august 2013

Cari colleghi,

vi inoltro la newsletter della I-RAS.

Cordiali saluti,

Gianluca
www.i-ras.it

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INDICE

x. cena I-RAS
x. PhD Openings in Humanoid and Human Centred Mechatronics Systems, Dept. of Advanced Robotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
x. PhD Openings in Human-Robot Interaction and Visual perception of social cues at the Italian Institute of Technology and University of Genoa
x. Announcing PhD positions at the Italian Institute of Technology
x. Research engineering position in control of human-assistive devices
x. PhD Studentships, 3D Active Perception, Genoa, Italy
x. 1 post-doc opening + 1 PhD opening at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
x. IIT PhD position in Exploration Haptic Sensation
x. PhD fellowships in Biomedical Robotics, IIT, Genoa, Italy
x. PhD Position in Novel Touch Based Gripper for Detecting Peripheral Neuropathy
x. Melting neuroscience and robotics - PhD fellowships
x. Open PhD positions in Legged Locomotion Planning, Control and Perception
x. PhD positions in Humanoid Robotics, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)
x. PhD positions in machine learning and human-robot interaction at the Italian Institute of Technology
x. PhD Openings in Haptic and interaction technologies, Department ofAdvanced Robotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genoa , Italy

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x. cena I-RAS

Vi ricordo di mandarmi una breve mail per la partecipazione alla cena della I-RAS di lunedi 16 settembre:

www.unipa.it/sidra13/CenaIRAS.html

Il ristorante scelto e' Castello a Mare: http://www.castelloamare.com

A presto,
Gianluca

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x. PhD Openings in Humanoid and Human Centred Mechatronics Systems, Dept. of Advanced Robotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

The Humanoids and Human Centred Mechatronics Lab at the Department of Advanced Robotics in the Italian Institute of Technology IIT (an English language Institute, placed in Genoa) has a number of fully funded PhD openings (starting in January 2014) in the research areas of Humanoid Robotics and Human Centred Mechatronics Systems. Young scientists holding excellent First/Master degrees in Mechanical / Electrical engineering, computer science, or other related fields are invited to apply for admission. Applicants should be highly motivated and ideally have strong competencies and interest in one or more of the followings areas: mechanism design, physical system modelling/ rigid body dynamics, robot control, MATLAB and C/C++ programming. Any additional experience in robotics research will be a plus. The successful candidates will be involved in Research projects funded by the European Union and will contribute to the development and control of the next generation of Humanoids Robots and Human Centred Mechatronics systems.

For the PhD call of this year the following themes are available in the Humanoid & Human Centred Mechatronics Lab:

PhD Themes (Humanoids Robotics):
The focus of the following themes is on the design optimization, development and control of novel compliant legged systems and mechanics for robust, fast, adaptable and damage-safe motions and interactions. The target is to improve the capabilities of the existing full body compliant humanoid COMAN (http://www.iit.it/en/advr-labs/humanoids-a-human-centred-mechatronics/ad...)by exploring both the mechatronic technological limits (structural materials, actuation and sensing) and new design and control philosophies towards the development of high performance humanoid systems.

Theme 1. BUILDING THE HUMANOIDS OF THE FUTURE: EXPLORING THE MECHATRONIC TECHNOLOGICAL LIMITS AND NEW DESIGN PHILOSOPHIES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A
HIGH PERFORMANCE FUNCTIONAL HUMANOID PLATFORM
Theme 2. NEW DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND IMPLEMENTATIONS OF HIGH PERFORMANCE AND EFFICIENT ACTUATION SYSTEMS
Theme 3. HUMANOID WALKING AND MOTION PLANNING: WALKING ON UNEVEN TERRAINS, PARTICULATE SURFACES AND TERRAINS WITH DIFFERENT STIFFNESS PROPERTIES
Theme 4. DYNAMIC SIMULATION STUDY AND EXPERIMENTAL IMPLEMENTATION OF HIGH PERFORMANCE LEG FOR JUMPING, HOPPING, AND RUNNING
Theme 5. WHOLE-BODY COOPERATIVE MANIPULATION DURING DYNAMIC LOCOMOTION
Theme 6. OPTIMAL CONTROL OF WALKING WITH A COMPLIANT HUMANOID
Theme 7. TASK-SPACE PRIORITIZATION OF COMAN BASED ON INVERSE DYNAMICS

PhD Themes (Human Centred Robotics):
These themes focus on the development of robotic manipulator/arm systems and wearable robotic devices integrating novel actuation and sensing components and technologies which will ensure safe and perceptive collaboration and/or physical interaction between humans and robotic systems

Theme 1. DEVELOPMENT OF WEARABLE, HIGH POWER AND EFFICIENT, POWER AUGMENTATION ASSISTIVE SYSTEMS
Theme 2. DEVELOPMENT AND CONTROL OF A NOVEL ROBOTIC MANIPULATOR BASED ON THE VARIABLE PHYSICAL DAMPING ACTUATION (VPDA) CONCEPT
Theme 3. TACTILE SENSING FOR ROBOTIC ARMS AND DEXTROUS HANDS
Theme 4. WEARABLE HAPTIC SYSTEMS FOR DEXTEROUS TELEOPERATION AND VIRTUAL IMMERSION

For any enquiries concerning the research themes, please contact Nikos Tsagarakis at: nikos.tsagarakis@iit.it

Application Requirements:
To apply please send a detailed CV, a statement of motivation, at least 2 reference letters, degree certificates, grade of transcripts and any additional support material to Nikos Tsagarakis: (nikos.tsagarakis@iit.it). In addition, the applicants should fill the online application and upload the necessary application documents at the following site: (http://www.iit.it/en/news/news/2011-phd-course-with-university-of-genova...) no later than the 20th of September 2013, NOON, Italy time (Local time: GMT+2). International applications are encouraged and will receive logistic support with visa issues, etc.

Kind Regards,

Nikos Tsagarakis
Humanoid & Human Centred Mechatronics Lab

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

e-mail: nikos.tsagarakis@iit.it
tel: +39 010 71781 - ext 428
fax: +39 010 720321
url: www.iit.it/en/people/nikos-g-tsagarakis.html?

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x. PhD Openings in Human-Robot Interaction and Visual perception of social cues at the Italian Institute of Technology and University of Genoa

PhD Openings in Human-Robot Interaction and Visual perception of social cues

RBCS - IIT and DIBRIS - University of Genoa
Cognitive Robotics, Interaction and Rehabilitation technologies curriculum

The PhD Program for the Cognitive Robotics, Interaction and Rehabilitation
technologies curriculum provides interdisciplinary training at the interface
between technology and biomedicine. The general objective of the program is
to form scientists and research technologists capable to deal with
multidisciplinary projects at the interface between technology and
life-sciences. The themes offered this year as part of this curriculum are
supported by the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department of the
Italian Institute of Technologies (RBCS) and by the Department of
Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and System Engineering (DIBRIS) of the
University of Genoa.

