I-Ras Newsletter Febbraio 2015

Cari colleghi,
vi inoltro la newsletter della I-RAS.





x. Saluti nuovo chair
x. Multiple Tenure-Track Positions in ROBOTICS and ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
x. Special Issue on 3D Robot Perception with the Point Cloud Library, Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Journal – Elsevier
x. 17th International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR)- Call for Paper
x. Post-doctoral position on visually guided manipulation (@IIT)
x. SAPHARI NMMI Workshop a Roma, 25 Febbraio 2015
x. euRathlon 2015 Challenge (Piombino Settembre 2015)
x. Internship (PhD/Post Docs) positions in Robotics (@University of Pisa)


x. Saluti nuovo chair

Cari colleghi,

dal primo Gennaio di questo anno sono chair del chapter Italiano della RAS. Ringrazio Gianluca che negli ultimi tre anni ha ricoperto questo ruolo con grande successo e gli auguro buon lavoro come nuovo segretario della Sezione Italia della IEEE.

Con l’occasione ricordo a tutti i membri che vogliano rendersi disponibili a contribuire al funzionamento, ampliamento e miglioramento del chapter (sito, attivita’, etc.) di contattarmi (lucia.pallottino@unipi.it).

In continuita’ con gli ultimi chair continuerò ad inviarvi le newsletter a candenza mensile e vi invito a comunicarmi tutte le attivita’ che ritenete di interesse per i membri del chapter.

Lucia Pallottino


x. Multiple Tenure-Track Positions in ROBOTICS and ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

This may be of interest to the robotics community...
Best regards,
Giorgio Metta

Italian Institute of Technology:
Multiple Tenure-Track Positions in ROBOTICS and ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The Italian Institute of Technology / Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is pleased to announce multiple tenure-track openings (open rank) in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, as part of an ambitious plan to expand our tenure-track system by more than 100 scientists over the next decade. IIT seeks dynamic, highly motivated, independent and innovative researchers to join our community of scientists and technologists engaged in cutting-edge research and development. Candidates must be creative thinkers who span traditional scientific boundaries, with the overarching goal of melding science and technology to improve human health, welfare and sustainability.

We are interested in recruiting in broad areas, including humanoid robotics, bio-inspired robotics, robotic-assisted rehabilitation, advanced control systems for robotics, human-machine interaction, and artificial intelligence, including distributed intelligence applications. The candidate(s) will interact with world-class roboticists and computer scientists at IIT, as well as experts in materials science.

IIT has state-of-the-art facilities and has rapidly established itself among top research institutes worldwide.

IIT has a strongly international character, with more than 40% foreign scientific staff drawn from over 50 countries worldwide. The new tenure-track scientists will be intellectually and financially independent (i.e., principal investigators) and will enjoy world-class start-up and operational funding, as well as internationally competitive salaries and benefits. IIT also strongly encourages and assists its scientists in expanding their research scope by obtaining independent external support from national, European and international funding agencies.

Hiring procedures of IIT are based solely on scientific credentials, and our search committees include external members from foreign institutions to provide diverse, independent perspectives. We encourage non-Italians and Italians, both abroad and in Italy, to apply.

For details of the search, and to apply, please visit www.iit.it/tenure.
Deadline for submission of applications is 31 March 2015 .

Giorgio Metta
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Via Morego, 30
16163 Genoa, Italy
Ph: +39 010 7178-1411
Fax: +39 010 7178-1205
URL: http://pasa.liralab.it


x. Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Journal - Elsevier
Special Issue on 3D Robot Perception with the Point Cloud Library


The Point Cloud Library (or PCL) is a large scale, open project for 2D/3D image and point cloud processing. Since 2011, PCL grew with an exceptional trend thanks to the contributions of more than 700 contributors from more than 100 institutions all over the world. This growth led PCL to become a reference library for 3D processing, providing numerous state-of-the art algorithms for filtering, feature estimation, surface reconstruction, registration, model fitting and segmentation and drivers for the most diffused 3D sensors. Moreover, complete pipelines needed for solving a number of complex perception problems are also present, such as object recognition and tracking, people detection and large-scale 3D reconstruction.
PCL’s open BSD license, free for commercial and research use, favored its diffusion among both academia and industry. The tools and algorithms provided by PCL provide a wide basic infrastructure which allows researchers and companies to better concentrate on their specific areas of expertise and specific product development, without the need of re-implementing all parts of a system.
Thanks to its integration with the Robot Operating System, PCL is the backbone of most of perception algorithms for robots equipped with RGB-D sensors.

