The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a private Foundation, created with special Government Law no. 269 of September 30th 2003, 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 the context of an EU funded project (http://www.codyco.eu), the iCub facility at the Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is looking for a Postdoctoral fellow in software engineering.
The goal of the project is to give the iCub humanoid robot (http://www.icub.org) the ability to control its body posture exploiting multiple contacts with the environment (including but not limited to feet). Possible scenarios include: (1) standing and balancing with its hands supported by a rigid contact (e.g. furniture); (2) reaching a distant object with the help of an additional contact on a supporting e.g. wall or furniture; (3) balancing on potentially soft and irregular contacts (e.g. rough terrain); (4) standing with the help of a caregiver (cooperative human helper).
The Postdoctoral fellow will be the main responsible for developing a software library that will serve as a tool for dynamic computation on the iCub humanoid with possible application to control, optimization and differential equation integration. Tools for whole-body dynamics computation and whole-body control are fundamental for achieving the goals of the project. The plan is therefore to design and realize a toolbox for computing human and humanoids whole-body dynamics. This software will be shared in the consortium and become a multi-purpose toolbox for computing forward dynamics, controlling whole-body behaviour, analysing whole-body motion, estimating (contact) forces and estimating dynamic parameters. The focus will be on improving existing open source libraries by integrating measures from redundant distributed sensors (accelerometers as well as tactile sensors).
Research will be entirely implemented on the iCub, a state-of-the-art robot equipped with whole-body force control and whole-body distributed tactile sensor. Thanks to these characteristics, the iCub is the unique platform suited to implement the above scenarios. The candidate will rely of full support from the iCub hardware and software development team in the iCub Facility (see www.iit.it/icub for more information).
The ideal candidate would have a PhD degree and solid background in e.g. software engineering, robotics, control theory and system dynamics. Experience with C++ is mandatory. Experience with system simulation in presence of contacts is positively evaluated. The contract is funded by the FP7 EU grant Codyco, ICT 2011.2.1 Cognitive Systems and Robotics. The research activities will take place at IIT in Genoa. The working language at IIT is English. A competitive salary, dependent on experience, will be offered.
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The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.