Among the different research themes proposed I would like to promote two
topics:

++ PhD Opening in Human-robot interaction
++ PhD Opening in Visual perception and the interpretation of social cues

The ideal candidates are students with a higher level university degree
willing to invest extra time and effort in blending into a multidisciplinary
team composed of neuroscientists, engineers, psychologists, physicists
working together to investigate brain functions and realize intelligent
machines, rehabilitation protocols and advanced prosthesis. International
applications are encouraged and will receive logistic support with visa
issues, relocation, etc.

Below you can find more details related to each position.

Please refer to http://www.iit.it/phdschool (Curriculum Cognitive Robotics,
Interaction and Rehabilitation technologies) for further details on themes
and on-line application procedures.
***Application DEADLINE: September 20st @ noon (CET)***
Feel free to contact me for further information.

Alessandra Sciutti (PhD)
Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences Dept. - Italian Institute of
Technology
Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy
email: alessandra.sciutti@iit.it

Theme 11: Human-robot interaction
Tutor: Alessandra Sciutti
Department: RBCS (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)
http://www.iit.it/rbcs

Description: Realizing proficient human robot collaboration is a fundamental
challenge for robotics and in recent years it is becoming more and more
central, as robots use becomes more pervasive in society. In particular, an
important question is how to translate humans’ social skills into
human-robot interaction. We suggest that the efficient human mutual
understanding relies substantially on the implicit, non-verbal communication
associated to human motion (1, 2, 3). Our approach aims at understanding
which robotic features promote natural and fluid human-robot interaction,
using robots both as tools to investigate human brain functions and as test
bed for the derived models. Currently we are testing the motor and
perceptual principles usually adopted in human collaboration - as goal
anticipation (4, 5), automatic imitation (5), context-dependent perception
(6), weight understanding from action observation (7,8) - during human-robot
interaction experiments with the iCub platform. The topic we propose as PhD
activity is to further investigate how to establish efficient human - robot
collaboration by exploiting the natural mechanisms in place for human
interaction. The research will be based on designing different Human-Robot
interactive scenarios and assessing the efficiency of the collaboration and
the acceptance by the user, by means of multiple techniques, as
eye-tracking, motion capture and force measurements. The successful
candidate will also have the opportunity to spend part of his/her PhD at the
Osaka University and the University of Tokyo in the framework of the Marie
Curie IRSES project CODEFROR, with the purpose of integrating his/her
knowledge with the different expertise available at these institutes.

Requirements: Background in computer sciences, robotics, computational or
behavioral neurosciences is required, as also willingness to make
experiments with human participants and strong motivation to work and adapt
to a multidisciplinary environment.

Contact: alessandra.sciutti@iit.it

References
[1] Rizzolatti G, Fadiga L, Fogassi L, Gallese V (1999) Resonance behaviors
and mirror neurons. Arch Ital Biol 137 (2-3):85—100 13
[2] Reichelt, A. F., Ash, A. M., Baugh, L. A., Johansson, R. S., & Flanagan,
J. R. (2013). Adaptation of lift forces in object manipulation through
action observation. Experimental Brain Research, 1-14.
[3] Chartrand TL, Bargh JA (1999) The chameleon effect: the
perception-behavior link and social interaction. J Pers Soc Psychol 76
(6):893—910
[4] Sciutti A, Bisio A, Nori F, Metta G, Fadiga L, Sandini G (2012)
Anticipatory gaze in human-robot interactions. “Gaze in HRI From Modeling to
Communication" workshop at the 7th ACM/IEEE International Conference on
Human-Robot Interaction, 2012. Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
[5] Sciutti A.*, Bisio A.*, Nori F., Metta G., Fadiga L., Pozzo T., Sandini
G. (2012) Measuring human-robot interaction through motor resonance.
International Journal of Social Robotics. Doi: 10.1007/s12369-012-0143-1
[6] Sciutti, A., Del Prete, A., Natale, L., Burr, D.C., Sandini G. & Gori M.
2013, ‘Perception during interaction is not based on statistical context’,
Human Robot Interaction Conference 2013, Tokyo, Japan, March 3-6, 2013
[7] Sciutti, A., Patanè, L., Nori, F., Sandini, G.: Understanding object
properties from the observation of the action partner. Human-Robot
Collaboration workshop at RSS 2013, Berlin, Germany, June 28, 2013
[8] Sciutti, A., Patanè, L., Nori, F., Sandini, G.: Do humans need learning
to read humanoid lifting actions? Third Joint IEEE International Conference
of Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics 2013, Osaka, Japan,
August 18-22, 2013

Theme 16: Visual perception and the interpretation of social cues
Tutors: Francesca Odone, Giulio Sandini, Alessandra Sciutti
Department: DIBRIS (University of Genova) – RBCS (Istituto Italiano di
Tecnologia)
http://www.dibris.unige.it

Description: Social skills play a fundamental role since the very early
development stages. Infants present a marked inclination for social
interaction, ranging from the preference for biological motion and mutual
gaze to imitation of facial expressions and auditory, oral, and motor
matching. Such social inclination is supported by the gradual evolution of
the production and understanding of social signals, such as gestures, gaze
direction and emotional displays. To gain a deeper understanding of this
crucial stage of human development our goal is to design models of the
perceptual primitives supporting the acquisition of social skills in infants
and to test them on a humanoid robot. Computer vision and machine learning
state-of-the-art methods will be the building blocks of the research to be
carried out.

Requirements: degree in robotics, bioengineering, computer science, computer
engineering, or related disciplines, attitude for problem solving. A
background on computer vision is an asset.

Contacts: francesca.odone@unige.it, giulio.sandini@iit.it, or
alessandra.sciutti@iit.it

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x. Announcing PhD positions at the Italian Institute of Technology

Dear roboticists,

I would like to advertise the availability of several PhD positions (with scholarship) starting January 2014 at the iCub Facility in the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology) to work on topics related to the iCub humanoid robot (http://www.iit.it/icub).

The Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) is an English-language working environment based in Genoa (ITALY) with state-of-the-art laboratories and worldwide collaboration in the field of robotics, machine learning, neuroscience, cognitive systems, and nanotechnology.

The iCub Facility is the main integrator of IIT’s research and technology on the iCub humanoid robotic platform. The iCub is the humanoid robot child designed to support researchers interested in the themes of learning, control, cognition, and interaction. The goal of the iCub Facility is to lead the development of the iCub, arrange and time the construction of new versions, supervise the incorporation of new technologies and possibly foster their commercial exploitation. We create opportunities for collaboration at IIT and worldwide in a large network of iCub owners via European funded projects or commercial contracts. The iCub Facility ideal candidates are students with a master’s degree in engineering, computer science, or related disciplines, open to learning, to novelty but keeping always an eye on the possibility of implementing research on the state of the art iCub humanoid robot.

