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Openings ■ Research Departments ■ Advanced Robotics

Post-Doc Opening in Mechatronics Systems: ROBO-MATE EU PROJECT

BC:69412

The Department of Advanced Robotics at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, an English-language research Institute, is seeking to appoint an international well motivated full-time junior/senior post-doc with a key research role in the area of mechanical design in the Robo-Mate European project.

The selected candidate will join an interdisciplinary team and have the opportunity to pursue research within the Robo-Mate (Intelligent exoskeleton based on human-robot interaction for manipulation of heavy goods in Europe’s factories of the future) European project in partnership with a consortium encompassing twelve leading universities, research institutes and companies in Europe (http://www.robo-mate.eu/). The Robo-Mate project is funded under the 7th Research Framework Programme of the European Commission (FP7-2013-NMP-ICT-FOF, Grant Agreement n° 608979).

The goal of Robo-Mate is the development of a user-friendly intelligent light or mid-weight human-robotic exoskeleton for manual handling work in different industries. The device will be deployable within half a day and will not require task-specific programming. The newly developed exoskeleton will be highly flexible and used directly in craft or mass production or in auxiliary processes.

We are looking for a highly motivated, outstanding young scientist with a background and PhD in Robotics or Mechanical Engineering and an excellent, well established publication record in mechanical design.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 14:06

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Post-Doc Opening in Humanoid Technologies: Humanoid and Human Centred Mechatronics Lab

BC:68160

Advanced Robotics (ADVR) is an English-speaking research department within Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). ADVR is currently looking for a motivated junior postdoctoral research fellow with an international background to play a key research role in the area of whole body manipulation and impedance control of new humanoid platforms, assistive and prosthesis devices.
 
The selected candidate will join an interdisciplinary team and have the opportunity to pursue research on the development of humanoid robots and the control of robotic assistive and prosthesis devices.

This innovative project aims to perform a fundamental advancement on humanoid control to allow robots to operate and manipulate unstructured workspaces, therefore demonstrating high tolerance and adaptation.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 15:01

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Three (3) Marie Curie Early Stage Research Fellowships

BC: 69409- 69410- 69411

Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher

Job title:  Marie Curie Fellow

Post: position with an enrolment on a doctoral training programme

The Department of Advanced Robotics (ADVR) at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia – IIT (an English speaking Institute) located in Genoa is seeking to appoint 3 Marie Curie Early Stage Researchers (ESR) in the framework of the FP7 Marie Curie ITN Smart-E (Sustainable Manufacturing through Advanced Robotics Training in Europe).

SMART-E is a Doctoral Training Network, funded by the EU Commission’s FP7 Marie Curie Programme, with the aim to prepare the next generation of leading experts in advanced robotics to secure a sustainable manufacturing sector in Europe.

The network involves the collaboration of eight European institutions – the University of Salford, University of Zurich, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Technical University of Munich, FESTO, Airbus and Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the University of Sheffield.

The network is bringing together leading experts in the field of embodied intelligence, compliant, soft robotics, advanced manufacturing, industrial robotics and automation, smart materials and machine learning in Europe. You will utilise new technologies (mostly pioneered by SMART-E) in state of the art training environments.

The successful candidate will benefit from high quality industrial experience and interdisciplinary projects that are individually tailored.  The research training programme will combine technical expertise acquisition with business & leadership, communication and entrepreneurial skills in order to provide you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to tackle not only the technical challenges, but also to play a key role in embedding/deploying these solutions into practical applications.

The researchers will have at least 2 placements outside of their host organisation; this may entail a short stay outside their host country.

Theme 1: Development and control of robot manipulators for safer physical human robot interaction.

The focus of this research is the design optimization, development and control of a novel compliant manipulator and related actuation systems with variable physical damping actuators (VPDA, http://www.iit.it/en/advr-labs/humanoids-a-human-centred-mechatronics/advr-humanoids-projects/variable-physical-damping-actuators.html) for robust, fast, adaptable and damage-safe motions and interactions. The target is to improve the capabilities of the existing CompAct™ arm (http://www.iit.it/en/robots/compact-arm.html) by exploring both the mechatronic technological limits (structural materials, actuation and sensing) and new design and control philosophies towards the development of high performance manipulation systems. The Department of Advanced Robotics at IIT possesses a strong industrial know how in this field  with 5+ patents.

