Cari colleghi,

vi inoltro la newsletter della I-RAS.

Cordiali saluti,




1. Change in the Distinguished Lecturers Program
2. Open Research Positions in Robotics at UniPISA / IIT
3. Bando di dottorato (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova)
4. PhD Openings in Humanoids and Compliant Robotics. Department of Advanced Robotics. Italian Institute of Technology
5. iCub-related PhD positions available at the Italian Institute of Technology
6. Master specialistico in Automatica - Disponibili 5    borse INPDAP
7. Posizione da Research Assistant, aperta nell’ambito dell’area di Neuro-robotics dell’Istituto di BioRobotica della Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.
8. Assegnato il premio YABP 2011


1. Change in the Distinguished Lecturers Program

The Robotics and Activities Society has changed the Distinguished Lecturers Program. There is no longer a set list of Distinguished Lecturers. Chapters may submit requests for a speaker on a given topic. The Society will attempt to honor requests for specific individuals will be considered but cannot guarantee availability.

The Society will support travel expenses up to $ US 3000.00 for requests which are granted. The speaker will submit  an IEEE Travel Expense Form and be reimbursed.


2. Open Research Positions in Robotics at UniPISA / IIT

The  Interdepartmental Research Center "E. Piaggio" of the University of Pisa
and  the Department of Advanced Robotics of Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genova
are jointly opening two positions for international Ph.D. students.

Position/Theme 1: Analysis, Design and Control of Variable Impedance Actuation for Robot Locomotion

Position/Theme 2: Analysis, Design and Control of Variable Impedance Actuation for Robot Manipulation

The Ph.D. students will be involved in the research groups of active European projects, including  HANDS.DVI/THE  (,  and the to-be-launched SAPHARI Project. Their work will be mainly based at IIT's premises in Genova and at Centro Piaggio in Pisa, under the direct supervision of senior research personnel of both institutions.

Candidates are sought who possess a Master's degree in Engineering or Computer Science, with a strong background in Robotics Manipulation, and an interest in undertaking innovative, ambitious, high-risk/high-payoff research enterprises. The cosmopolitan research environment requires mastering the English language in both speaking and writing. Gradually acquiring the basics of the Italian language will make the experience of living in Italy more enjoyable, but is not required.

For more informations on the scientific environment and to discuss the research program (which will have to be tailored to the successful candidate's own experience and interests)  please contact

 Antonio Bicchi (
 Director, Centro "E. Piaggio" University of Pisa
 Senior Researcher, Advanced Robotics Dept., IIT


Darwin Caldwell (
Director, Advanced Robotics Dept., IIT

International applications are encouraged and will receive logistic support with visa issues. Applications will be evaluated on an ongoing basis until the positions are filled. Please email your application, including cover letter, CV, scanned transcripts, diplomas, publications, theses, other supporting material, and the contact information for at least two references as a single PDF file with "Application Ph.D. Position" in the subject line.

Formal applications MUST be submitted through the University of Pisa portal before 13.00 h., September 15, 2011, at

For adminstrative issues, please contact

Laura Maley  (
Floriana Sardi  (


3. Bando di dottorato (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova)

The Department of Advanced Robotics ( at the Italian Institute of Technology IIT placed in Genoa has several open PhD positions within the HyQ project. Starting date is in January 2012.

We are seeking highly motivated PhD students to work on several research topics in the framework of the HyQ project. The Hydraulic Quadruped HyQ is a unique research platform: It is a fully torque-controlled electric/hydraulic quadruped robot, ready for versatile locomotion. HyQ is capable of performing both precise movements and strong and fast motions that are necessary for dynamic tasks such as jumping and running.

Open research topics in the HyQ project are:
-Theme 2.1: Control and planning of autonomous dynamic legged robot locomotion
Tutors: Dr Jonas Buchli, Dr Ioannis Havoutis, Dr Claudio Semini
-Theme 2.2: Development of a Medium Sized Dynamic Quadruped Robot
Tutors: Dr Claudio Semini, Dr Nikos Tsagarakis
-Theme 2.3: Power transmission systems for autonomous robots
Tutors: David Branson, Dr Emanuele Guglielmino, Dr Claudio Semini and Industry Supervisor
-Theme 2.4: Water hydraulic technology for robotics
Tutors: Dr Emanuele Guglielmino, Dr David Branson

For a more detailed description of these research themes (and others), consult the following document starting at page 20:
Annex A4 "Robotics, Cognition and Interaction Technologies: A4."  on

Application Procedure:
To apply please fill the online application form at,
no later than the 23rd of September, 2011 (noon, Italian Time). We recommend to start the online application early enough.

For administrative help with the application please contact Ms. Anastasia Bruzzone  by email ( or phone (+39 010 71781 472) Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

International applications are encouraged.