In relation to the iCub humanoid robot, the following themes are pursued:

1. Event-driven vision sensors for humanoid robots

2. Event-driven vision system: predicting the unexpected

3. Designing a dependable iCub platform

4. Alternative designs for the iCub robot through rapid prototyping

5. Machine learning for perception and classification in robotics

6. Deep hierarchical learning for robotics

7. Human-robot interaction: understanding actions and the dynamics of the scene

8. Tactile object exploration

9. Development of soft MEMS tactile sensing technologies for robotics

10. Social augmentation of the iCub using computer vision and machine learning

11. From fixed-base rigid manipulators to floating-base compliant humanoids

12. Innovative solutions for task and motion planning

Full details of the call and the application procedure can be found at: http://www.iit.it/phdschool

Synopsis of the research themes, contact/reference researchers, bibliographical references can be found here: http://www.biomedica.ingegneria.unige.it/media/PhDHumanoidRobotics%20V2.pdf

PLEASE NOTE THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION -- SEPTEMBER 20st, NOON, ITALIAN TIME

To apply, please visit the following link:

http://www.studenti.unige.it/postlaurea/dottorati/XXIX/bandoGeneraleEN

Applications are considered for the subsequent selection ONLY if received ELECTRONICALLY on the UNIVERSITY of GENOA's website strictly by the deadline.

It is highly recommended that prospective students contact Giorgio Metta at giorgio.metta_(at)_ iit.it well ahead of the deadline in case of questions about the iCub and the iCub's research, any questions or doubts about the application procedure as well as moving to and living in Genoa, etc.

Best regards,
Giorgio Metta

Italian Institute of Technology
Via Morego, 30
16163 Genoa, Italy
Ph: +39 010 7178-1411
Fax: +39 010 7170-817
URL: http://pasa.liralab.it

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x. Research engineering position in control of human-assistive devices

Dear Roboticists,

the Institute of Industrial Technologies and Automation of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-ITIA) is looking for a highly motivated research engineer, passionate about robotics and its applications in the medical field.
He will be in charge of developing the control system and the software application of a new assistive robotic exoskeleton addressed to upper-limb neurorehabilitation.

He will be hired in the framework of the RIPRENDO@home project, a two-year project sponsored by Regione Lombardia and CNR focused on developing technologies and devices for in-home rehabilitation.

Requirements:
- Master degree (or PhD) in engineering (Mechatronic, Automation,...) or computer science.
- Strong motivation to work in an interdisciplinary project, in strict collaboration with medical personnel and researchers of different scientific disciplines
- Scientific background:
*** robotics
*** force based real-time control
*** biomechanics and biomedical applications
- Skills in the use of modeling tools (Matlab/Simulink) and in software programming (Python, C++)

Excellent communication, interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team are also required.
Knowledge of Italian is not required.

A one-year contract, successively renewable, will be offered to the successful candidate.
The expected starting month is October, 2013.

The place of work will be in Milan and, subsequently, in our research lab in Lecco.

If you are interested in joining us, send your resume, cover letter and two professional references by September 20th 2013 to matteo.malosio@itia.cnr.it

Matteo Malosio, Eng.
Researcher
ITIA-CNR (www.itia.cnr.it)
Institute of Industrial Technologies and Automation
National Research Council
via Bassini 15, 20133 MILANO, ITALY
Ph: +39 0223699625
Fax: +39 0223699925
e-mail:matteo.malosio@itia.cnr.it

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x. PhD Studentships, 3D Active Perception, Genoa, Italy

Two PhD positions (with scholarships) are available at the PSPC-lab of the Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics, and System Engineering, University of Genoa, on the following themes:

1) Deep architectures for seeing in depth: Sensorimotor associations through bidirectional couplings between visual and motor primitives. [Curriculum "Bioengineering and Bioelectronics" - THEME 5]

2) Distributed neuromorphic representations of the visual-somatosensory peripersonal space. [ Curriculum "Cognitive Robotics, Interaction and Rehabilitation Technologies" - THEME 15]

The proposed research projects, focused on “sensorimotor integration paradigms in the peripersonal space”, will provide the opportunity to work on neural modeling, visual psychophysics, interaction technologies, robotics, or a combination of them.
Experimental, modeling, and theoretical approaches might be pursued with a different accent according to personal attitude.

The call has been issued under the joint UniGe-IIT PhD Course on "Bioengineering and Robotics".
Full details on the call and the application procedure are available at: http://www.studenti.unige.it/postlaurea/dottorati/XXIX/bandoGeneraleEN

The PSPC-lab is based at the Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics, and System Engineering of the University of Genoa, Italy. The newly established inter-school department (at the intersection between the School of Science and the Polytechnic School) offers an excellent multidisciplinary, interactive and collaborative research environment combining expertise in computer vision, computational neuroscience, neuromorphic computing, robotics and mechatronics.

Successful applicants should have a good honors degree in computer science, engineering, physical sciences, cognitive science, or related disciplines.
An open mind and enthusiasm for interdisciplinary research are required.

Online application available from August 5, 2013 at 12:00 to September 20, 2013 at 12:00 (italian time)

It is highly recommended that prospective students contact Silvio P. Sabatini (silvio.sabatini@unige.it) or Fabio Solari (fabio.solari@unige.it) well ahead of the deadline in case of questions about the research themes, or doubts about the application procedure.

--
Silvio P. SABATINI, PhD [PSPC Research Group]
Professor of Bioengineering
DIBRIS - University of Genova | e_mail: silvio.sabatini@unige.it
Via Opera Pia, 11A | phone: +39 010 3532092/3532794
I-16145 Genova (ITALY) | fax: +39 010 3532289/3536533
URL: http://pspc.unige.it

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x. 1 post-doc opening + 1 PhD opening at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)

There are two open positions available at the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences department of IIT, Genoa, Italy.
Both positions relate to the study of haptic/tactile feedback mechanisms to improve spatial abilities of visually impaired subjects.

1) The post-doc position falls within the scope of a European project - BLINDPAD (www.blindpad.eu). This position relates to designing and validating novel haptic actuation systems based on smart, soft materials , to be used in the construction of innovative tactile pin arrays. The arrays will be part of a personal assistive device for blind and visually impaired people. The device is to be used in the context of learning iconic and graphical content at school age, and to improve orientation and mobility skills of young and adults.
The project will last three years and will involve research centers and companies from Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Poland and Hungary. Since BLINDPAD will start on January 2014, interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, with deadline September 30th, by contacting Dr. Luca Brayda (luca.brayda@iit.it). Details below.

