may 2013

Cari colleghi,

vi inoltro la newsletter della I-RAS.

Cordiali saluti,




x. cena I-RAS
x. nuovo sito web i-ras
x. bando definitivo YABP 2013
x. Bilancio 2012 IEEE sezione Italia
x. HFR2013: 6th Workshop on Human-Friendly Robotics, Rome
x. Postdoc opening in Non Invasive EMG Control of Hand Prosthetics
x. One-week PhD course - Modular Surgical Robotics
x. borsa di dottorato su smart grid
x. fellowship in Siena on Wearable Haptics for Humans and Robots
x. CFP: "Synthetic Modeling of Life and Cognition: Open Questions" (SMLC 2013), 12-14.09.2013, Bergamo, Italy
x. Postdoc Openings in WEARABLE HAPTIC SYSTEMS
x. Corso Nazionale Robotica e Automazione - SIRI
x. Convegno Annuale AEIT 2013
x. Job opportunity - One research activity grant available at CNR-ISSIA Genoa division
x. Post-doc opening in Machine Learning for Robotics, Department of Advanced Robotics, Italian Institute of Technology


x. cena I-RAS

La consueta cena della I-RAS si terra' lunedi 16 settembre a Palermo, durante la riunione annuale SIDRA ( I colleghi di Palermo, che ringrazio, ci daranno una mano con la logistica e la scelta del ristorante.

Ne approfitto per ricordare che, per il 2014 (!), potremmo organizzare la cena anche in concomitanza con le riunioni nazionali di altri raggruppamenti. Contattatemi per discuterne.



x. nuovo sito web i-ras

Grazie a Lucia abbiamo terminato il trasferimento del sito I-RAS. Il nuovo indirizzo e':

Se tutto e' andato bene non dovreste notare differenze. Il vecchio indirizzo reindirizza al nuovo.


x. bando definitivo YABP 2013

E' in rete il bando definitivo per il premio giovane autore della I-RAS. La scadenza per segnalare articoli e' il 15 giugno.


x. Bilancio 2012 IEEE sezione Italia

Si sono concluse le votazioni per il Bilancio 2012 della IEEE sezione Italia. Hanno partecipato 229 membri (pari al 6% degli iscritti).

Il rendiconto consuntivo, la situazione patrimoniale e la relazione di gestione 2012 sono stati approvati con 228 voti favorevoli e un voto contrario.


x. HFR2013: 6th Workshop on Human-Friendly Robotics, Rome

6th Workshop on Human-Friendly Robotics
DIAG, Sapienza Università di Roma
September 25--26, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

We invite you to submit an abstract to the 6th edition of the "Workshop on Human Friendly Robotics"


The growing need to automate daily tasks combined with new robot technologies are driving the development of human-friendly robots,
i.e., safe and dependable machines, operating in the close vicinity to humans or directly interacting with persons in a wide range of domains.
The technology shift from classical industrial robots, which are safely kept away from humans in cages, to robots,
which will be used in close collaboration with humans, requires major technological challenges that need to be overcome.

The objective of the workshop is to bring together and share knowledge between researchers on Human-Friendly Robotics
from design and control towards safety and ethical issues involving the introduction of robots into everyday life.


- Fundaments of human-friendly robots: mechatronic design, control, analyses (safety measurements, performance metrics, impedance estimation, etc.)
- Applications of human-friendly robots: physical interaction (medical and rehabilitation devices, prostheses and orthoses, telerobotics, etc.)
and cognitive interaction (robot assisted therapy, personal and entertainment robots, robot learning, etc.)
- Social and ethical issues


Prospective authors should submit an extended abstract (one A4 page, in PDF format) to by July 15, 2013.
Accepted contributions will be allocated to oral or poster sessions depending on the level of general/wide interest and impact on the community.
Participants are strongly encouraged to contribute to the hardware demonstration.