In detail, the main goals of the project are to:

  • improve VIA technology and develop actuators that are more robust, more stable, have reduced oscillatory behaviour, lower cost, have less friction and wear, etc.
  • focus on the introduction of, and improvements in, other physical impedance parameters, e.g. damping or effective inertia through techniques originally developed for the VPDA,
  • build a prototype of the upper body of a robot for physically interactive manipulation testing and to compare mature technologies for lightweight robots (KUKA LWR) with VIA and VPDA technologies.

The resulting developed systems will be capable of:

  • more safely co‐existing and co‐operating with people (co-workers) and other robots;
  • attain performance levels more commonly associated with humans.

For further information on this topic contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Theme 2: Development of a high performance haptic tele-manipulation system

Interaction between humans and machines, particularly safe interaction, is a critical aspect of robotics. The focus of this research is the development of high fidelity user interfaces for telepresence and teleoperation that can rival the human hand in terms of manipulating dexterity, see http://www.iit.it/en/advr-labs/haptic-and-interaction-technologies.html. Within this research new haptic technologies and techniques will be applied to the control and operation of the COMAN humanoid (http://www.iit.it/en/advr-labs/humanoids-a-human-centred-mechatronics/advr-humanoids-projects/compliant-humanoid-platform-coman.html) and particular to the development of a high performance, teleoperation system that will use enhanced levels of haptic feedback to ensure accurate, high precision and dexterous control and manipulation of remote objects using a COMAN as the remote system.

The main goals of the project are to:

  • enhance the nature of the operator interface at the remote and the user site
    • at the remote site to use a compliant torque controlled robot arm to improve control accuracy,
    • at the user site to develop high accuracy hand exoskeletons, finger tip tactile displays and tele-impedance control to augment the user experience and improve transparency.

Within the framework of a teleoperation platform the ESR will work on:

  • development of algorithms for visual, haptic and tactile feedback,
  • spatial mapping between the human hand and the robot hand and
  • addressing the time delay of the teleoperation system.

For further information on this topic contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Theme 3: Dexterous Human-robot collaborative manipulation through Learning using compliant robots within unstructured spaces

The recent development of compliant robots such as COMAN (http://www.iit.it/en/advr-labs/humanoids-a-human-centred-mechatronics/advr-humanoids-projects/compliant-humanoid-platform-coman.html) has opened up a host of new research possibilities in human-robot interaction and robot learning. Now, robots need not be behind fences (as in large manufacturing plants), and are increasingly capable of executing tasks in collaboration with human users. Such human-robot collaboration requires drastic changes in the way robots move, learn, react, and physically interact with the users and environment and this flexibility should be in the software as much as the hardware, i.e. flexibility through learning.

This work will address research themes related to the problem of transferring bimanual collaborative manipulation skills to robots in a user-friendly manner. Such skills involve rich and diverse research questions such as passive/active roles switching, leader/follower behaviours, specialization, turn-taking, compliance, inter-agent synchronization, action anticipation, intention recognition in joint action and the use of non-verbal cues to communicate intent. These issues will be studied in two contexts: 1) with bidirectional social teaching interaction with the compliant humanoid robot COMAN; 2) within a manufacturing scenario with an innovative setup based on two 7 DOFs compliant manipulators with sensorized hands.

The goals of the project are to:

  • Develop a dexterous semi-autonomous teleoperation schemes for compliant Robot operating in not well defined spaces with uncertain physical interactions.
  • Cope and learn to adapt to collisions and physical interactions .
  • Exploration of haptics in teleoperation of compliant robots  for improving performance as well for providing guidance to the operator in the context of bidirectional coupling.
  • Development of data and knowledge fusion technique for the dexterous manipulation to learn how to detect collisions and react to physical interactions
  • Development of a refined control model for flexible regulation of stiffness and damping behaviours of the compliant robot

For further information on this topic contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Key eligibility criteria for the post: eligibility and mobility

To be eligible, the candidate must simultaneously fulfill the following criteria at the time of recruitment:

  1. Nationality: The candidate may be of any nationality.
  2. Mobility: At the time of recruitment, the candidate must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Italy for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment under the project. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
  3. Qualifications and research experience:  At the time of recruitment, the candidate must  not have yet been awarded a doctorate degree; and they must not have had more than 4 year of full time professional research experience. The candidate must have as a minimum an excellent Master degrees in Mechatronics / Mechanical  / Electrical engineering, or other related fields.