2) The PhD position is financed by IIT and University of Genoa. The project relates to the cognitive aspects of learning mental maps with minimal haptic feedback, with the ultimate goal of building low-cost personal devices to access graphical content in absence of vision. Applicants should contact the tutors (Dr. Luca Brayda - luca.brayda@iit.it or Prof. Gabriel Baud-Bovy - gabriel.baud-bovy@iit.it - ) well before the application deadline, set to September 20th. Details below.

^^^^^^^^^

Details about:

Post-doctoral position in haptic displays for visually impaired people - EU project BLINDPAD

Within the context of the EU funded project BLINDPAD (www.blindpad.eu), the Department of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences (RBCS) at the Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is looking for a Postdoctoral fellow in the field of haptic displays for human-machine interaction for both youngsters and adults with disabilities.

Goal of the project is to make graphical contents accessible to blind and visually impaired people through touch by building and field-testing a personal assistive device. The device will use smart materials as actuators and will be connected to state-of-art mobile devices.The BLINDPAD will help, with serious games, visually impaired people in two paramount use cases:
(1) touch-based learning of symbolic content at school age;
(2) support orientation and mobility skills indoor and outdoor.

Research for this position will involve:

- mechanical validation of the actuation system when in contact with hands and fingers
- assessment of efficient information gathering of three-dimensional haptic information
- design of rendered haptic shapes as simple but highly informative graphics in both use cases

Being BLINDPAD a highly multidisciplinary project, the candidate will work in close collaboration with scientists active in the field of cognition, human-machine interaction, rehabilitation, material engineering and nanotechnology.

Candidates should have a PhD in haptics or mechanical/computer science/electronic engineering, with a publication record in one of the following areas: tactile displays, tactile actuators, physical modeling, and force-feedback devices.

Experience with tactile pin arrays, assistive technologies, statistical signal processing, computer science or with human factors and experimental psychology are an asset.

The contract is funded by an FP7 grant under the Objective ICT-2013.5.3 "ICT for smart and personalized inclusion".

The research activities will take place at IIT in Genoa.
The working language of the institute is English. An internationally competitive salary, dependent on experience, will be offered.

Interested applicants should submit CV, list of publications, names of 2 references.

Please send your application to the following email address:
luca.brayda@iit.it
before September 30th, 2013.

Official job-post URL:
http://www.iit.it/en/openings/research-departments/robotics-brain-and-co...

^^^^^^^^^^^

Details about:

PhD fellowship

Developing cognitive maps from virtual objects: exploiting spatial abilities through tactile serious games

Tutors

Dr. Luca Brayda and Prof. Gabriel Baud Bovy

Job description

Assistive technology attempts to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. In the case of sensory impairments such as blindness, systems able to assess and exploit spatial abilities using electronic devices are proposed as effective experimental setups, but very few of them are used in current rehabilitation procedures, or are present on the market [1]. The problem is generally in how and how much information can be conveyed on alternative sensory channels. One of the contexts where visually impaired people would most benefit from an assistive device is internet navigation: there, textual information is delivered through either Braille or voice output, but the content linked to images and icons is very difficult to be decoded [2]. Globally, web pages are organized for sighted people in logical structures tailored on sight, and whether the same structures should be used for blind subjects is not known. The use of virtual objects perceivable through touch has recently been proposed as a possible solution to the problem [3]. Within the context of the IIT multidisciplinary DIGEYE project, we have shown that blind and sighted subjects seem to develop similar identifiable exploration strategies [4] and similar brain patterns [5] when touching virtual objects while attempting to form a mental spatial representation (known as 'cognitive map' [6]). However, it is still unknown which 'dictionary' of tactile elements may increase mapping performances, and how much rich the tactile information needs to be [7,8].

The objective of this PhD program is twofold: first, to design a dictionary of virtual tactile objects able to quickly elicit the development of cognitive maps, under the constraint of a limited tactile information mainly localized under the fingertip [8]; second, to assess how the dictionary can be helpful in evaluating in measurable ways the spatial abilities of sighted and sensory impaired individuals, with the creation of serious games.

This project is multidisciplinary: the PhD candidate will carry out an autonomous work, however closely assisted by a team of mechanical and computer science engineers. (S)he will also be in touch with scientists active in cognition, neuroscience, and robotics. The direct contact with rehabilitation centers for visually impaired subjects, who will be the final beneficiaries of this research, will provide precious feedback.
Results of this research can help in understanding how to improve spatial abilities of sensory deprived individuals, both in rehabilitation contexts and information/entertainment systems.
Ultimately, this project will be important to validate and participate in user-centered design of new assistive devices currently built in RBCS. Therefore, the hardware and software solutions output from the project are planned to be commercially exploitable.

Requirements

The candidate for this position must have either a degree in Computer Science Engineering, Bioengineering or equivalent, with high interests in human sciences, or alternatively a degree in Psychology, with proven background in programming toolboxes (Matlab, R). Expertise in Virtual Reality, Assistive Technology and Haptics is highly appreciated but optional

Contacts: luca.brayda@iit.it or gabriel.baud-bovy@iit.it

Application deadline (hard): September 20th 2013

List of references and details for applications available here: http://www.iit.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2012
This theme is officially listed as theme 4, within the "Curriculum COGNITIVE ROBOTICS, INTERACTION AND REHABILITATION TECHNOLOGIES" track of the Bioengineering and Robotics course of the University of Genoa (http://www.biomedica.ingegneria.unige.it/index.php/dottorato)
IMPORTANT: applicants should register online at: http://servizionline.unige.it/studenti/post-laurea/dottorato/registrazione and provide related documents BEFORE September 20th, 2013 at noon CET.

--
Insieme salviamo gli alberi - Stampate solo se necessario -Together, let's save trees. Please print only if necessary!

Luca Brayda, PhD
Researcher, Team Leader
Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences dept.
ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI TECNOLOGIA
Via Morego, 30 - 16163 Genova
t: +39 010 71781527
f: +39 010 71781234

http://www.iit.it/en/people/robotics-brain-and-cognitive-sciences/resear...