- Paper submission due: July 15, 2013
- Notification of acceptance: July 31, 2013

- Kazuhiro Kosuge
- Tony Belpaeme
- Nicolas Mansard
- Alessandro De Luca


• Fabrizio Flacco, Sapienza Università di Roma
• Raffaella Carloni, University of Twente
• Giorgio Grioli, Università di Pisa
• Sami Haddadin, Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt
• Dongheui Lee, Technical University of Munich
• Gianluca Palli, University of Bologna
• Paolo Robuffo Giordano, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
• Irene Sardellitti, Italian Institute of Technology
• Bram Vanderborght, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
• Nicola Vitiello, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

All the details are available at the workshop website:

For any further information, please contact the Organization Committee by sending an email to

Best regards,
Fabrizio Flacco

Dr. Fabrizio Flacco
Dipartimento di Ingegneria informatica, automatica e gestionale Antonio Ruberti -- DIAG
(ex Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica -- DIS)
Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
Via Ariosto 25
00185 Roma, Italy

tel: +39 0677274057
fax: +39 0677274033


x. Postdoc opening in Non Invasive EMG Control of Hand Prosthetics

BioRobotics Institute

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa Italy

A full-time post-doctoral research associate position is now available at the BioRobotics Institute (BRI) of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA), Pisa Italy. We seek to advance the dexterity of upper limb prostheses. We are particularly interested in addressing this issue non-invasively using state of the art surface multi-channel EMG recording techniques. The successful candidate is a well-motivated post-doc that will work on projects that involve both computational modelling and experimental recordings of EMG signals in human subjects.

Candidates should have a PhD degree in biomedical engineering, bioengineering, electrical engineering, or a closely related discipline. A strong signal processing background is required and experience with EMG recordings is desired. Candidates should have a well-defined ICT track-record in the areas of experimental signal design (preferably bio-signals), signal processing and pattern recognition, algorithms design and implementation, and interactive database design and construction. With a developing research record, the successful candidate will be able to demonstrate her/his ability to disseminate results and prepare research proposals. The successful candidate will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and will have experience of conducting engineering projects both individually and as part of a team. Strong programming skill-sets with proven experience in embedded system design are also essential. Proven mixed-signal electronic systems design capabilities will be considered an added-value.

The successful candidate will work with BRI scientist Dr. Christian Cipriani. The research will be conducted as part of the WAY project (Wearable interfaces for hAnd function recovery:, an EU collaborative project supported by the EC under the 7th Framework Programme and by other national grants on upper limb prosthetics.

SSSA is a public university. Excellence in training and research, internationalization, interaction with the job market are the objectives of SSSA. Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna offers training and postgraduate courses in Economics and Management, Law, Political Science, Agricultural Science and Biotechnology, Medicine, and Industrial and Information Engineering. SSSA is a scientific community where the academic staff and researchers interact with students through a continuous exchange of cultural and intellectual ideas. ( The mission of the BRI is to educate the Engineer of the 21st Century: a competent, interdisciplinary, creative inventor and entrepreneur, able to handle new technological and scientific challenges (

Post-doc duration: 20 months (with possible renovation)

Salary: ~1900 € net (a competitive salary for a post-doc position in Italy).

Application procedure

The appointment will start after a public competition; deadline for applying is June 4, 2013 at this website: . Since the application procedure on the University website is only in Italian (and not exactly user-friendly) we offer our support to applicants to fulfil the bureaucratic requirements. To this aim interested applicants should send, in a single email with ‘EMG-POSTDOC’ in the subject line, to and

1) In the body of the email:

a. A summary of research background and interests (1 page)

b. Doctoral dissertation topic

2) As attachments (pdfs)

a. Curriculum vitae with a at least 3 referees contacts

b. At least three papers which could be either published, accepted for publication, or in-preparation, which demonstrate the required expertise.

