The Rehab Techonology Lab (http://rehab.iit.it/) of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT - https://www.iit.it/) 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 - http://www.cybathlon.ethz.ch/ 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:
Any of the following skills will be considered a plus:
During the Post-Doc, the researcher will be mainly involved in:
This position requires to work in a real-world scenario, cooperating with both engineers and clinicians.
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.
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