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x. IIT PhD position in Exploration Haptic Sensation

Exploration Of Haptic Sensation And Its Use In Detecting Peripheral Neuropathy
Development of a Novel Touch Based Gripper for Detecting Peripheral Neuropathy

Tutor: Dr. Ferdinando Cannella
Touch and related capabilities, such as kinaesthesia, are probably the most underrated human abilities. Most researches, in fact, have concentrated on the visual and audio aspects of the sensory systems, but touch in daily life plays a fundamental role in all our actions; losing part of this sensitivity causes a problem in accomplishing even simple tasks. Moreover, nowadays, the touch is widely used to screen neurological diseases. Improving the accuracy, sensitivity and repeatability of the physical inspections would improve the recognition of such peripheral neuropathies. The core of this proposal is to determine a simple and objective (above all not influenced by the doctor skill and experience) test that highlights the patient diseases (as dysfunction of the recurrent pyramidal circuit, neuromuscular junction, primary motor neuron diseases, etc.). One of the straightforward connections between the brain and the environment is the Motor Cortex (cxM1) which controls complex movements by activation of the motor neurons. Thus, the idea is to simulate the healthy human grasping by building a human upper limb model (with its tactile sensor feedback) controlled by a network structure of the primary motor cortex model. Till now there have been numerous theories attempting to explain such sequence of operations in terms of a variety of motor control models; in fact, the accomplishment of a movement is a rather complex task: the simplest movement as pointing a given point in the space requires a non-trivial sequence of operations. Another point is that a realistic model should be able to encode and decode the ascending tactile signals; moreover, considering the tactile feedback, the model must be bidirectional brain-muscle-brain. In the last decades, there have been several successful results in linking the information flow from neural cells to fingertip tactile sensitivity and arm movements: in Lukashin et al. (Lukashin 1996) the movement of an arm was accomplished by six independent muscles governed by an artificial neural network model which input layer received spikes of single cell recordings; Cisek et al. (Cisek 1998) proposed a model of the cortical-spinal circuitry designed to cope with a wide range of movements in linking the information from neural cells to movements: Gerling et al. (Gerling 2013) modeled a 3D finite element fingertip linking all the previous models of touch: skin mechanics to neural firing rate, neural dynamics to action potential elicitation and mechanoreceptor populations to psychophysical discrimination; Bologna et al. (Bologna 2013) modeled the fine touch with peripheral-to-central neurotransmission closed loop.
The novelty of this work is to reproduce the two human fingers grasping with a network structure of the primary motor cortex model that controls the upper limb model (with its tactile sensor feedback). Thus, the aim is to build a robotic arm (fingertip-hand-arm-brain) with not only the same structure (skin, bones, muscles, tendons, etc.), but, above all, with the same neurological system (mechanoreceptors, proprioceptors, brain cells, etc.) of human upper limb. This arm simulator will be able to reproduce the kinematic behaviour of a healthy human arm and it will serve as reference for further comparison with ill people; in Valente et al. (Valente 2012) a reference scale for peripheral neuropathy was established. By building a close-loop brain-arm-brain, the project aims to setup a realistic simulation environment able to improve medical doctors' diagnosis (e.g. brain diseases can be tested altering the circuit).
The work is divided in three parts: the first part is about assembling several test rigs for collecting the experimental data to determine the mechanical properties, kinematic characteristics and the parameters for models. The second one will concern the building of a real time kinematic simulation of fingertip, hand, forearm and arm 3D finite element/multibody models with acquired data based on 3D virtual visualization and validation with experimental data. The third part consists in designing the physical robotic simulator.
This activity will evolve along different research paths in collaboration with the Neuroscience and Brain Technologies Department (with Thierry Nieus) and the CNR of Palermo (with Michele Migliore) as well as with other research centers in Europe (Université Pierre et Marie Curie of Paris with Angelo Arleo).
The successful candidate is expected to have an excellent background in mathematical modelling. Knowledge of mechanics, computer science, biomedical measurements, statistics, electronics and control are also required. Basic knowledge of neuroscience is considered as a plus.

For further details concerning this research project, please contact: ferdinando.cannella@iit.it

[1] Lukashin, A. V., Amirikian, B. R., and Georgopoulos, A. P., A Simulated Actuator Driven by Motor Cortical Signals. Neuro Report, 1996.

[2] Cisek, P. Grossberg, S., and Bullock, D., A Cortico-Spinal Model of Reaching and Proprioception under Multiple Task Constraints. The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 1998.

[3] Gerling, G. Rivest, I., Lesniak, D., Scanlon, J., Wan, L., Validating a Population Model of Tactile Mechanotransduction of Slowly Adapting Type I Afferents at Levels of Skin Mechanics, Single-unit Response and Psychophysic., IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2013.

[4] Bologna L., Pinoteau J., Passot J-B., Garrido, J.A., Vogel, J., Ros Vidal, E., Arleo A., A Closed-Loop Neurobotic System for Fine Touch Sensing. Journal of Neural Eng., 2013

[5] M. Valente, F. Cannella, L. Scalise, M. Memeo, P. Liberini and D. Caldwell, Tactile Sensibility Through Tactile Display: Effect of the Array Density and Clinical Use. Haptics: Perception, Devices, Mobility, and Communication, 2012.

For further details concerning this research project and/or any questions or doubts about the application procedure as well as moving to and living in Genoa, etc. , please contact: ferdinando.cannella@iit.it

Full details of the call and the application procedure can be found at: http://www.iit.it/phdschool

PLEASE NOTE THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: 20th SEPTEMBER, 11:59am, ITALIAN TIME

To apply, please visit the following link:

http://www.studenti.unige.it/postlaurea/dottorati/XXIX/bandoGeneraleEN

Applications are considered for the subsequent selection ONLY if received ELECTRONICALLY on the UNIVERSITY of GENOA's website strictly by the deadline.

Best regards
Dr Ferdinando Cannella

Team Leader
Advanced Robotics Department
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
[Italian Institute of Technology]
Via Morego, 30
16163 Genova (Italy)
t: + 39 010 71 781 562
m: +39 338 96 76 884
f: + 39 010 71 781 232
http://www.iit.it/en/research/departments/advanced-robotics.html

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x. PhD fellowships in Biomedical Robotics, IIT, Genoa, Italy

Biomedical Robotics Group
Department of Advanced Robotics
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
Genoa, Italy

The Biomedical Robotics Group at the IIT's Department of Advanced Robotics has a number of fully funded PhD openings (starting in January 2014) in the research areas of Robot-Assisted Surgery and Medical Imaging. Young scientists holding excellent First/Master degrees in engineering, computer science, or other related fields are invited to apply for admission. Applicants should be highly motivated and ideally have strong competencies and interest in one or more of the followings areas: medical image processing, design and analysis of robots and mechanisms, robot control, design and analysis of user interfaces, cognitive systems, surgical simulators. Any additional experience in robotics research will be a plus. The successful candidates will contribute to the design, development and evaluation of next generation systems for surgical training and robot-assisted micro-surgeries.

The following research themes are proposed for this year's PhD call:

* Theme 1: Automatic Tumor Segmentation and Classification in Real-Time Endoscopic Video

* Theme 2: Modular end-effectors for robot-assisted minimally invasive microsurgery

* Theme 3: Minimally obtrusive surgeon-machine interface for robot-assisted surgery

* Theme 4: Simulator and Training System for Laser Surgeries in the Larynx

Detailed information related to these research themes can be found in the following document:
http://www.biomedica.ingegneria.unige.it/media/PhD%20Program%20in%20Adva...