Kind regards,
Christian Cipriani


x. One-week PhD course - Modular Surgical Robotics

Dear colleagues,

we are pleased to invite PhD students to the one-week PhD Course on Modular Surgical Robotics to be held at Politecnico di Milano, Milano (Italy), on July 1st– 5th 2013. The course is open to PhD students in the field of robotics, who want to explore the field of surgical applications. The list of lecturers (preliminary) and a tentative schedule is available at the following link:

Confirmed speakers:

- Andreas Tobergte, Robotics and Mechatronics Center, DLR, Germany
- Sarthak Misra, MIRA - Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twent, Enschede, The Netherlands
- Philippe Poignet, Département Robotique, LIRMM, Montpellier, France
- Gabor Kosa, Tel Aviv Universit, Tel Aviv, Israel
- Emmanuel Vander Poorten, Department of Mechanical Engineering, KU Leuven.

The number of course attendees is limited, due to logistics reasons. Selection of students is based on CV and research topic.

Deadline for sending candidature is June 10th, 2013.

The registration is free.

Please, send your candidature (name, institution, PhD student status evidence, one page brief CV and one page research activity) to Danilo De Lorenzo (

For any other information please visit the web page or contact Danilo De Lorenzo (

Best regards,

Elena De Momi, PhD

Danilo De Lorenzo, PhD
NearLab - Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering
Politecnico di Milano, via G. Colombo 40, 20133 Milan, Italy


x. borsa di dottorato su smart grid

borsa di dottorato su smart grid

Cari colleghi,
vi segnalo che un importante centro di ricerca nel settore elettrico
mette a disposizione una borsa di dottorato nell’ambito del Dottorato di
Ricerca in Information Technology del Politecnico di Milano. Il tema
riguarda vari aspetti di controllo delle smart grid ed è prevista una
significativa attività sperimentale.
Il bando di ammissione al dottorato è consultabile all’indirizzo

La scadenza per la presentazione delle domande è il 24 maggio 2013.
Sono naturalmente disponibile a fornire ulteriori informazioni a
potenziali candidati.

Un cordiale saluto
Riccardo Scattolini


x. fellowship in Siena on Wearable Haptics for Humans and Robots

6 months fellowship in Siena on Wearable Haptics for Humans and Robots

A call is open for a short-term research position spanning six months, from mid
June or beginning of july 2013, at the Department of Information Engineering and
Mathematical Sciences, University of Siena, Italy under the supervision of Prof.
Domenico Prattichizzo. This position can be followed by a PhD position on the
same subject.

The research activity will be carried out for the EU project "Wearable Haptics
for Humans and Robots" (WEARHAP) coordinated by Prof. Prattichizzo of University
of Siena. The project aims at laying down the scientific and technological
foundations for wearable haptics, a novel concept that will simplify the way we
interact with the environment and redefine the way humans cooperate with robots.
Objective: Analysis of grasping Research Activity: To support the study of a
dynamic system, representing the human hand, for object grasping tasks. The
selected candidate shall collaborate in investigating the computation of
grasping force distribution based on contact models. This will be important for
rendering the appropriate tactile cues through wearable haptic devices. For
further information on the goals and scope of the project please visit the
project website: After this six months period, the candidate
can apply for a PhD position in Siena on the same subject.

Admission requirements: A relevant Master’s degree in Engineering or equivalent
qualification. All European and non-European citizens under the age of 35 who
have graduated from 2008 onwards (max 5 years ago) can apply. Proficiency in
English language is necessary for this position.

After evaluation of academic and non-academic qualifications, an online
interview via Skype/Google/Hangout will be arranged to judge the base knowledge
of the candidate for our requirements on haptics and grasping devices.

The application must be submitted no later than May 27, 2013.

For additional information contact Prof. Domenico Prattichizzo (

You can find the call and the application form "FAC-SIMILE DOMANDA" on the following link:

The call documents are in Italian Language. Send an email to Enrica Camparini
( for receiving information in English Language.


x. CFP: "Synthetic Modeling of Life and Cognition: Open Questions" (SMLC 2013), 12-14.09.2013, Bergamo, Italy

Call for Papers

Workshop "Synthetic Modeling of Life and Cognition: Open Questions" (SMLC 2013)

12-14th September 2013, University of Bergamo, Italy
Luisa Damiano (University of Bergamo) &
Vincent C. Müller (Anatolia College/ACT & University of Oxford)


In recent decades researchers in various scientific domains have been working intensely on procedures directed to exploring life and cognition in a “synthetic” way, i.e. through modeling in artificial systems. Research on biological and cognitive processes is thus been increasingly based on implementations in “software” (simulations), “hardware” (robots) and “wetware” (chemical systems) used as scientific models of the processes in question. This scientific development is often seen as the emergence of a new general methodology, a “synthetic methodology”, slated to become a dominant force in science. This synthetic methodology poses a challenge for both science itself and the philosophy of science: to define the possibilities, the limits, and the ways of the synthetic modeling of life and cognition, and its relevance for biological, behavioral, cognitive, and social sciences.