4. PhD Openings in Humanoids and Compliant Robotics. Department of Advanced Robotics. Italian Institute of Technology

The Department of Advanced Robotics ( at the Italian Institute of Technology IIT (an English language Institute) placed in Genoa has a number of PhD openings within the research areas of Humanoid Robotics and Compliant Actuation Systems (starting in January 2012).  Please see below the list of the available themes.

PhD Themes (Humanoids and Compliant Robotics):

Theme 1: Building the next Humanoids: Exploring the Mechatronic Technological Limits and New Design Philosophies for the development of an Ultra High Performance Leg.
Theme 2: Development of a Variable Stiffness Actuated Humanoid Lower Body.
Theme 3: Humanoid Walking and Motion Planning: From Flat Terrains through Uneven Terrains, to Particulate Surfaces and Terrains with different Stiffness properties.
Theme 4: Development and Control of a Variable Damping/ Stiffness Actuated Humanoid Upper Body.


5. iCub-related PhD positions available at the Italian Institute of Technology

Dear roboticists,
I'd like to advertise the availability of several PhD positions (with
scholarship) at the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences (RBCS) in the
Italian Institute of Technology to work on topics related to the iCub
( humanoid robot. IIT is an English-language
working environment with state-of-the-art laboratories and worldwide
collaborations in robotics, machine learning, neuroscience, cognitive
systems, nanotechnology, etc.

Research for this set of PhD themes will be developed within the
multidisciplinary environment of the "Robotics, Brain and Cognitive
Sciences" (RBCS) department of IIT ( At RBCS we are merging
top-level neuroscience research and top-level robotics research by sharing
fundamental scientific objectives in the field of action execution and
interpretation (see the list of publications as well as our international
collaborations). The research team at RBCS is composed of neuroscientists,
engineers, psychologists, physicists working together to investigate brain
functions and realize intelligent machines and advanced prosthesis.

RBCS is where the iCub humanoid robot is developed in all its mechanical,
electronic, software and cognitive components but it is also the place where
studies of how visual, haptic and tactile integration develops in normal as
well as sensory-impaired children. This year's themes cover
interdisciplinary areas of research and are grouped according to their
scientific focus. Specifically we intend to foster interdisciplinary
research activities in the areas of:

1. Grasping and Manipulation
2. Motor Control and Robot Rehabilitation
3. Communication, Speech and Language
4. Reaching
5. Multimodal Sensing

Full details of the call and application procedure is described at:

With reference to the iCub, the following themes are available:

Theme 1.1: Learning to Act with Dexterity, Purpose and Commonsense: The
DARWIN architecture
Theme 1.2: Learning affordances from and from manipulation
Theme 1.5: Human and robotic dexterous manipulation
Theme 1.9: Antagonistic actuation for adaptive reaching tasks
Theme 1.10: Force and dynamic control (on the iCub)
Theme 1.11: Freeform fabrication technologies for humanoid robotics
Theme 1.14: Grounding language on the iCub
Theme 1.15: Recognizing people and their behavior on the iCub
Theme 1.16: Understanding action and scene dynamics
Theme 1.19: Learning peripersonal space and visuo-tactile integration
Theme 1.20: Whole body motion control on the iCub
Theme 1.22: ASIC design for tactile sensing
Theme 1.23: Emergence of invariance in a computational visual system:
humanoid robots as a platform to understand the computations in the visual
Theme 1.25: Visual perception and visual attention on the icub
Theme 1.27: Information theoretic study of efficient multiple-modality
sensing in humanoid robots
Theme 1.28: Development of sensing technologies for multimodal large area
robotic skin

More details on these themes can be found on the Annex A-4 of the call (with
additional contact information). If you have general questions about the
iCub or our research, please don't hesitate to contact me at giorgio.metta

Please note that the application procedure requires preparing and uploading
a set of documents on our webpage by September 23rd (deadline is sharp!). In
case you have troubles in preparing the application please kindly ask Ms.
Anastasia Bruzzone (anastasia.bruzzone _(at)_ who is responsible for
the administrative procedure.
Best regards,

Giorgio Metta <>

Italian Institute of Technology
Via Morego, 30                           
16163 Genoa, Italy                        
Ph: +39 010 7178-1411
Fax: +39 010 7170-817



6. Master specialistico in Automatica - Disponibili 5    borse INPDAP

A tutti gli interessati

Rendo noto che sono disponibili 5 borse INPDAP per la partecipazione al Master Universitario di II livello in "Automatica and Control Technologies" (MACT) presso il Politecnico di Torino. Per informazioni visitare il sito

Giuseppe Calafiore

INPDAP (Istituto Nazionale di Previdenza dei Dipendenti dell’Amministrazione Pubblica Direzione Centrale Welfare e Strutture Sociali) nell'ambito delle iniziative Homo Sapiens Sapiens, azioni a sostegno della formazione universitaria, post universitaria e professionale, in favore dei dipendenti dell’Istituto, dei dipendenti della pubblica amministrazione, iscritti all'INPDAP, dei figli e orfani di dipendenti della pubblica amministrazione, iscritti all'INPDAP e dei figli e orfani di pensionati INPDAP, mette a concorso 5 borse di studio per la partecipazione al master universitario di II livello in Automatica and control technologies.
La borsa di studio copre integralmente i costi di partecipazione al Master.