More information about the 2014 PhD courses can be found here:
http://www.iit.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2012

For any enquiries concerning the research themes above, please contact Leonardo Mattos at: leonardo.mattos@iit.it

Application Requirements

To apply please send a detailed CV, a statement of motivation, at least 2 reference letters, degree certificates, grade of transcripts and any additional support material to Leonardo Mattos (leonardo.mattos@iit.it).

In addition, the applicants must fill the online application and upload the necessary application documents at the following site: http://www.iit.it/en/news/news/2011-phd-course-with-university-of-genova... no later than the 20th of September 2013, NOON, Italy time (GMT+2). International applications are encouraged and will receive logistic support with visa issues, etc.

Kind regards,

Leonardo Mattos, PhD
Team Leader
µRALP Project Coordinator

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Department of Advanced Robotics
Via Morego, 3O - 16163 Genova, Italy
TEL: +39.010.71781.409
FAX: +39.010.71781.232

www.iit.it
www.microralp.eu

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x. PhD Position in Novel Touch Based Gripper for Detecting Peripheral Neuropathy

Dear all,

a PhD studentship is available in IIT on Exploration Of Haptic Sensation And Its Use In Detecting Peripheral Neuropathy.

Touch and related capabilities, such as kinesthesia, are probably the most underrated human abilities. Most researches, in fact, have concentrated on the visual and audio aspects of the sensory systems, but touch in daily life plays a fundamental role in all our actions; losing part of this sensitivity causes a problem in accomplishing even simple tasks. Moreover, nowadays, the touch is widely used to screen neurological diseases. Improving the accuracy, sensitivity and repeatability of the physical inspections would improve the recognition of such peripheral neuropathies. The core of this proposal is to determine a simple and objective (above all not influenced by the doctor skill and experience) test that highlights the patient diseases (as dysfunction of the recurrent pyramidal circuit, neuromuscular junction, primary motor neuron diseases, etc.). One of the straightforward connections between the brain and the environment is the Motor Cortex (cxM1) which controls complex movements by activation of the motor neurons. Thus, the idea is to simulate the healthy human grasping by building a human upper limb model (with its tactile sensor feedback) controlled by a network structure of the primary motor cortex model. Till now there have been numerous theories attempting to explain such sequence of operations in terms of a variety of motor control models; in fact, the accomplishment of a movement is a rather complex task: the simplest movement as pointing a given point in the space requires a non-trivial sequence of operations. Another point is that a realistic model should be able to encode and decode the ascending tactile signals; moreover, considering the tactile feedback, the model must be bidirectional brain-muscle-brain. In the last decades, there have been several successful results in linking the information flow from neural cells to fingertip tactile sensitivity and arm movements: in Lukashin et al. (Lukashin 1996) the movement of an arm was accomplished by six independent muscles governed by an artificial neural network model which input layer received spikes of single cell recordings; Cisek et al. (Cisek 1998) proposed a model of the cortical-spinal circuitry designed to cope with a wide range of movements in linking the information from neural cells to movements: Gerling et al. (Gerling 2013) modeled a 3D finite element fingertip linking all the previous models of touch: skin mechanics to neural firing rate, neural dynamics to action potential elicitation and mechanoreceptor populations to psychophysical discrimination; Bologna et al. (Bologna 2013) modeled the fine touch with peripheral-to-central neurotransmission closed loop.

The novelty of this work is to reproduce the two human fingers grasping with a network structure of the primary motor cortex model that controls the upper limb model (with its tactile sensor feedback). Thus, the aim is to build a robotic arm (fingertip-hand-arm-brain) with not only the same structure (skin, bones, muscles, tendons, etc.), but, above all, with the same neurological system (mechanoreceptors, proprioceptors, brain cells, etc.) of human upper limb. This arm simulator will be able to reproduce the kinematic behavior of a healthy human arm and it will serve as reference for further comparison with ill people; in Valente et al. (Valente 2012) a reference scale for peripheral neuropathy was established. By building a close-loop brain-arm-brain, the project aims to setup a realistic simulation environment able to improve medical doctors’ diagnosis (e.g. brain diseases can be tested altering the circuit).

The work is divided in three parts: the first part is about assembling several test rigs for collecting the experimental data to determine the mechanical properties, kinematic characteristics and the parameters for models. The second one will concern the building of a real time kinematic simulation of fingertip, hand, forearm and arm 3D finite element/multibody models with acquired data based on 3D virtual visualization and validation with experimental data. The third part consists in designing the physical robotic simulator.

This activity will evolve along different research paths in collaboration with the Neuroscience and Brain Technologies Department (with Thierry Nieus) and the CNR of Palermo (with Michele Migliore) as well as with other research centers in Europe (Université Pierre et Marie Curie of Paris with Angelo Arleo).

The successful candidate is expected to have an excellent background in mathematical modelling. Knowledge of mechanics, computer science, biomedical measurements, statistics, electronics and control are also required. Basic knowledge of neuroscience is considered as a plus.

[1] Lukashin, A. V., Amirikian, B. R., and Georgopoulos, A. P., A Simulated Actuator Driven by Motor Cortical Signals. Neuro Report, 1996.

[2] Cisek, P. Grossberg, S., and Bullock, D., A Cortico-Spinal Model of Reaching and Proprioception under Multiple Task Constraints. The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 1998.

[3] Gerling, G. Rivest, I., Lesniak, D., Scanlon, J., Wan, L., Validating a Population Model of Tactile Mechanotransduction of Slowly Adapting Type I Afferents at Levels of Skin Mechanics, Single-unit Response and Psychophysic., IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2013.

[4] Bologna L., Pinoteau J., Passot J-B., Garrido, J.A., Vogel, J., Ros Vidal, E., Arleo A., A Closed-Loop Neurobotic System for Fine Touch Sensing. Journal of Neural Eng., 2013

[5] M. Valente, F. Cannella, L. Scalise, M. Memeo, P. Liberini and D. Caldwell, Tactile Sensibility Through Tactile Display: Effect of the Array Density and Clinical Use. Haptics: Perception, Devices, Mobility, and Communication, 2012.

For further details concerning this research project and/or any questions or doubts about the application procedure as well as moving to and living in Genoa, etc., please contact: ferdinando.cannella@iit.it

Full details of the call and the application procedure can be found at: http://www.iit.it/phdschool

To apply, please visit the following link: http://www.iit.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2012

PLEASE NOTE THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: 20th SEPTEMBER, 11:59am, ITALIAN TIME

Applications are considered for the subsequent selection ONLY if received ELECTRONICALLY on the UNIVERSITY of GENOA's website strictly by the deadline.