Employment conditions

Salary will be according to the rules for Early Stage Researchers set out in the FP7 People Work programme 2008, including living and mobility allowance (this may vary according to the family situation of the researcher).

Further information about Marie Curie projects can be found at the following link: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/mariecurieactions/home_en.html

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and detailed Curriculum Vitae to Darwin Caldwell ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) (Ref: ESR Marie Curie) with a deadline of Friday 28 February 2014.

The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, with headquarters in Genova, Italy, is a non-profit institution with the primary goal of creating and disseminating scientific knowledge and strengthening Italy’s technological competitiveness. The institute offers state-of-the-art equipment and a top-level interdisciplinary research environment focused on robotics and computer vision, neuroscience, drug discovery, and nanoscience and -technology.

In order to comply with the Italian law (art. 23 of Privacy Law of the Italian Legislative Decree n. 196/03), we have to kindly ask the candidate to give his/her consent to allow IIT to process his/her personal data.

We inform you that the information you provided will be used solely for the purpose of assessing your professional profile to meet the requirements of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.

Your data will be processed by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, with headquarters in Genoa, Via Morego, 30, acting as the Data Holder, using computer and paper based means, observing the rules on protection of personal data, including those relating to the security of data.

Please also note that, pursuant to art. 7 of Legislative Decree 196/2003, you may exercise your rights at any time as a party concerned by contacting the Data Manager.

The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 January 2014 21:31

Senior Mechanical Designer/Robotic Engineer

CB:67519

The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia 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.

The Humanoid & Human Centred Mechatronics Lab of the Department of Advanced Robotics at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) an English-language research Institute placed in Genoa, Italy, is seeking to appoint a well motivated full-time Senior Mechanical/Robot Design Engineer who will have a key research role in the area of mechanical design for the currently under development intrinsically compliant robotic platforms. We are looking for a highly motivated skilled and enthusiastic Senior Mechanical Engineer with specialization in Mechanical Design Engineering and an excellent, well established record in designing, building and analyzing robotics systems with highly customized sensing and actuation, as well as with clever, functional, and aesthetic mechanical devices.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 October 2013 15:24

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Postdoc Openings in Wearable Haptics Systems

CB:68432

The Department of Advanced Robotics at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) an English-language research Institute placed in Genoa, Italy, is seeking to appoint a well-motivated full-time post-doc that will have a key research role on the area of mechatronics and mechanical design for the currently under development wearable haptic devices. 

The selected applicant of this position will join an interdisciplinary research group and have the opportunity to pursue research within the WEARHAP (Wearable Haptics) European Commission project in collaboration with a consortium of leading universities and research institutes in Europe.  The focus of the research will be on the development and control of novel highly ergonomic and portable wearable haptic systems integrating novel design solutions and actuation principles and technologies.  The developed systems will be employed to provide effective and stable interaction between humans and teleoperated robotic machines.

We are looking for a highly motivated young scientist with a background and PhD in Robotics or Mechanical Engineering and well established publication record in one or more of the following areas: 

  • Force reflecting devices
  • Tactile displays
  • Exoskeleton and assistive robotic systems with customised sensing
  • Actuation, tactile/force sensing technologies and haptic rendering

Proficiency in hardware design and mechanism analysis with a proven portfolio of practical designs, excellent hands-on practical skills and strong competences in robot kinematics/dynamics and physical system modelling are essential. Any experience in haptic rendering and robot control is a plus.

The research will be conducted within the Department of Advanced Robotics.  International applications are encouraged.  The successful candidate will be offered a project collaboration contract (fixed term) for two years with a highly competitive salary which will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Expected starting date could be from 1st September 2013.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 13:53

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