Postdoc on materials for new robot sensors - [ Postdoc ]

Workplace: Genova, IIT
Added on: 12/07/2018 - Expires on: 30/09/2018

The iCub team (https://www.iit.it/research/lines/icub)  and the Smart Materials Research Line (https://www.iit.it/research/lines/smart-materials) at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) are seeking to appoint a postdoctoral fellow to work on the topic of Materials for New Robot Sensors for our humanoid robots.

We are looking for a talented and enthusiastic postdoctoral fellow to develop robotic sensing solutions based on “smart materials” which have been recently designed at IIT. More specifically, we would like to develop large area flexible touch sensors for our humanoid robots. The project requires mixing different skills, namely, material science, electronics, and robotics. The ideal candidate is proficient in electronic design with a solid understanding of the physics of electrical circuits. Knowledge of C/C++ is a plus. We expect all design activities to stem from a principled experimental approach that satisfies the constraints imposed by the robot’s mechanics as for example its overall size, wiring, and digital connections, combined with limits of the physics of the sensors to be effective in terms of robustness, resolution, spatial distribution, etc. To this purpose, physical simulations may be employed. The resulting sensors will be tested and used directly on our robot prototypes in experiments involving human-robot physical interaction as well as object manipulation.

Additional information

This research is part of a large-scale project, funded directly by IIT, that aims at developing innovative robotic technologies based on new materials. For robots to be commercially feasible in the long term, notwithstanding the improvement of their general performance level, we must investigate issues such as cost, dependability, robustness, and sustainability. Material science bears the promise of addressing these issues consistently and for good. We have therefore funded the design of new material-based robots where for example:

  • We reduce the cost of the robot by utilizing mainly thermoplastic polymeric composites that can be either 3D printed or produced by injection molding;
  • We increase dependability and robustness by developing new materials for electronics that can be directly integrated on the robot’s scaffold/structure;
  • We develop better flexible sensors that can be stretched and deformed without breaking;
  • We reduce the power requirement by utilizing neuromorphic sensing strategies which are intrinsically low-power;
  • We investigate the use of sustainable materials that can biodegrade at the end of their life.

Required qualifications/skills

  • PhD in, robotics, electronic engineering, materials for electronic or related fields;
  • Knowledge of C/C++ programming languages and Linux/Windows main development tools;
  • Knowledge of the main electronic development tools (ADD);
  • Ability to communicate proficiently in English (written and spoken);
  • Experience in robotics.

Desired skills

  • Knowledge of basic electronic fabrication methods;
  • Knowledge of typical robotic sensing technologies and more specifically tactile sensors;
  • Experience in processing of polymeric composite materials and conductive materials;
  • Experience in development of digital electronic circuits.

The successful candidate will be offered a salary commensurate to experience and skills.

Please apply by September 30th, 2018, by sending your application to applications@iit.it quoting exactly BC72908 – SM1 – Postdoc on materials for new robot sensors in the e-mail subject. Your application shall contain a detailed CV, a research statement, and contact information of two reference persons.

Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT, http://www.iit.it) is a non-profit institution that promotes technological development and higher education in science and technology. IIT’s research program seeks innovation and following a multidisciplinary approach at all levels. Our scientists can count on state of the art laboratories. Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.

 

Please note that the data that you provide will be used exclusively for the purpose of  professional profiles’ evaluation and selection, and in order to meet the requirements of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.

Your data will be processed by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, based in Genoa, Via Morego 30, acting as Data Controller, in compliance with the rules on protection of personal data, including those related to data security.

Please also note that, pursuant to articles 15 et. seq. of European Regulation no. 679/2016 (General Data Protection Regulation), you may exercise your rights at any time by contacting the Data Protection Officer (phone +39 010 71781 - email: dpo@iit.it)

Contacts

applications@iit.it
Involved Research lines
iCub Smart Materials

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Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

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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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