Best regards

Dr Ferdinando Cannella

Team Leader
Advanced Robotics Department
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
[Italian Institute of Technology]
Via Morego, 30
16163 Genova (Italy)
t: + 39 010 71 781 562
m: +39 338 96 76 884
f: + 39 010 71 781 232
http://www.iit.it/en/research/departments/advanced-robotics.html

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-----------------------

x. Melting neuroscience and robotics - PhD fellowships

Melting neuroscience and robotics - PhD fellowships
Deadline September 20th noon (Italian Time/CET)

A few selected PhD fellowships are offered at the Robotics, Brain and
Cognitive Sciences Department (RBCS) of the Italian Institute of Technology
in Genoa, Italy, addressing aspects of neuroscience and robotics from a
scientific, technological and social perspective.

The fellowships are offered within the curriculum of "Cognitive Robotics,
Interaction and Rehabilitation Technologies" of the PhD program
"Bioengineering and Robotics" organized jointly by IIT and the University of
Genoa.

If your goal is to learn how to work in a true multidisciplinary environment
in close contact with engineers, biologists, psychologists, mathematicians,
physicists, medical doctors, look at the RBCS Web-Site
to see our history and current activities and
infrastructure, browse through the description of the individual research
themes
20Cognitive%20Robotics%20v4.pdf> offered this year to find what you like
most and send your application after reading carefully the rather
complicated application procedures (the first
selection criterion is to be able to provide all documents in the right
format before the deadline on September 20th, 2013 noon (Italian time/CET).

For general questions regarding the research environment at RBCS send a
message to me (giulio.sandini@iit.it) and for specific questions regarding
the individual themes you can find the reference in the description of the
individual research themes
20Cognitive%20Robotics%20v4.pdf> .
For questions regarding the application procedure write to Anastasia
Bruzzone (anastasia.bruzzone@iit.it)

Hope you like what we plan to do (and what we have done already).

Giulio Sandini

--
Prof. Giulio Sandini
Director Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Via Morego, 30 - 16163 Genova - Italy

Summary:
Deadline: September 20th, 2013 noon (Italian time/CET)
Site of application procedures (see also
IIT's unofficial unofficial tip
& trics page)
Site of full description of the individual research themes and related
contacts
20Cognitive%20Robotics%20v4.pdf>
Contact for general scientific questions: giulio.sandini@iit.it
Contact for clarifications on the application procedure:
anastasia.bruzzone@iit.it

Titles of themes proposed this year and reference to contacts
(for a full description see the description of the individual research
themes
20Cognitive%20Robotics%20v4.pdf> .)

1. HAPTIC DEVICE DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, AND APPLICATION TO REHABILITATIVE
TRAINING BASED ON MULTIMODAL ACTION OBSERVATION. Contacts:
michela.bassolino@iit.it , netta.gurari@iit.it , alberto.ansaldo@iit.it

2. SPEAKER INDEPENDENT RECOGNITION EXPLOITING SPEECH PRODUCTION KNOWLEDGE.
Contact: leonardo.badino@iit.it

3. INTENTION-FROM-MOVEMENT UNDERSTANDING. Contact:
cristina.becchio@unito.it

4. DEVELOPING COGNITIVE MAPS FROM VIRTUAL OBJECTS: EXPLOITING SPATIAL
ABILITIES THROUGH TACTILE SERIOUS GAMES. Contacts: luca.brayda@iit.it ;
gabriel.baud-bovy@iit.it

5. INTRAOPERATIVE ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY IN HUMANS. Contact:
luciano.fadiga@iit.it

6. EVALUATION AND REHABILITATION IN CHILDREN WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENT.
Contact: monica.gori@iit.it

7. ROBOTIC REHABILITATION. Contacts: pietro.morasso@iit.it,
lorenzo.masia@iit.it

8. ICUB WHOLE-BODY MOTION COORDINATION EXPLOITING DISTRIBUTED FORCE AND
TACTILE SENSING: FROM SCENE INTERPRETATION TO ACTION SELECTION. Contact:
francesco.nori@iit.it

9. MULTI-CONTACT DYNAMIC ENGINE FOR ESTIMATION, PREDICTION, PERCEPTION AND
MOTOR CONTROL. Contacts: francesco.nori@iit.it , lorenzo.natale@iit.it

10. BIOCOMPATIBLE, LOW IMPEDANCE AND FLEXIBLE IN-VIVO NEURAL ELECTRODES.
Contacts: davide.ricci@iit.it ; luciano.fadiga@iit.it

11. HUMAN-ROBOT INTERACTION. Contact: alessandra.sciutti@iit.it

12. INTERACTION FORCE IN OBJECT MANIPULATION. Contact:
gabriel.baud-bovy@iit.it

13. PLASTICITY OF BODY AND SPACE REPRESENTATIONS IN HEALTHY AND PATIENTS.
Contacts: thierry.pozzo@iit.it , michela.bassolino@iit.it

16. VISUAL PERCEPTION AND THE INTERPRETATION OF SOCIAL CUES. Contacts:
francesca.odone@unige.it ,
giulio.sandini@iit.it , or
alessandra.sciutti@iit.it

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-----------------------

x. Open PhD positions in Legged Locomotion Planning, Control and Perception

Dynamic Legged Systems Lab
Department of Advanced Robotics
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
Genoa, Italy

The Dynamic Legged Systems Lab at the the Istituto Italiano di
Tecnologia (IIT), an English language Institute, is seeking to appoint 2
well-motivated PhD students who will be involved in the *HyQ project*
that aims to develop *versatile all-terrain legged robots*. The
positions are fully funded, start in January 2014 and typically last 3
years. For more details on the topics and submission, visit
http://www.iit.it/component/content/article/1618-hyqphdpositions.html

The Hydraulic Quadruped HyQ is a unique research platform. It is a fully
torque controlled hydraulic quadruped robot equipped with inertial
measurement units, laser range finders and stereo cameras. Since 2011
HyQ has demonstrated a wide range of static and dynamic motions such as
a crawl gait, walking trot over flat, inclined and rough terrain
(indoors and outdoors), squat jumps, rearing, balancing under
disturbances and step reflexes. For more information and videos, visit
http://www.iit.it/en/advanced-robotics/hyq.html

open PhD themes:

*Theme 17* Planning And Control Of Highly Dynamic Full Body Motions For
Robots With Legs And Arms
Tutors: Dr Ioannis Havoutis, Dr Claudio Semini, Prof Darwin G. Caldwell
contact: Ioannis.Havoutis@iit.it

*Theme 18* Perception And Mapping On A Quadruped Robot
Tutors: Dr Stéphane Bazeille, Dr Claudio Semini, Prof Darwin Caldwell
contact: Stephane.Bazeille@iit.it

For a detailed description of the themes and instructions on how to
apply, visit:
http://www.iit.it/component/content/article/1618-hyqphdpositions.html

Best regards,
Claudio
--
Claudio Semini, PhD
Head of Dynamic Legged Systems Lab
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
Advanced Robotics Department
Via Morego 30, 16163 Genoa, Italy
phone: +39 010 71781 912
email: claudio.semini@iit.it
web: www.semini.ch or
www.iit.it/people/claudio-semini.html

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x. PhD positions in Humanoid Robotics, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)

PhD positions in Humanoid Robotics. Deadline: September 20, 2013.