List of Topics
The scope of this special issue encompasses articles or tutorials that address one or more challenges of 3D data processing, computer vision and robot perception building on the Point Cloud Library. Particular topics of interest include:
- 3D data filtering
- 3D keypoint and feature estimation
- segmentation and surface modeling
- point cloud registration
- visual odometry and SLAM from 3D data
- 3D reconstruction
- 3D object recognition and pose estimation
- people detection and tracking in point clouds
- 3D sensors and drivers
- point cloud compression, streaming and visualization
- 3D robot perception
- 3D data processing in industry
- other applications of the Point Cloud Library

Submission Guidelines
Submissions to the special issue must include original research. Papers must be original and have not been published or submitted in other journals.
Authors should prepare their manuscript according to the Guide for Authors available from the online submission page of the Robotics and Autonomous Systems at http://ees.elsevier.com/robot/. Authors must select "SI: 3D Perception with PCL" when they reach the "Article Type" step in the submission process. All papers will be peer-reviewed following the Robotics and Autonomous Systems reviewing procedures.

Important Dates
Submission open January 01, 2015
Deadline for paper submission February 28, 2015
Notification of acceptance September 30, 2015
Publication date December, 2015

Guest Editors
Matteo Munaro
University of Padua, Italy

Radu B. Rusu
Open Perception, Inc., San Francisco (CA), USA

Emanuele Menegatti
University of Padua, Italy

x. 17th International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR)- Call for Paper


17th International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR)
Sestri Levante (Genova), Italy
12-15 September 2015

Antonio Bicchi and Wolfram Burgard


Deadline for paper submission: March 31, 2015
Notification of paper acceptance: May 31, 2015
Submission of camera-ready papers: July 1, 2015

As the flagship symposium of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR), this 17th edition of ISRR follows up on a long history of extraordinary meetings.
The goal of the ISRR Symposia is to bring together active leading robotics researchers and pioneers from academia, government, and industry to assess and share their views and ideas about the state of the art in robotics, and to discuss promising new avenues for future research.
All participants are kindly asked to convey the single track and highly interactive spirit of ISRR and take part in all sessions so that a stimulating and dynamic discussion can be established.
Scientific interaction is the keyword of ISRR, and an interesting social program has been crafted to foster the richest discussion amongst participants in the most suitable conditions.

The Symposium will be held in an informal setting with a limited number of participants to encourage close technical and personal interactions. During the four-day Symposium, approximately 45 papers will be presented. The meeting will be organized as a single-track meeting, and contributions that cover all aspects of robotics research are solicited.
Sessions will be organized in themes, and all sessions will provide ample opportunity for discussion. As in previous years, the proceedings of the Symposium will be published as a Springer STAR series book.
Attendance will be limited. Priority will be given to authors and invited participants.

The symposium will be held in Centro Congressi MediaTerraneo in Sestri Levante (Genova), Italy, a beautiful village located on the Mediterranean Sea coast. Sestri Levante is easy to reach through Genova or Pisa.

Scientific interaction is the keyword of ISRR, and an interesting social program has been crafted to foster the richest discussion amongst participants in the most suitable conditions. Planned activities include:

- Ample discussion time and interactive sessions
- A cruise to the charming Cinque Terre district
- A visit to the Robotics Labs of the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa
- A Banquet in one of the Palazzi dei Rolli in Genoa (where noblest families used to host the most distinguished guests of Genoa's Marine Republic)

For those accompanying the participants who have more free time, and for those who can stay a bit longer, the region offers a cornucopia of art and natural wonders.
Just about every few kilometers on the coast a pictoresque village offers different landscapes and activities: go shopping in Rapallo or Alassio; trek, bike and climb in Finale Ligure; watch famous views and celebrities in Portofino; go to the largest European Aquarium in Porto Antico in Genoa, or visit its noble palaces and museums.

Papers representing authoritative reviews of established research areas as well as papers reporting on new areas and pioneering work are sought for presentation at the Symposium. In addition to the open call, a well selected number of leading researchers will be solicited to contribute by personal invitation.

A BEST OF ROBOTICS 2014-2015 session track will be introduced in ISRR15. A number of research papers which have been selected for the most prestigious awards in the last year will be invited for presentation. This will be a unique possibility to have a synoptic view of what the robotics community considers to be the best of robotics research, and put it in a larger context.

Each submission will be reviewed by members of the Symposium Program Committee. The quality of the papers and the related presentations are a central priority for ISRR. Authors new to ISRR are particularly encouraged to submit.
Submitted papers must follow the LaTeX format given by the template for the Springer STAR series proceedings. It is downloadable from the submission Web page. Papers may not exceed 16 pages in this format. All papers must be submitted electronically in PDF format through the ISRR 2015 online submission system available at http://isrr.confmaster.net.

Sestri Levante is one of the most beautiful and popular resorts in Italy, and ISRR'15 has been placed in the season when you can enjoy the Mediterranean summer at its best. As a consequence, accommodations are not always easy, and early booking is highly recommended.