The workshop “Synthetic Modeling of Life and Cognition: Open Questions” will tackle this challenge by creating a strongly interdisciplinary forum that can formulate and address these fundamental questions. The workshop brings together pioneers of the synthetic exploration of life and cognition from different scientific domains (computer science, synthetic biology, cognitive, developmental, social robotics...), and invites them to discuss with philosophers and other specialists studying this emerging form of scientific investigation.

Invited speakers

Minoru Asada, Osaka University, Japan
Angelo Cangelosi, University of Plymouth, UK
Luciano Fadiga, University of Ferrara, Italy
Stuart Kauffman, University of Calgary, Canada
Pier Luigi Luisi, University of Rome Three, Italy
Giorgio Metta, Italian Institute of Technology, Italy
Giulio Sandini, Italian Institute of Technology, Italy
Ricard Solé, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain


Università degli studi di Bergamo, Italy
Research Center for Ars Vivendi at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan
EUCog, European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems, Interaction and Robotics

Call for Papers

The SMLC 2013 workshop adopts an “Open Questions” format. – This means that the SMLC 2013 call for papers contains a list of questions on the synthetic modeling of life and cognition formulated by members of the Program Committee and other selected specialists on the basis of their expertise and in accordance with the topics of the workshop.

The SMLC 2013 workshop questions are cutting-edge open questions defining the agenda of the nascent interdisciplinary community dedicated to support the reflected and cooperative development of the synthetic modeling of life and cognition.

We welcome abstracts presenting and critically supporting original approaches directed to tackle the issues defined by the questions, and able to stimulate discussions and the emergence of new research lines in the interdisciplinary community created by the workshop.

The list of the SMLC 2013 workshop open questions can be found below. The questions are divided in three groups on the basis of their contents, and each question has an ID number.

We invite specialists from all the different research fields involved in this highly interdisciplinary forum to submit abstracts. In particular we welcome researchers from biology, synthetic biology, computational biology, AL, cognitive sciences, sciences of complex systems, computer sciences, AI, cognitive robotics, developmental robotics, social robotics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of biology, philosophy of cognitive science, epistemology.

The Program Committee will select the papers to be presented at the workshop as talks through a double-blind peer review process.

We are planning to publish proceedings of the conference with a reputed publisher.

Information on how to prepare your abstract(s):

Each abstract should be anonymised for blind review and should include:
- the ID number and the short version of the question you are addressing;
- the title of your contribution;
- a text of up to 1000 words (excl. references) in a PDF;
- a short abstract of up to 150 words.

Deadline: 30.06.2013

Submission at:

Latest Information at

For any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the organizers.

Thank you for contributing to this emergent research area!

SMLC 2013: Open Questions

This is the list of questions on the synthetic modeling of life and cognition, formulated by members of the Program Committee and other selected specialists on the basis of their expertise and in accordance with the topics of the workshop.

a) Synthetic exploration of life

(1) What are the possibilities and the limits of the synthetic study of the origins of life?

(2) Aiming at a universal biology: what can be the contribution of the synthetic methodology?

(3) Does the synthetic modeling of life need teleology?

(4) How can we test for artificial life?

b) Synthetic exploration of cognition

(5) What can synthetic biology offer to the study of cognition?

(6) What is the role of embodiment in the synthetic exploration of cognition?

(7) How can one build an agent aware of its environment?

(8) How can we model conscious experience?

