Postdoctoral position in the Control of Force Feedback Systems and Teleoperation - [ Postdoc ]

Workplace: Genova, IIT
Added on: 13/03/2019 - Expires on: 15/04/2019

The Humanoids & Human Centred Mechatronics Research Line (HHCM) at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, is seeking a highly motivated post-doc to work on the control of a dexterous master teleoperation system.

The selected candidate will join an interdisciplinary team and have the opportunity to pursue research within the project “Sistemi Cibernetici Collaborativi – Teleoperation” in collaboration with INAIL (“Istituto Nazionale per l'Assicurazione contro gli Infortuni sul Lavoro” - National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work) CUP J32F17000950005.

The project will create the next-generation, collaborative master-slave teleoperation system for intuitive operation in hazard-prone industries, with the aim of reducing risks to workers’ health and safety.

Specifically, the objectives of the project are: (1) integration of a new hydraulic quadruped field robot; (2) development of a novel dexterous robotic manipulator arm for grasping and manipulation of objects; (3) development of a high performance 6 DoF force feedback master and integration of a hand exoskeleton for dexterous haptic tele-manipulation; (4) development of novel user interaction interfaces for intuitive teleoperation using augmented reality and virtual reality systems. The project will be developed within an inter-disciplinary group, in close collaboration with end-users.

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a PhD in Robotics, or other field related to the development and control of haptic feedback systems for teleoperation or VR, and an excellent track record of high quality publications and implementations in this area of research.

In this position, the candidate will have a key role in the team responsible for the development and integration of the master haptic tele-manipulation systems. The goal is to conduct research and implement appropriate control strategies at the high and low level control systems of the Haptic Master system consisting of a high performance 6DOF force-feedback device and a dexterous hand exoskeleton in order to teleoperated a slave manipulator with a robotic hand. Teleoperation will be through a highly immersive setup integrating various control modes spanning from standard bilateral teleoperation to semi-autonomous slave control and manipulation schemes. The candidate should be proficient in actuator level control for haptics, robot teleoperation, dexterous tele-manipulation, or the design and control of force feedback systems. A strong portfolio of practical projects in the above areas is highly desirable. We seek strong research and development skills in the areas of mechatronics and/or control with excellent hands-on competencies. A strong background on robot kinematics/dynamics, mechanism analysis and modelling will be highly appreciated.

The successful candidate should have a well-established publication record in one of the following areas:

  • Development and control of force feedback devices or exoskeletons
  • Integration of force and tactile sensing and feedback in teleoperation
  • Master/Slave control in bilateral teleoperation
  • Dexterous teleoperation
  • Passivity control in haptics and teleoperation
  • Teleoperation of Torque/Impedance controlled robots

The successful candidate will exploit a solid foundation of established technologies within the department. This foundation consists of extensive know-how on the design and control of mechatronics systems, key enabling technologies in haptic feedback, wearable robots, actuation, sensing, embedded control, etc. The successful candidate will take a leading role in organising the research and development activities in the assigned tasks, and accomplishing project deliverables and communications through reports and demonstrations.

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • PhD degree in one of the aforementioned areas.
  • Excellent academic writing and oral presentation skills (English) are essential.
  • Experience in the development of control and haptic feedback algorithms with object oriented languages e.g. C++ is necessary.
  • Low level control, data acquisition, and communications with embedded systems will be highly appreciated.
  • Experience with software development tools such as QT, haptics libraries such as CHAI3D and VR/Game engines such as Unity3D is welcome.
  • Experience in the development of mechatronic systems (mechanical design skills, electronics skills, etc.) would be is highly appreciated.
  • Available to attend conferences, visit fieldworks, participate in meetings and other events.

The successful candidate will be offered a highly competitive salary, which will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Expected start date is June 2019.

To apply, please send electronically a detailed CV (including list of publications), a letter outlining motivation, and names and contacts of 2 referees to ioannis.sarakoglou@iit.it and Nikhil.deshpande@iit.it by April 15, 2019 stating “IT-Post-Doc HHCM INAIL [CB 76299]” in the subject of the e-mail. Only complete applications will be evaluated.

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: dpo[at]iit.it)

Contacts

nikhil.deshpande@iit.it

ioannis.sarakoglou@iit.it
Involved Research lines
Humanoids & Human Centered Mechatronics

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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.