See http://www.isrr-2015.org for further details.

Antonio Bicchi


x. Post-doctoral position on visually guided manipulation (@IIT)

The iCub Facility at IIT (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, http://www.iit.it) invite applications for the following post-doctoral position.

This position is funded by the EU WALK-MAN project (http://walk-man.eu), whose goal is the development of a humanoid robot equipped with human levels of dexterous and powerful manipulation skills, robust balanced locomotion and physical sturdiness. In addition, the robot will have the sufficient cognitive ability to operate autonomously or through remote operation with minimal supervision.

To improve grasp stability and tolerance to uncertainties, we aim to advance the state-of-the-art methods in visual servoing. The latter is a well-known technique in robotics, but it is made challenging in this context because the visual appearance of the hand can significantly change in shape and undergo partial occlusions during manipulation. The project will therefore focus on building 3D model representations of the environment and the robot manipulator based on exteroceptive vision data during task execution.

We are looking for a highly motivated researcher with strong enthusiasm to work with robotic platforms and skills to investigate and implement algorithms exploiting visual feedback to enhance object manipulation. The project will be carried out on the iCub platform, a full-fledged humanoid endowed with moving cameras and articulated hands sporting tactile sensors. Tasks will be:

* To develop and implement methods for object and manipulator tracking for visual servoing in single and stereo-camera real-time video streams;
* Monitor, evaluate and extend state-of-the-art methods and verify their applicability;
* Test and verify functionality under real world conditions on the iCub and the Walk-man robots.

We seek a candidate with the following additional skills:

* PhD in robotics and/or computer science areas;
* Hands-on experience in and in-depth knowledge of computer vision and stereo vision;
* Excellent C/C++ and MATLAB programming skills;
* Strong research and problem solving skills, ability to analyze, improve and propose new algorithms;
* Excellent communication, teamwork and technical writing skills.

The position will be funded by the FP7 EU grant WALK-MAN ICT 2013.10 Cognitive Systems and Robotics (GA 611832).

An internationally experience-related competitive salary will be offered.

Interested applicants should submit their CV and a list of publications to the following email address: jobpost.walkman@icub.iit.it with at least the names of 2 referees.

The official call is available here: http://goo.gl/lYzxtO.
Please apply before February 28th, 2015.

The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (http://www.iit.it) is a private Foundation with the objective of promoting Italy's technological development and higher education in science and technology. Research at IIT is carried out in highly innovative scientific fields with state-of-the-art technology. Within IIT the iCub Facility Department (http://www.iit.it/icub) is looking for a post-doctoral researcher.

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Lorenzo Natale, PhD
via Morego, 30 16163 Genova
Ph: +39 010 71781946
Fax: +39 010 7170205


x. SAPHARI NMMI Workshop a Roma, 25 Febbraio 2015

SAPHARI (http://www.saphari.eu) è un progetto FP7 ICT 2011-15 che si occupa di "Safe and Autonomous Physical Human-Aware Robot Interaction"
e al quale partecipano 12 partner europei, di cui quattro gruppi italiani di robotica e automatic (Università di Napoli Federico II, Università di Pisa, Seconda Università di Napoli e Sapienza Università di Roma), coordinato da UNIROMA1.

Dal 20 al 25 Febbraio 2015 si terrà a Roma una Winter School on Soft Robotics, organizzata da SAPHARI e da NMMI (http://www.naturalmachinemotioninitiative.com),
con lezioni sul tema e attività pratiche ("hands-on") sull'uso degli attuatori low-cost modulari a rigidezza variabile (VSA) sviluppati nel corso del progetto dallo spin-off qbrobotics dell'Università di Pisa e dell IIT (www.qbrobotics.com).

La partecipazione alla Winter School è già completa. Vi segnalo però che nel pomeriggio del 25 febbraio, a conclusione della scuola, si terrà un workshop aperto tenuto da alcuni ricercatori del progetto SAPHARI, con una key lecture esterna del Prof. Sami Haddadin.

Il programma del workshop è qui in calce. Siete tutti cordialmente invitati a partecipare. Per motivi logistici è gradita la segnalazione della vostra partecipazione inviando una semplice mail a deluca@diag.uniroma1.it entro il 20 Febbraio.

Maggiori informazioni si trovano su http://www.saphari.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=37&It... (pagina SAPHARI, con locandina scaricabile)
o su http://www.naturalmachinemotioninitiative.com/#!vsa-winter-school/c1hve (pagina NMMI).

Cordiali saluti
Alessandro De Luca


Mercoledì 25 Febbraio 2015
Aula Magna DIAG
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica Automatica e Gestionale Antonio Ruberti
Sapienza Università di Roma
Via Ariosto 25, 00185 Roma


14:00 Introduction and presentation of the winning team of the SAPHARI Winter School - Alessandro De Luca and Antonio Bicchi

14:15 Key lecture: Robot reflexes and soft-skills for interaction - Sami Haddadin (Leibniz Univ. of Hanover)

15.00 Impedance control of redundant manipulators for human-robot co-manipulation - Luigi Villani (UNINA)

15.20 On the use of an opto-electronic skin for safe pHRI - Ciro Natale (SUN)

15:40 Coffee break

16:10 Close and wide range monitoring for human-robot interaction - Angelika Zube (IOSB)

16:30 A bidirectional invariant representation of motion - Dongheui Lee (TUM)

16:50 Knowledge-enabled control of safe physical human-robot cooperation - Michael Beetz (UNIHB)

17:10 Constrained motion planning with application to humanoids - Giuseppe Oriolo (UNIROMA1)

17:30 End of Workshop
Alessandro De Luca
Dipartimento di Ingegneria informatica, automatica e gestionale Antonio Ruberti -- DIAG
Sapienza Università di Roma
Via Ariosto 25
00185 Roma, Italy
tel: +39 06 77274052
fax: +39 06 77274033
email: deluca@diag.uniroma1.it
url: http://www.diag.uniroma1.it/~deluca


x. euRathlon 2015 Challenge (Piombino Settembre 2015)

I colleghi Spagnoli di Catec ci chiedono di diffondere questa iniziativa.
Dear colleague,
The call for euRathlon 2015 Challenge (combined air, land and sea) is now OPEN!
euRathlon is a new outdoor robotics competition that invites teams to test the intelligence and autonomy of their robots in realistic mock emergency-response scenarios inspired by the 2011 Fukushima accident. The euRathlon 2015 Grand Challenge will require a team of ground, marine and aerial robots to work together to survey the scene, collect environmental data, and identify critical hazards. The project is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no 601205.
euRathlon 2015 will be held in Piombino, Italy, from the 17th- 25th September 2015. The competition will take place in the area surrounding the Torre del Sale building, on the beach and in the nearby waters, and in the Enel-owned thermal power plant sheltered harbour. Competitors and their robots will face real life conditions (i.e., a ruined building, sandy terrain, etc.) in a realistic mock disaster scenario.
Watch the euRathlon 2015 Challenge promo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiW8_U7tbww
We welcome teams from Universities, Research labs or Industry; from single organisations or with team members from multiple organisations. Although euRathlon is a European initiative, International teams are also very welcome.
To encourage the participation of the maximum number of teams – especially teams with experience in one domain only, three different categories of scenarios have been defined:
- The Grand Challenge: a three-domain scenario, which comprises three missions.
- Sub-Challenge: two-domain scenarios; each is a combination of two trials.
- Trial: single-domain scenarios.
There will be a total of one Grand Challenge, three Sub-Challenges and six trials.
The scenarios will be held in increasing order of complexity (i.e. the trials will be held first followed by the sub-challenges and finally the Grand Challenge). Trials and sub-challenges will allow teams to test and prepare their robots as the scenarios are based on and preparatory to the Grand Challenge.
(http://www.eurathlon.eu/site/index.php/compete/eurathlon-2015-scenarios/ )
Official information concerning the registration process, requirements, programme, scenarios and the competition can be found on the euRathlon website (www.eurathlon.eu) and the related euRathlon forum (http://www.eurathlon.eu/phpbb/).
Please visit www.eurathlon.eu for detailed information or contact eurathlon@uwe.ac.uk
Best regards, Antidio.
Dr. Antidio Viguria Jiménez
Responsable del Departamento de Aviónica y Sistemas
Head of Avionics and Systems Department
C/Wilbur y Orville Wright 17-19-21
41309 La Rinconada (Sevilla)


x. Internship (PhD/Post Docs) positions in Robotics (@University of Pisa)

The Robotics group at Centro "E. Piaggio" - University of Pisa is looking for highly motivated researchers for two internship positions from March to December 2015 on:

"Planning and control for whole-body locomotion of humanoids robots"
(EU-funded research project WALK-MAN, www.walk-man.eu)

"Environment-aware manipulation with compliant and adaptive hands"
(EU-funded research project SOMA /PaCMan, http://www.pacman-project.eu/)

Fruitful internships may lead to a PhD or Post-Doc position.

Previous experience in robotics analysis, design, planning, and control is welcome.
Candidates should have programming experience in MATLAB, C++ and/or Python.
Familiarity with hardware programming under the Linux environment and with ROS is a strong plus.

Applicants should send an email with a CV, specifying the preferred topic, and a list of references to this address:

Lucia Pallottino on the behalf of
Robotics Group @UNIPI