(9) The extended mind thesis: can it be explored synthetically?

c) Possibilities, limits, ways and impacts of the synthetic modeling of life and cognition:

(10) The “sciences of the artificial” and the “sciences of the natural”: How can we guarantee positive interaction?

(11) What are the characteristics and roles of synthetic models?

(12) Do different forms of the synthetic modeling have different explanatory powers?

(13) Which levels of abstraction are appropriate in the synthetic modeling of life and cognition?

(14) What are the impacts of the synthetic methodology on the dichotomies 'science/engineering', and 'artificial/natural'?

(15) The synthetic methodology: What are the environmental and social impacts?

Explanations of the open questions on


x. Postdoc Openings in WEARABLE HAPTIC SYSTEMS

Humanoid & Human Centred Mechatronics Lab
Department of Advanced Robotics

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)

The Department of Advanced Robotics at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) an English-language research Institute placed in Genoa, Italy, is seeking to appoint a well-motivated full-time post-doc that will have a key research role on the area of mechatronics development and control of wearable haptic devices.

The selected applicant of this position will join an interdisciplinary research group and have the opportunity to pursue research within the WEARHAP (Wearable Haptics) European Commission project which is recently started in collaboration with a consortium of leading universities and research institutes in Europe. The focus of the research will be on the development and control of novel highly ergonomic and portable wearable haptic systems integrating novel design solutions and actuation principles and technologies. The developed systems will be employed to provide effective and stable interaction between humans and teleoperated robotic machines.

We are looking for a highly motivated young scientist with a background and PhD in Robotics or Mechanical Engineering and well established publication record in one or more of the following areas:

* Cutaneous displays
* Force reflecting devices
* Exoskeleton or assistive robotic systems with customized sensing and actuation
* Tactile/force sensing technologies
* Haptic rendering and control

Proficiency in hardware design and mechanism analysis with a proven portfolio of practical designs, excellent hands-on practical skills and strong competences in robot kinematics/dynamics and physical system modelling are essential. Experience in haptic rendering and robot control is a plus.

The research will be conducted within the Department of Advanced Robotics. International applications are encouraged. The successful candidate will be offered a project collaboration contract (fixed term) for two years with a highly competitive salary which will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Expected starting date could be from 1st September 2013. Applicants may also qualify for reduced tax benefits.

Application Procedure:
Interested applicants should submit in electronic form their CV outlining experience and qualifications, list of publications, a statement of research interests and plans, and the names of at least three referees to Nikos Tsagarakis ( quoting "WEARHAP PostDoc" in the email header. For consideration, apply by 15.06.2013.

Kind Regards,

Nikos Tsagarakis

Senior Scientist
Humanoid & Human Centred Mechatronics Lab

Dept of Advanced Robotics (ADVR)
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT-Genova)
Via Morego 30,Genova 16163, Italy

tel: +39 010 71781 - ext 428
fax: +39 010 720321


x. Corso Nazionale Robotica e Automazione - SIRI

Milano-Vittuone-Sesto S.Giovanni - 12-13 e 19-20-21 Giugno 2013

Carissimi colleghi,
anche quest'anno la SIRI (ass. italiana di robotica e automazione) organizza il consueto corso di automazione e robotica. Copatrocinia ANIPLA.
Quest'anno le diverse giornate del corso sono ospitate da ITIA-CNR e da ABB (Vittuone e Sesto S.Giovanni).

Come sempre il corso è stato aggiornato e come sempre il corso ha condizioni molto favorevoli di frequenza per gli studenti (dottorandi compresi).
Vi invio il programma del corso che vi prego di fare circolare tra tutti gli interessati (universitari ed extrauniversitari).