Le domande di partecipazione al concorso devono essere inviate esclusivamente a mezzo raccomandata A/R, a pena di esclusione, entro e non oltre il giorno 22 settembre 2011 a:
Direzione Regionale Piemonte – Valle d’Aosta Vittorio Emanuele II, 3
10125 Torino (TO) (tel.) 011 6500917
(fax) 011 6500934


Maggiori informazioni sul bando, requisiti di accesso, modalità di compilazione e scadenze della domanda di ammissione sono disponibili alla pagina:""

Contestualmente all'invio della candidatura alla Direzione Regionale INPDAP, il candidato dovrà tassativamente presentare regolare domanda di partecipazione al master entro e non oltre il giorno 22 settembre 2011 attraverso il sito "apply" del Politecnico di Torino. 

Prof. Giuseppe Carlo Calafiore
MACT -Master in Automatica and Control Technologies
Politecnico di Torino


7. Posizione da Research Assistant, aperta nell’ambito dell’area di Neuro-robotics dell’Istituto di BioRobotica della Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.

The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna
Neuro-­?Robotics area – tactile sensing

Prof. Maria Chiara Carrozza

Open position as a Research Assistant

Short description of the research activity

In the context of a EU-­?funded research project, our group is developing a various range of novel artificial tactile sensing technologies. One of the ongoing research activities is oriented towards the development of  a dense array of capacitive tactile sensors, in collaboration with a partner university from UK. The array of tactile sensors will be integrated into a robotic finger for a wide range of application scenarios, including upper limb prosthetics, wearable and humanoid robotics. The Research Assistant will be involved in the engineering of the tactile sensing technology, dealing with micro-­?fabrication processes, wire bonding of the silicon chips, microscope imaging and post-­?processing (e.g., via Focused Ion Beam equipment available at the Institute of BioRobotics), packaging with polymeric materials, interfacing to the conditioning electronics, to data acquisition systems and to robotic platforms for experimental evaluation.

Selected bibliographic references

1. H.B. Muhammad, C.M. Oddo, L. Beccai, C. Recchiuto, C.J. Anthony, M.J. Adams, M.C. Carrozza, D.W.L. Hukins, M.C.L. Ward. Development of a bioinspired MEMS based capacitive tactile sensor for a robotic finger. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 2011.

2. H.B. Muhammad, C. Recchiuto, C.M. Oddo, L. Beccai, C.J. Anthony,  M.J. Adams, M.C. Carrozza, M.C.L. Ward. A capacitive tactile sensor array for surface texture discrimination. Microelectronic Engineering, 2011.
The ideal candidate should hold a Master of Science in Electronic Engineering. A particular background on microsystems and microelectronic technologies, analog signal conditioning and data acquisition systems is required. Computer programming skills are required as well, and at least two between C/C++/C#, HDL, Verilog, Matlab, Qt, Java, Labview should be mastered at intermediate level. Good knowledge of English language is required.

Contacts for expression of interest

Prof. Maria Chiara Carrozza
Dr. Calogero M. Oddo


8. Assegnato il premio YABP 2011

Il premio IEEE IRAS- YABP/ IEEE RAS Italian Chapter Young Author Best Paper Award 2011 e' andato a

Michele Conconi e Marco Carricato, dell'Universita' degli Studi di Bologna, con il lavoro

M. Conconi and M. Carricato. A new assessment of singularities of parallel kinematic chains. Robotics, IEEE Transactions on, 25(4):757–770, 2009




La Commissione Europea, tramite il progetto euRobotics, ha promosso la European robotics week. La Settimana robotica europea ha lo scopo di promuovere la robotica in tutta Europa, e si svolgerà dal 28 novembre al 4 dicembre 2011. Gli eventi che si terranno in questo periodo in diverse città europee (open lab, conferenze, mostre, film, corsi, ecc), coordinati dal progetto euRobotics, saranno pubblicizzati sul sito europeo, e mediante altri media.
Scadenza per inviare le vostre proposte: 30 settembre 2011. Il Form per le proposte è scaricabile da:

e da