Official IIT announcement: www.iit.it/en/news/news/2011-phd-course-with-university-of-genova.html
Specific topics for each course: www.iit.it/phdschool

Theme: Dynamic Simulation Study And Experimental Implementation Of High Performance Leg For Jumping, Hopping, And Running
Tutors: Dr. Zhibin LI, Dr. Roy Featherstone, Dr. Nikos Tsagarakis
Department: ADVR (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)
http://www.iit.it/advr

Description: The capability of walking endows humans to traverse most landforms. However, to negotiate with discrete terrains, counteract large disturbance, and travel fast, the ability to jump, hop, and run becomes a must.

The research will explore the theoretical aspects of physics for jumping, hopping and running in order to discover the necessary physical attributes of a leg that is suitable at these tasks. The control aspects of jumping, hopping and running will also be explored in order to develop control schemes that obtain the highest possible performance from a given leg.
The candidate is expected to perform experiments on the leg prototype in order to investigate the practical and technical aspects of achieving high performance. The aim should be to demonstrate a level of performance that exceeds any existing leg designs demonstrated in literature. The leg compliance will also be studied for improving the stability and robustness given a set of physical parameters of the leg such as mass distribution, inertia.

Requirements: The candidate should work as part of a team with the responsibility for analyzing the leg's performance at jumping, hopping and running, and suggesting approaches in which the leg design could be improved Candidates are expected to have good knowledge and experience in rigid body dynamics, mechanics, classical and modern control theory, programming skills (Matlab, C/C++) (Dynamics/Control %70, Programming 30%).
Contacts: zhibin.li@iit.it, nikos.tsagarakis@iit.it

Theme: Whole-Body Cooperative Manipulation During Dynamic Locomotion
Tutors: Dr. Zhibin LI, Dr. Jinoh Lee, Dr. Nikos Tsagarakis
Department: ADVR (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)
http://www.iit.it/advr

Description: The research aim is to develop a control framework that permits the humanoid robots to form multiple compliant contacts to perform cooperative manipulation tasks with humans while resolving the balancing, walking, and redundancy issues.

The algorithms to be developed should interpret certain level of motion intention from human operator through the contacts with the shared object so as to allow the robot to cooperate with human with no requirement of additional vision assistance. The PhD candidate is expected to explore different control approaches such as optimal control, impedance control to robustly execute the manipulation tasks while undergoing external disturbances, limited sensor resolutions, non-modeled contact conditions (uncertainty from friction, elastic objects), and deal with the redundancy problem in real-time. Apart from the control aspect, traditional sensory feedbacks such as joint torque, end-effector force/torque, as well as the novel sensory techniques such as robotic skins, will be investigated as well. The whole control framework might partition the manipulation task and the balancing or walking task as different modules, but since they are dynamically coupled, it has to consider the interplay between these sub-tasks in order to generate a smooth and dynamically stable whole-body motion. The algorithms will be tested on the full-body intrinsically COmpliant huMANoid robot COMAN with torque control features (http://www.iit.it/en/advr-labs/humanoids-a-human-centred-mechatronics/ad...).

Requirements: Candidates are expected to have good knowledge and experience in rigid body dynamics, classical and modern control theory and good programming skills (Matlab, C/C++) (Dynamics/Control %70, Programming 30%).

Contacts: zhibin.li@iit.it, jinoh.lee@iit.it, nikos.tsagarakis@iit.it

Dr. Zhibin LI
--
Zhibin LI, PhD
Postdoctoral researcher
Humanoids & Human Centred Mechatronics
Department of Advanced Robotics
Italian Institute of Technology

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x. PhD positions in machine learning and human-robot interaction at the Italian Institute of Technology

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to advertise the availability of PhD positions in machine learning and human-robot interaction at the Learning and Interaction Lab, Department of Advanced Robotics, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT):

Theme 10 - Human-robot collaborative manipulation and coordination in bimanual tasks.
Theme 11 - Learning from demonstration in a soft robotic arm for assistance in minimally invasive surgery.
Theme 12 - Bidirectional user interfaces for human-robot interaction.

The positions are fully funded, start in January 2014 and last 3 years. IIT is an English-language research institute located in Genoa, Italy. Full details of the Call, application procedure and links (do not miss the Tip&tricks page) can be found at:

http://programming-by-demonstration.org/2013/08/15/open-phd-positions-st...

http://www.iit.it/phdschool

The Research Themes 10-11-12 are listed in the category "BIOENGINEERING AND ROBOTICS: Curriculum Advanced Robotics and Robot Design".

Application deadline: September 20, 2013 (11:59am, CET).

Best regards,
Sylvain

--
Team Leader - Learning and Interaction Lab,
Department of Advanced Robotics,
Italian Institute of Technology (IIT),
http://programming-by-demonstration.org/SylvainCalinon/

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x. PhD Openings in Haptic and interaction technologies, Department ofAdvanced Robotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genoa , Italy

Two PhD openings are available in the Haptic and Interaction Technologies Lab
(http://www.iit.it/en/advr-labs/haptic-and-interaction-technologies.html) in
the Department of Advanced Robotics at the Italian Institute of Technology
(IIT). IIT is an English language research Institute placed in Genoa, Italy.
The positions are fully funded for 3 years and start in January 2014.

Application deadline: September, 20th 2013

List of PhD themes:
Theme 6: Tactile sensing for robotic arms and dextrous hands
Theme 7: Wearable haptic systems for dexterous teleoperation and virtual
Immersion
Detail descriptions of the themes are available at:
http://www.iit.it/en/advr-labs/haptic-and-interaction-technologies/1638-...

The selected applicants will join an interdisciplinary group working on Haptic
and Interaction Technologies 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. Both PhD themes aim to produce innovative designs of
wearable haptic feedback and tactile sensing devices. Young scientists holding
excellent First/Master degrees in Mechanical / Electrical engineering, computer
science, or other related fields are invited to apply for admission.

For more information about admissions, application procedures and the various
PhD courses available in IIT with the University of Genova please visit the IIT
site:
http://www.iit.it/en/news/news/2011-phd-course-with-university-of-genova...

Best Regards,
Ioannis Sarakoglou

Dr. Ioannis Sarakoglou
Post-Doc Senior
Haptic and Interaction Technologies Lab
Department of Advanced Robotics
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
Via Morego, 30
16163 Genova, Italy
t:+39 010 71781274

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