One Post Doc in Analysis and control of lower limb exoskeleton systems - [ Postdoc ]

Workplace: Genova, IIT
Added on: 04/10/2018 - Expires on: 31/01/2019

The Rehab Techonology Lab ( of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT - is seeking to appoint one Post-Doctoral scientist to carry out research on the control of a lower limb exoskeleton system for rehabilitation purposes. The work place will be the Morego headquarters of IIT.

Rehabilitation exoskeletons are complex electromechanical devices capable of supporting (partially or totally) the body weight and the patient's movement by applying forces. They also have the ability to measure several parameters that indicate the performance of the patient during use with objectivity, repeatability and precision. This makes it possible to make accurate and quantitative evaluation of the residual motor function of the patient, allowing to tune and define optimal control strategies either for daily life actives (climbing stairs, walking on uneven terrains, etc.) and for therapeutic purposes (joint range of motions, partial assistance provided to the movement, trajectory tracking, etc.) as well as to offer feedback to the patient for motivational purposes. Control strategies for exoskeletons tend to vary widely from one design to another, combining position-based and torque/impedance-based controls. Strategies change according to the context, the task to be executed, e.g. assistive or resistive exercises, and the level of residual capabilities of the patient. Given the nature of locomotion, which could be decomposed in multiple phases, it is possible to implement multiple control states depending on the gait cycle state. State machines can be employed also to switch among different control strategies depending on the tasks: walking on stairs, over a soft terrain, along a slope or on flat ground. These are adaptable to different situations, however the main challenge lies in their implementation in a real-world device.

The aim of this project is to develop a complete control framework in order to enhance the exoskeleton performance for rehabilitation and daily-life activities for a lower-limb exoskeleton that is currently under development at IIT. This will contribute to the technical progress of the IIT experimental exoskeleton device which aims to become product in the next few years. The outcomes of this project will also be exploited to participate to the Cybathlon competition - in 2020.

Rehab Technologies Lab is an innovation lab jointly created by IIT and INAIL to develop new high tech prosthetic, orthotic and rehabilitation devices of high social impact and market potential. The Lab is primarily focused on disability and rehabilitation, and exploits a co-creation process which involves scientists, patients and therapists in all the phases of the design, realization and testing of devices developed within the lab.

Among the devices recently developed in our lab there are a polyarticulated prosthetic hand (Hannes), a motorized exoskeleton for paraplegic subjects (Twin) and a rehabilitation robot for the lower limbs and trunk (Hunova). In addition, Rehab Technologies Lab is currently working on prostheses for lower and upper limbs and robotic rehabilitation systems for neurological patients such as post stroke and multiple sclerosis patients.

The Rehab Technologies Lab has a strong expertise in robotics, innovative tools for the acquisition of surface EMG signals, signal processing of neural signals (LFPs, spikes, EEG, EMG), and open/closed-loop systems for neuroprosthetic applications in humans. 

The project will be a technological challenge in which IIT will share resources, competencies and motivation to achieve excellent results transferable to the medical field.

We are looking for a highly motivated and outstanding candidate with the following requirements:

  • Solid background in one or more of the following areas:
    • Design (simulation) and implementation of control algorithms for locomotion
    • Kinematic and dynamic modelling 
    • Motion planning and calibration
    • Signal processing
    • C, C++ (using an OOP approach)
  • PhD in related field
  • Solid publication record in the field, or relevant industrial experience

Any of the following skills will be considered a plus:

  • Previous experience on exoskeleton devices
  • A mechatronic mindset
  • Understanding of biomechanics

During the Post-Doc, the researcher will be mainly involved in:

  • Developing control algorithms and strategies for:
    • Rehabilitation purposes (see above) as well as novel strategies to offer competitive advantage compared to state of the art devices 
    • Improving the exoskeleton functionality (climbing stairs, stepping on stones, walk on uneven terrains, etc.) and performance (low-consumption trajectories or strategies) while reducing the patient effort
  • Analyzing the dynamic behavior of the exoskeleton and its interaction with the patients in order to improve its design

This position requires to work in a real-world scenario, cooperating with both engineers and clinicians.

To apply, please send your CV, publication list, cover letter and name and contacts of two referees to  keeping in cc., using “Post-Doc application – Exoskeleton Control CB 75930” as subject of the mail.

Deadline: January 31, 2019

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.

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:

Involved Research lines
Rehab Technologies - INAIL-IIT lab


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I numeri di IIT

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 ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

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.

IIT: the numbers

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.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

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.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.