july 2016

Cari colleghi,
vi inoltro la newsletter della I-RAS vi ricordo di segnalarmi le presenze per la cena/riunione annual del chapter e con l’occasione vi auguro buone vacanze




1. Riunione e Cena I-RAS (Lucia Pallottino)

2. Tenure track position in robot locomotion at IIT (Giorgio Metta)

3. PhD openings at the HRII lab of the Italian Institute of Technology (Arash Ajoudani)

4. Post-doc position in Software Engineering for Robotics – Bergamo (Davide Brugali)

1. Riunione e Cena I-RAS

Anche questo anno la riunione del Chapter si terrà a Settembre in occasione del Convegno SIDRA. L’appuntamento è per il 5 settembre 2016 alle ore 21:00 presso il ristorante “Velavevodetto” (http://sidra2016.dia.uniroma3.it/cena-roboticsautomation-society/). Il costo della cena sarà sotto i 40€. In concomitanza con la cena ci sarà la premiazione del Young Author Best Paper Award la cui valutazione è in corso. Inoltre vi illustrerò le attività svolte e le proposte del chapter per il prossimo anno.

Chiunque voglia partecipare è pregato di inviarmi quanto prima la sua adesione e comunque entro il 28 Agosto.

Ci vediamo a Roma!


2. Tenure track position in robot locomotion at IIT

Dear roboticists,

The Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) is pleased to announce an opening for a tenure-track position in ROBOT LOCOMOTION, at the main IIT laboratories in Genova, Italy.

This open call is part of an ambitious plan to recruit more than 100 new tenure-track scientists over the next decade. The new tenure-track scientist will be intellectually and financially independent (i.e., true principal investigator) and will enjoy world-class facilities and start-up and operational funding, as well as internationally competitive salary and benefits.

For details of the job search, please visit https://tenure.iit.it/about Deadline for applications in 15 October 2016


Giorgio Metta giorgio.metta@iit.it
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Via Morego, 30
16163 Genoa, Italy
Ph: +39 010 7178-1411
Fax: +39 010 7178-1205

URL: http://pasa.cognitivehumanoids.eu

3. PhD Openings in Human-Robot Interfaces and Physical Interaction

The Human-Robot Interfaces and physical Interaction (HRI2) Laboratory of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT - an English speaking institute placed in Genoa, Italy) offers two PhD positions in a joint PhD program with the engineering school of the University of Pisa.

Research will be conducted at IIT on the topics of physical human robot interaction and cooperation, robotic manipulation, prosthetics control, and teleoperation (see suggested themes below). Successful candidates will have access to several robotic platforms such as WALKMAN and COMAN humanoid robots, a dual-arm KUKA IV+ platform, the Pisa/IIT Softhand, etc.

Requirements: We are seeking for highly motivated candidates with an excellent master degree in robotics, mechanical, biomedical or control engineering, or related fields. A good level of software programming (C++ and MATLAB) proficiency is required.

Application Procedure:In order to apply for these positions it is mandatory to refer to the procedures defined by Università degli studi di Pisa. The official notice and the procedure for admissions is available at this link: https://www.iit.it/phd-school

Interested applicants should follow the admission instructions, and additionally submit their CV electronically outlining experience and qualifications, list of publications, a statement of research interests and plans and the names of at least two referees to Dr. Arash Ajoudani (arash.ajoudani@iit.it), quoting HRII-PhD2016 in the email subject.

Please apply before August 25, 2016.

Suggested PhD themes (other creative ideas within the HRI2 scopes are welcome!):

Theme-1: Multimodal Interfaces for Human-Robot Co-Manipulation (Tutors: Dr. Luka Peternel and Dr. Arash Ajoudani)

Physical human-robot interaction and cooperation are two fundamental and necessary aspects for integrating robots into our daily lives. The robots are expected to help us in various tasks, of which many require collaborative effort to be successfully completed. In order to achieve such behaviour, the robot must be able to physically interact with the human counterpart and predict the intentions of the human, despite the additional interaction with the uncertain and unpredictable environment. Appropriate robot control methods therefore are essential for the robot to deal with various uncertainties, dynamically aspects and complex task requirements. A promising direction towards this goal is to adaptively regulate mechanical parameters of the robot, based on the task requirements and external feedback.

