics. Previously, as a senior research engineer at Astrobotic, he was the technical lead on two research contracts with a US-based aerospace prime to develop GPS-denied visual state estimation to allow large UAVs to land safely. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Fraser Kitchell: Fraser serves as the CEO of KEF Robotics and leads the company's partnership development, technology commercialization, and corporate strategy.  In his prior role at Astrobotic Technology, Inc., he founded and led the company's research and development group to notable successes, including a $10M NASA Tipping Point award, numerous SBIRs, and technical development contracts with Bosch Research and a large US Aerospace contractor.  Fraser has a B.S. in Biology from Amherst College and M.S. in Energy Science from Carnegie Mellon University.



6534 Hamilton Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15206



We're always interested in exceptional robotics and software talent. Please note in your email header if you are seeking in employment.

© 2019 by KEF Robotics. 

Pittsburgh, PA