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Smart Behaviors Researcher @ Piaggio Fast Forward (Boston, MA)

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  • Smart Behaviors Researcher @ Piaggio Fast Forward (Boston, MA)

    Smart Behaviors Researcher

    at Piaggio Fast Forward
    Boston, MA

    Boston-based company Piaggio Fast Forward Inc. (PFF) was founded in 2015 by the Piaggio Group (the Italian manufacturer that created the iconic Vespa scooter). We are on a mission to build technology products that move the way that people move. In order to bring products to market today, PFF is solving the problem of robotic interaction with people in dynamically changing environments. We’re innovators, neighbors and creators with a passion for local living and pushing the limits on urban transportation. We support a sustainable mobility ecology with healthy lifestyles and social connectivity available to all, regardless of age or abilities.

    Piaggio Fast Forward conducts observational and other research on the ways that people and things move in and around pedestrian environments, both indoor and outdoor. The resulting data is analyzed to help establish performance specifications for vehicles designed to operate in these same environments while interacting with human operators.

    This position calls for someone with experience in research and development with an understanding of human/animal motion and social behavior. The day-to-day will involve the analysis of hundreds of data sets captured in a motion capture studio or conducting literature reviews and field observations in order to lay the groundwork for the development of new robotic behaviors. The data will be used in a highly collaborative environment with designers and engineers to improve our consumer facing products.

    We are seeking someone with experience designing and running research studies as well as quantitatively analyzing data. The research conducted by the Smart Behaviors Researcher will ultimately enhance the day-to-day experience of our customers using current and future PFF products.

    • Design experimental studies in human/animal motion and behavior
    • Set-up and maintain the motion capture studio and its equipment
    • Translate qualitative inquiries to clearly defined research questions (vision to data collection)
    • Review relevant academic publications
    • Serve as point of contact for study participants
    • Administer studies (including fitting participants with motion capture markers and collection of motion capture data)
    • Clean-up and export motion capture data to be used for data analysis
    • Build scripts to analyze data
    • Document research in detailed written reports and 2D technical drawings
    • Develop specification documents used to relay behavior designs to engineering team
    • Collaborate with designers, engineers, product support, marketing, and leadership to create behaviors that are innovative and still reflect the ethos of the company

    • Degree in biomechanics, biobehavioral science, human/robot interaction, or a closely related field
      • Preferred Masters Degree
    • 3+ years of professional experience in research and development, preferably in a product-driven environment
    • Experience with data analysis
    • Proficient in Python, MATLAB, and/or R/Excel for analysis and visualization
    • Expert in developing pipelines for content translation between software
    • Highly organized and have impeccable attention to detail
    • Diligent in sorting, categorizing and labeling large content volumes of data
    • Writing and communication skills
    • Preferred:
      • Experience with motion capture software and hardware
      • Experience in UX design
      • 2D design skills for drafted technical documents of moving people and robots

    Commitment to Diversity

    We strive to create a workforce that embraces every culture, language, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, background and experience. PFF has multiple DEI programs in place for our employees; including a mentorship program, regular pay equity audits, DEI training, and a standardized interviewing framework that is focused on "culture add". These programs support an equitable and inclusive workplace, that promote the growth, retention, and recruiting of women and BIPOC in the workplace.

    Note: Even if you don’t meet all of the requirements listed we encourage you to apply. Think of it more as looking for some of the items listed, not all.

    Reach out to Avery Kratzer ( with any questions.