Another important aspect of robot control in human-robot interaction/collaboration is the presence of the human. The human behaviour is usually highly unpredictable and difficult to model. Indeed recent work at HRI2 laboratory aims at developing appropriate human-robot interfaces to enable the robot to predict or extract the human intention from various feedback modalities (human motor behaviour, vision, interaction force, voice commands, etc.). In addition, other key aspects such as role-allocation in human-robot cooperation and partner’s skill evaluation, which can enable the robot to adapt its behaviour to accommodate for different level of competence and capability of the human will be explored.

Theme-2: Design and Control Principles for Power Augmentation Devices (Tutors: Dr. Wansoo Kim and Dr. Arash Ajoudani)

Exoskeletons are wearable robotic devices that are used for human body power augmentation or rehabilitation. Such mechanism could prove indispensable in addressing problems of injuries and growing elderly population. As the exoskeleton is attached to the human body, it is imperative that appropriate control methods and human-robot interfaces are developed to enable coordinated motion and assistance in the complex daily tasks. The main objective in this research line is the development of appropriate control strategies to facilitate the interaction between the human, the power augmentation device and the environment. In addition, HRI2 aim at developing novel power augmentation devices, therefore, we highly encourage applications for hardware developments as well.

Theme-3: Shared Authority Approaches in Humanoids Control (Tutor: Dr. Arash Ajoudani)

The need to manipulate objects and tools in unstructured or hostile environments has led to the development of several Master-Slave teleoperation interfaces: from the most basic, unilateral position-based, to bilateral force-reflecting systems. Notwithstanding the widespread use of such frameworks, they are known to lack substantial requirements to render an appropriate interaction performance (e.g. soft interactions in unilateral and stability in the latter). Therefore, the main objective of this theme is to address such limitations by the development of novel and intuitive interfaces for the execution of dynamic remote manipulation tasks. Our objective is to extend the recent developments at HRI2 laboratory on the teleimpedance control of compliant robotic arms to a large number of degrees of freedom, e.g. humanoid robots.

For more information, please contact Dr. Arash Ajoudani (arash.ajoudani@iit.it).

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Arash Ajoudani, Ph.D.
Researcher (TT)
Human-Robot Interfaces and Physical Interaction (HRI2) Lab
Department of Advanced Robotics
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
Via Morego 30, 16163, Genova, Italy
Webpage: https://iit.it/people/arash-ajoudani

IEEE Robotics and Automation Society
Young Professionals Representative
Member Service Committee Co-chair
Young Reviewers Program (YRP) – Executive Manager

4. Post-doc position in Software Engineering for Robotics – Bergamo (Davide Brugali)

Post-doc position at the University of Bergamo, Italy: Expression of interest


The Laboratory of Robotics of the Dept. of Management, Information, and Production Engineering at the University of Bergamo, invites expressions of interest in view of opening a position for postdoc in the area of software architectures for autonomous robot navigation systems.

Autonomous mobile robots are versatile machines that are increasingly used in a number of new fields (e.g. warehouse logistics, agriculture, civil protection). In order to be deployed in a variety of different scenarios, their control systems must be flexible enough to easily accommodate volatile requirements and changing needs.

Our hypotesis is that the definition of stable software architectures for common robot functionality will enable the development of robot control systems that are easily reconfigurable at design-time, deployment-time, and even at runtime. This theme has been discussed in D. Brugali, R. Capilla, M. Hinchey, “Dynamic Variability Meets Robotics”, IEEE Computer, Dec. 2015

In particular, we want the explore the following challenges:

- Identification of stable robot architectures and design patterns driven by practical applications
- Modeling non functional properties of configurable robot control systems

The successful candidate is expected to have a recent PhD degree in Computer Science, a good publication record, and proficiency in C++ and Ubuntu Linux.
Expertise in one of the following fields will be highly regarded: software product lines, architecture-centric development, dynamic variability management.
The working language will be English, knowledge of Italian is not required.

The contract is of minimum 1 year, and can be renewed up to 2 more years. Salary will range from € 20.000 to € 25.000 euros per year, depending on qualifications.

Inquiries and expressions of interest, including a curriculum vitae and a list of publications, should be sent by e-mail to Prof. Davide Brugali (brugali@unibg.it) before September 15th, 2016 (submissions received after that date are welcome and will be considered as long as the position will still be available).


Davide Brugali, PhD
Chair IEEE RAS TCSOFT, http://robotics.unibg.it/tcsoft/
Editor-in-Chief, JOSER, http://www.joser.org/
Associate Professor at University of Bergamo
V.le Marconi, 5 - 24044 Dalmine, Italy
Tel. ++39 035 2052-008 (376) Fax ++39 035 2052-310