Per maggiori informazioni

Vi attendo numerosi

Giovanni Legnani
Irene Fassi

Giovanni Legnani
Dip. Ingegneria Meccanica e Industriale
Università di Brescia
Via Branze 38 phone (+39) 030 3715 425
25123 Brescia fax (+39) 030 3702 448


x. Convegno Annuale AEIT 2013

Innovazione e cultura scientifica e tecnica per lo sviluppo

Mondello, Palermo 3-5 Ottobre 2013


x. Job opportunity - One research activity grant available at CNR-ISSIA Genoa division

The CNR-ISSIA (Institute of Intelligent Systems for Automation of the National Research Council of Italy) - Genoa division is a European leading institution in the field of marine robotics with almost twenty years of experience in the development and exploitation of unmanned marine vehicles, i.e. ROVs such as Roby and Romeo, and USVs such as Charlie, ALANIS, SWAP II and CART.
The marine robotics research group, that is currently partner of 2 ongoing EC FP7 projects, has also a consolidated track in transfer of technology to industrial partners, and in particular SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) operating in the field of industrial automation and robotics. The researchers of the group are authors of more than 30 papers on international peer review journals and more than 100 papers in international conferences.
At the moment, the CNR-ISSIA Genoa division is offering one grant for carrying out theoretical and experimental research activities. The main topic of the research grant is: "Intelligent systems for the acquisition and management of the signals inherent to the systems of safety management necessitate the use of dedicated architectures, developed according to different and regulatory requirements, analysis of various types of architecture for monitoring and control of the vessel automation system".
The research grant will last for 24 months and the expected starting date is foreseen for the end of June 2013.
The amount of the research grant, paid in monthly instalments, is established in Euro 19367,00 for year, net of expenses borne by the CNR. The deadline for participating to the call related to the grant is May, 29th 2013.
The grant call is available at the following URL:

Best regards,
Gabriele Bruzzone


x. Post-doc opening in Machine Learning for Robotics, Department of Advanced Robotics, Italian Institute of Technology

Department of Advanced Robotics
Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)

*** Post-doc opening in Machine Learning for Robotics ***

The Department of Advanced Robotics at the Italian Institute of Technology (an English-language research institute) is seeking to appoint a well-motivated full-time postdoctoral researcher in the area of machine learning applied to robotics in general, and in particular to Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV).

The successful candidate will join an ongoing research project funded by the European Commission under FP7 in the category Cognitive Systems and Robotics called "PANDORA" (Persistent Autonomy through learNing, aDaptation, Observation and ReplAnning) which started in January 2012. The project is a collaboration of five leading universities and institutes in Europe: Heriot Watt University (UK), Italian Institute of Technology (Italy), University of Girona (Spain), King's College London (UK), and National Technical University of Athens (Greece). Details about the project can be found at:

The accepted candidate will contribute to the development and experimental validation of novel reinforcement learning and imitation learning algorithms for robot control, as well as their specific application to autonomous underwater vehicles. The research will be conducted at the Department of Advanced Robotics within the "Learning and Interaction Group" with project leader Dr. Petar Kormushev.

The research work will include conducting experiments with two different AUVs (Girona 500 and Nessie V) in water tanks in Spain and UK in collaboration with the other project partners. The developed machine learning algorithms can also be applied to other robots available at IIT, such as the compliant humanoid robot COMAN, the hydraulic quadruped robot HyQ, the humanoid robot iCub, two Barrett WAM manipulator arms, and a KUKA LWR arm robot.

Application Requirements:

* PhD degree in Computer Science, Mathematics or Engineering
* Excellent publication record
* Strong competencies in: machine learning, reinforcement learning, imitation learning
* Good programming skills, preferably in MATLAB and C/C++
* Experience in robot control and ROS is a plus

International applications are encouraged. The successful candidate will be offered a fixed-term project collaboration contract for the remaining duration of the project due to end in December 2014 with a highly-competitive salary which will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Expected starting date is as soon as possible, preferably before September 1st, 2013.

Application Procedure:

To apply please send a detailed CV, a list of publications, a statement of research interests and plans, degree certificates, grade of transcripts, the names of at least two referees, and other supporting materials such as reference letters to: Dr. Petar Kormushev (,
quoting [PANDORA-PostDoc] in the email subject. For consideration, please apply by *** June 21th, 2013 ***.

For latest updates please check here:

Best regards,

Petar Kormushev, PhD

Learning and Interaction Group
Department of Advanced Robotics (ADVR)
Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)
Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy