june 2015

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





x. I-RAS: Young Author Best Paper Award 2015- Seventh Edition - Application to be sent before June 30

x. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters

x. 2015-2016 CALL FOR PhD Positions in Perceptual Robotics @ Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

x. PhD Position in Surgical Robotics at the University of Verona

x. Call for scholarship applications within the Master "Digital Life & Smart Living (SMART)" 2015-2016 @ Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna


x. I-RAS: Young Author Best Paper Award 2015- Seventh Edition - Call for Application

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Italian Chapter (http://www.i-ras.it) Young Author Best Paper Award 2015 (YABP) is given to an author or co-author of a recent paper published in one of the journals sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS).

The following applies:
- eligible journals listed below
- publication date should be during 2013-2014
- the author must be a member of I-RAS during 2015
- the author's birth date must be later or equal than January, 1, 1980
- it is allowed to resubmit unawarded papers of the previous call

The IEEE RAS Italian Chapter Young Author Best Paper is selected by a Committee formed by the Chair of the Chapter and by 4 other IEEE RAS members nominated by the Chair. The Chapter Chair is the President of the Committee, she will vote only in case of parity.

Interested authors must send an application with a letter in which the contribution of the author is clearly stated.

Accompanying letters, by the authors themselves or by others, are welcome but not mandatory. Applications and letters must be sent to lucia.pallottino@unipi.it by June 30, 2015 at the latest.

The 2015 Award Committee is composed by Arianna Menciassi, Daniele Nardi, Gianluca Antonelli, Paolo Rocco and Lucia Pallottino and will complete the selection by August 31, 2015.

The 2015 Award, which consists of a certificate and a cheque for 500€, will be presented at the annual I-RAS meeting held in conjunction with the SIDRA meeting in Bari, September 2015.

We gratefully acknowledge the IEEE Italian Section, sponsor of the award.

Lucia Pallottino
Chair of the Italian Chapter of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society

RAS Publications suitable for participation in YABP 2015 according to {\tt http://www.ieee-ras.org/publications}:

- RAS Sponsored Publications
* IEEE Transactions on Robotics
* IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
* IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine

- Co-sponsored publications
* IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
* IEEE Journal of MicroElectroMechanical Systems
* IEEE Transactions on Haptics
* IEEE Transactions on Nano-Bio Science

- Technically co-sponsored publications
* IEEE Sensors Journal (Sensors Council)
* IEEE Systems Journal (Systems Council)
* IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing
* IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development
* IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence in Games
* IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
* IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology (Nanotechnology Council)


x. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (http://www.ieee-ras.org/publications/ra-l)

At the IEEE Technical Activities Board Meeting Series held in January 2015, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS) received approval to launch a new periodical. Under the name, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), the first issue is planned for January 2016. The RA-L journal has been presented next week at ICRA
(Slides from the Town Hall)

The scope of this journal is to publish peer-reviewed articles that provide a timely and concise account of innovative research ideas and application results, reporting significant theoretical findings and application case studies in areas of robotics and automation.

The primary goal of RA-L is to better serve the RAS membership and the robotics and automation community at large, which has strongly increased in number and productivity, by providing more capacity for high quality, fully reviewed journal papers. Additional goals of RA-L are to provide a publication process that is complementary to the existing evolutionary process from RAS conferences into journal papers and to improve the efficiency of the peer-review process.

Editorial Board:
Antonio Bicchi, RA-Letters Editor In Chief, RAS Vice President Publication Activities
Allison Okamura, RA-Letters Deputy Editor In Chief
Seth Hutchinson, RA-Letters Steering Committee Chair


x. 2015-2016 CALL FOR PhD Positions in Perceptual Robotics @ Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

A three-year residential PhD programme on Digital Emerging Technologies and
Perceptual Robotics is available at the TeCIP institute of Scuola Superiore
Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy.

The programme, starting on October, 1st 2015, will be opened for 7 PhD positions.

The research area of Perceptual Robotics offers the opportunity to undertake in-depth
research on themes of Advanced Robotic, Haptics, Teleoperation and Presence for the
interaction in Real, Augmented and Virtual Environments.

For the curriculum in “Perceptual Robotics”, the applications are solicited in the following
research domains:

PAC: Perception, Action, Cognition – Prof. M. Bergamasco, m.bergamasco@sssup.it
- Integration of multisensory perceptual system for humanoid robots and virtual humans,
- Perception and interaction with Virtual Environments,
- Cognitive processes for attention control,
- Non conventional sensory systems for humanoid robots.

IAS: Intelligent Automation Systems - Prof. C.A. Avizzano, Dr. E. Ruffaldi, c.avizzano@sssup.it, e.ruffaldi@sssup.it

- Autonomous Vehicle driving with extended capabilities of environment sensing, reconstruction and interaction,
- Skills modeling, gesture analysis, control and transfer using vision, robotics and haptic interfaces,
- Distant perception and control for enhanced teleoperation with application to medicine, construction and mission critical application,
- Machine learning applied to robotics intention and action recognition,
- Sensor fusion and integration of vision tool for environment analysis with specific application to social, medical and industrial contexts.
For all positions a background in mechanical engineering, mechatronics, automation, robotics is preferred.

NOTE: Among the IAS topics one additional PhD position will be dedicated to “Perception and Human-Robot interaction for Service Robotics” tutored by Dr. Emanuele Ruffaldi
The goal of this PhD position is to investigate robotic perception for understanding human pose and actions in household environments for the purpose of behaviour monitoring and physical interaction, for supporting user’s activities. This research will be carried out as part of the European H2020 project RAMCIP http://www.ramcip-project.eu/.
The candidate should have knowledge of robot kinematics and dynamics, programming abilities for robotics systems and computer vision competences. Probabilistic modelling and human motion analysis will be considered a plus.

HRI: Human-Robot Interaction - Prof. A. Frisoli, Dr. M. Solazzi, a.frisoli@sssup.it , m.solazzi@sssup.it
- research for the design and construction of a robot for the remote inspection of train underbody. The topic is part of a broadest research on maintenance on condition for trains. The candidate will be required to have skills in mechanical design and control of robotic systems, HCI.
- research on simulation of permanent deformation in railway track ballast, particularly the vertical settlements under repeated traffic loading, through FEA non-linear analysis. The candidate is required to have previous experience in the area of non-linear FEA simulation.
- Bilateral teleoperation control of robots in disaster conditions. The candidate is required to be knowledgeable of stability issues in bilateral teleoperation with robots and haptic interfaces.
For all positions a background in mechanical engineering, mechatronics, automation, robotics is preferred.

CGVE: Computer Graphics and Virtual Environment - Dr. F. Tecchia, Dr. M. Carrozzino, f.tecchia@sssup.it, m.carrozzino@sssup.it
- real-time computer graphics for Desktop or fully immersive Virtual Reality,
- software/hardware architectures for distributed CAVE-like installations with a particular interest in realistic illumination,
- hardware devices methods and devices for interaction in fully immersive VR comprising advanced positional audio in VR,
- wearable computing for Virtual and Augmented Reality with tracking/Interaction for augmented reality,
- applied research for exploiting VR and Ar in industrial applications a well as in the field of Cultural Heritage.
Background in computer science/engineering is required.

SEES: Safety, Environment, Energy and Security - Dr. M. Fontana, Prof. R. Vertechy m.fontana@sssup.it , r.vertechy@sssup.it
- new mechanisms based on smart materials and structures,
- novel transducers (actuators, generators, sensors) for robotics and haptics,
- new mechanisms based on variable impedance/compliance structures,
- dielectric elastomer generators, polymeric actuators (including nylon coil actuators),
- audio diffusion systems based on dielectric elastomers, high altitude (airborne) wind energy.
Background in mechanical/aerospace engineering, mechatronics, automation, robotics is preferred but not strictly required.

All teaching and research activities will be carried out in English.

Research will be performed in the framework of relevant European, International and Industrial projects and will be supported by the computing, robotic, and VR facilities available at PERCRO laboratory (http://www.percro.org).

We are soliciting National, European and International students motivated to apply for the PhD program in "Perceptual Robotics".

Application should be submitted online by June 30th, 2015.

Detailed information about the PhD program as well as the full text of the call for participation is available on the institutional website at:

Questions on the scientific domains can be addressed to the following contacts:
- PAC: Prof. M. Bergamasco, m.bergamasco@sssup.it
- IAS: Prof. C.A. Avizzano, Dr. E. Ruffaldi, c.avizzano@sssup.it, e.ruffaldi@sssup.it
- HRI: Prof. A. Frisoli, Dr. M. Solazzi, a.frisoli@sssup.it, m.solazzi@sssup.it
- CGVE: Dr. F. Tecchia, Dr. M. Carrozzino, f.tecchia@sssup.it, m.carrozzino@sssup.it
- SEES: Dr. M. Fontana, Dr. R. vertechy, m.fontana@sssup.it, r.vertechy@sssup.it

Kind Regards,
Carlo Alberto Avizzano

Carlo Alberto Avizzano, Eng., PhD,
Prof. of Mechatronics
mailto: c.avizzano@sssup.it
Tel. +39 050 882568

Director of Perceptual Robotics
TeCIP Institute
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Via Alamanni 13,b
La Fontina
San Giuliano Terme (PISA)


x. PhD Position in Surgical Robotics at the University of Verona

Ph.D. position available at the Robotics Laboratory of the University of Verona and the Advanced Robotics Department, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genova (Italy)

Title: Development of intelligent instruments for robotic surgery

Advisers: Prof. Paolo Fiorini and Dr. Leonardo De Mattos

In the past years, robotic surgery has been experiencing an exciting growth, fueled by the benefits that robot-assisted procedures bring to patients and surgeons alike. In fact, robotic surgery combines the limited invasiveness of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) with the stereo visual perception of the surgical area, typical of open surgery. Recent experiments have also shown that surgical robots can be endowed with some level of autonomy, to carry out simple surgical actions and to interact with the human operator. Autonomy could lead to a new generation of intelligent robotic instruments that exploit surgeon cognition with suitable sensing and actuation devices and perform therapies that go beyond human capabilities.

To achieve this goal, surgical task knowledge and its physical characteristics must be studied together to derive the instrument specifications. It is necessary to formally represent the task knowledge, and to identify suitable control and information to be sensed. It is also crucial to convey task information to the surgeon to maximize his/her involvement and allow an effective and safe task execution.

During the doctoral program, the student will follow a multi-disciplinary approach, to address:
1. the analysis and representation of surgical task knowledge,
2. the design and control of an intelligent surgical instrument,
3. the design of task specific sensors, and
4. the experimental validation of the instrument developed.

The research will be carried out primarily at the robotics laboratory of the University of Verona, in conjunction with the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova. The doctoral student will work in a team with a decade long experience in the development of surgical robots and will be able to develop and test her/his results on the daVinci Research Kit (DVRK) recently donated by Intuitive Surgical.

We seek highly motivated candidates with a background in robotics and/or mechanical/control electronic/computer engineering with focus on robotics. This is a multidisciplinary project where the successful candidate should have knowledge and/or interest in modeling, analysis and development of technologies for robot-assisted therapies.

Contacts: paolo.fiorini@univr.it

Please note that the deadline for applications is
June 12, 2015, NOON, Italy time (Local time: GMT+2).

Prof. Paolo Fiorini, PhD
IEEE Fellow
Department of Computer Science, University of Verona
Ca' Vignal 2 - Strada Le Grazie 15, 37134 VERONA - Italy
Ph: +39 045 802 7963 -- Fax: +39 045 802 7068


x. Call for scholarship applications within the Master "Digital Life & Smart Living (SMART)" 2015-2016 @ Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (www.sssup.it/smart)

20 scholarships are offered to European citizens by TIM-Telecom Italia
in partnership with Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa.
2 scholarships are reserved for non European Union citizens.

All admitted students will receive a total gross amount of € 12.000
scholarship payment to cover transportation and accommodation expenses.
All Master tuition fees are covered by TIM-Telecom Italia.

This Master is a post-graduate university programme designed for
students that own a Master of Science degree. It trains students for a
potential hiring in one of the most innovative new-technology
multinationals in the world, TIM-Telecom Italia. 80% of participants to
the first edition of the Master have been employed by TIM.

Application is on-line: www.sssup.it/smart/application
Submission deadline: June 18, 2015

The main goal of the Master is to train young graduate talented students
who will acquire the competence to design, develop and manage
communication systems and "Smart" innovative technologies.
The graduated will have the capacity to manage and control advanced
technologies in ICT, Robotics and Biorobotics, Software Engineering and
Telecommunication Engineering, for the design and management of Smart

The 20 Master students will attend intensive and exciting series of
lessons taught in English, alternating with laboratory experiments,
company case-study experiences and seminars (600 hours).
In the final stage, an internship at TIM-Telecom Italia will be provided
in order to gain direct experience in the fields of business and
technologies (750 hours).

Total time commitment: Sept. 7, 2015 - Sept. 5, 2016

The Master Degree programme has been developed by TIM-Telecom Italia and
faculty members of The BioRobotics Institute, the Institute of
Management, and The Institute of Communication, Information and
Perception Technologies of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy.

For more information:

Secretariat contacts:
Federica Faldella
Mail: master-smart@sssup.it
Phone: +39 050 88 2671

Best regards,
Calogero Oddo and Paolo Dario

Calogero M. Oddo
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Robotics
Head of the Human Machine Nexus Laboratory, Neuro-robotics Area
The BioRobotics Institute
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Polo Sant'Anna Valdera
Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 34
56025 Pontedera (Pisa) - Italy

email: calogero.oddo@sssup.it