The Humanoids and Human Centred Mechatronics Research Line at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) (an English language Institute, placed in Genoa) is seeking a fully funded 6 months fellow (Msc should have been completed), with a strong ambition to pursue a research career, to work on one of our EU-funded WALK-MAN (www.walk-man.eu, video: youtu.be/kZzwVwzAWME, video: youtu.be/7UectbjusCI), CogIMon (cogimon.eu), and/or CENTAURO (www.centauro-project.eu) humanoid robots.
We are looking for highly motivated candidates with a MSC degree in Electrical/Computer Engineering.
Potential Topics (one should be selected):
After Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 the need of robots to deal with unstructured environments and replace humans in hazardous tasks became one of the main open problems in robotics. Rapid advancements in actuation and control over the last few years enabled articulated legged robots to walk in uneven terrain and manipulate several objects. Still, the problems of 1) foot placement in rough terrain for navigation and 2) tool manipulation and reasoning in uncertain setups using 3D perception, remain two of the main challenges in robotics and are the key aspects for completing several tasks in unknown environments.
The aim of this topic is to develop new geometric or machine learning (e.g. deep learning) methods for environment reconstruction and cognition that enable limbed robots, such as WALK-MAN (http://www.walk-man.eu/), CENTAURO (https://www.centauro-project.eu) , or CogIMon (https://cogimon.eu) to perform legged locomotion and manipulation in unstructured environments using 3D perception for foot-placement and hand/arm/wholebody-placement for path planning and mapping (SLAM). Several exteroceptive (stereo/event/rgb cameras, RGB-D sensors, 2D/3D lidar scanners) sensors will be used on our limbed robots, to acquire RGB images and dense 3D point clouds. Geometric simplifications for reasoning the contact between the robot's body (e.g., foot, hands, arms) and the environment will need to take place. Moreover, path planning methods need to be developed to extract primitives for locomotion and manipulation. The development and testing will take place on our full-size humanoid/quadrupedal robots in real-world environments.
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), with its 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, nanoscience and technology.
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