[robotics-worldwide] 2 PhD Positions: Control and Planning for legged locomotion (in HyQ Project @ IIT)

Jonas Buchli jonas.buchli at iit.it
Tue Aug 30 09:55:42 PDT 2011

*Two PhD Positions in Control and Planning for autonomous dynamic legged
locomotion within the HyQ Project (Hydraulic Quadruped robot) @ IIT*

The Department of Advanced Robotics 
(http://www.iit.it/en/advanced-robotics) at the Italian Institute of 
Technology IIT (an English language Institute) placed in Genoa has 2 PhD 
positions within the HyQ project. Starting date is in January 2012.

We are seeking two highly motivated PhD students to work on aspects of 
control and planning of dynamic locomotion through unstructured terrains 
(e.g. running through a forest, jumping, 'orienteering'). The students 
will be working in the framework of the HyQ project. This Hydraulic 
quadruped HyQ is a unique research platform. It is a fully torque 
controlled electric/hydraulic quadruped robot equipped with inertial 
measurement units, laser range finders and stereo cameras.


Legged robots have an advantage over wheeled robots in difficult and 
unstructured environments (e.g. outdoors, accident and disaster sites, 
etc). While this is the motivation behind much of the research in legged 
robotics the actual solutions are still largely confined to rather 
simple 'laboratory conditions'. The reasons for this are many, ranging 
from mechanical and design aspects through software to challenges in 
control and theoretical difficulties. In the Department of Advanced 
Robotics at IIT we are working on the technology to change this. We are 
developing legged robots and the required control, planning and 
navigation algorithms to enable fully autonomous, fast and reliable 
operation for in- and outdoor settings.

The exact research program will be determined both based on the 
background and interests of the students and the need of the project. 
Possible research topics include but are not limited to: Control of 
floating base articulated robots, kino-dynamic planning, probabilistic 
planning & control, force & impedance control, learning and adaptive 
control of legged robots, dynamic terrain and obstacle perception and 
modeling, path planning.

The ideal candidate has an excellent background in Robotics, Control 
Engineering, Dynamical Systems or similar fields. Excellent programming 
skills are a prerequisite. It is furthermore desired that the student 
has a practical flair and a desire to do experimental work. The work 
will require elements of theoretical work, software implementation and 
field tests. The ability to collaborate across and beyond disciplines is 
a key to success in this research program.

For further details concerning the research project, please contact:
jonas.buchli at iit.it, ioannis.havoutis at iit.it or claudio.semini at iit.it

Application Procedure:

Apply on-line through:
no later than the

* 23rd of September, 2011 *

For administrative help with the application please contact Ms. 
Anastasia Bruzzone  by email (anastasia.bruzzone at iit.it 
<mailto:anastasia.bruzzone at iit.it>) or phone (+39 010 71781 472) Monday 
to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

International applications are encouraged.

Jonas Buchli, Dr., MSc EE
Dept. of Advanced Robotics
Italian Institute of Technology
+39 010 71781 925

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