Post doc position in Event-Driven Perception for Humanoid Robots at the iCub Facility - [ Postdoc ]

Workplace: Genova, IIT
Added on: 10/10/2017 - Expires on: 10/04/2018

We are seeking candidates for one postdoctoral position in the Event-Driven Perception for Robotics Research Line (EDPR) at iCub Facility under the supervision of Chiara Bartolozzi ( at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT).

EDPR aims to induce a paradigm shift in robotics, leveraging on the emerging concept of "event-driven" sensing and processing, which captures the changing dynamics of the external world with unprecedented detail and, similarly to neural coding, uses time to encode sensory information.

The successful candidate will use the event-driven visual (event cameras) and tactile sensors present on the event-driven iCub humanoid robot, and will develop models and architectures capable of interpreting and learning from the spatio-temporal information, to extract relevant information and plan appropriate behavior. In particular, the candidate will be in a unique position to exploit recent advances in machine learning for visual perception, in combination with novel biologically inspired sensors and the accompanying biological-grounded learning models.

We are looking for highly motivated people, with a passion to work in robotics and the skills to develop algorithms and models to make a robot interact smoothly and in real time with a highly-dynamic environment. We are looking for an inquisitive mind with the curiosity to use the novel brain-inspired challenging technology, which requires rethinking sensory processing, active perception and control.

The successful candidate should have the following skills:

  • PhD in computational neuroscience, neuromorphic engineering, machine learning, signal processing, computer vision or related areas, preferably applied to robotics
  • The ability to analyze, improve and propose new algorithms and models
  • Good knowledge of C, C++ programming languages with a proved experience as well as familiarity with YARP or ROS, and development tools including CMake, and Git will be considered a plus
  • Candidates are also expected to participate in team-work, PhD tutoring and general lab-related activities. Teaching is not required but possible upon request at University of Genova.

    What we offer

    The iCub is an open-source child robot designed to support research in the themes of learning, control, cognition and interaction, both at IIT and worldwide. More than 36 robots are currently located in many different labs, fostering an ever growing robotics community using the same platform and sharing knowledge. The iCub Facility is the main development centre of the iCub humanoid robot, and aims to lead the development of the iCub in hardware development, with a continuous update to incorporate new technologies, and software development, evolving its cognitive skills and capabilities. The iCub Facility offers a range of strongly interdisciplinary expertise in perception, control, machine learning, electronics and mechanics for robotics.

    The Event-Driven Perception for Robotics group is specifically targeting the development of perception based on the novel event-driven technology for sensing and computation. The lab offers a unique iCub platform, which is equipped with event-driven sensors for vision (coupled with high resolution frame-based cameras) and touch, together with neuromorphic platforms for embedded implementations of spiking neural networks (such as SpiNNaker or ROLLS).

    The successful candidate would have the opportunity to benefit from an extensive set of existing collaborations with renowned scientists in the neuromorphic community (G. Indiveri - UZH, R. Benosman - UPMC, E. Chicca - U. Bielefeld, S. Furber - U. Manchester) and beyond (D. Scaramuzza - UZH, S. Panzeri - IIT).

    The salary will be commensurate to qualification and experience and in line with European standards.

    Interested candidates should email their application to and Dr. Chiara Bartolozzi (, emailing their CV, a brief statement of research interests, and names and email addresses of 2 referees.

    Please quote “Post doc positions in Event-Driven Perception for Humanoid Robots — IIT (Genova) — CB: 71977” in the subject.

    The deadline for applications is April 10, 2018.

    For reference please see: 

    Glover A. and Bartolozzi C. Event-driven ball detection and gaze fixation in clutter. In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2016), pp. 2203–2208, October 2016.

    Vasco, V., Glover, A., Mueggler, E., Scaramuzza, D., Natale, L., & Bartolozzi, C. Independent motion detection with event-driven cameras. In 18th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR 2017), pp. 530-536, July 2017.

    1. Akolkar, C. Meyer, O. Marre, C. Bartolozzi, S. Panzeri, X. Clady, and R.B. Benosman. What can neuromorphic event-driven precise timing add to spike-based pattern recognition? Neural Computation, 27(3):561 – 593, May 2015.

    Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia – IIT ( was founded with the objective of promoting Italy’s technological development and further education in science and technology. In this sense, IIT's scientific program is based on the combination of basic scientific research with the development of technical applications, a major inspirational principle. The research areas cover scientific topics of high innovative content representing the most advanced frontiers of modern technology, with wide application possibilities in various fields ranging from medicine to industry, from computer science to robotics, life sciences and nanobiotechnology.

    In order to comply with Italian law (art. 23 of Privacy Law of the Italian Legislative Decree n. 196/03), the candidate is kindly asked to give his/her consent to allow IIT to process his/her personal data. We inform you that the information you provide will be solely used 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 its headquarters in Genoa, Via Morego 30, acting as the Data Holder, using computer and paper-based means, observing the rules on the 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.

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


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    Event-Driven Perception for Robotics


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    L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

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    Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

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    In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

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