[robotics-worldwide] 2 PhD positions: power transmission and water hydraulics (in HyQ Project @ IIT)

Emanuele Guglielmino Emanuele.Guglielmino at iit.it
Wed Aug 31 08:21:01 PDT 2011

*Two PhD positions in power transmission systems for autonomous robots and water hydraulic technology for robotics 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 the topics detailed below. 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.


-Power transmission systems for autonomous robots

Tutors: David Branson, Dr Emanuele Guglielmino, Dr Claudio Semini and Industry Supervisor

N. of available positions: 1

The ability of a robot to operate autonomously in any environment is dependent upon its capacity to provide the necessary power. The design and testing of effective portable power supplies has therefore become increasingly important. Current robot designs show significant limitations in the duration, output, noise, weight, and environmental friendliness. What is needed is a powertrain system that addresses the need for adequate power output while maintaining a low weight and compact profile.

A Hydraulically Actuated Quadruped Robot (called HyQ) platform has been developed at IIT and provides the ideal working platform for the development and testing of such devices. The robot is able to perform highly dynamic tasks such as jumping, running and rough-terrain walking (http://www.iit.it/en/advanced-robotics/hydraulically-actuated-quadruped-hyq.html). The aim of the project is to develop a compact and light weight power transmission system for the HyQ robot to enhance power-autonomy. This will include investigating the energy storage medium (e.g. hydrogen gas, gasoline, H202, propane, etc.), electrical and hydraulic power supply systems and components. The project will also look at optimizing power transmission efficiency, reducing noise output, and the need to consider environmental and health implications.

Work will involve design, modeling, simulation, prototyping and experimental work on a team based project at IIT and with industrial partners. The candidate should ideally have a top class master's degree in Mechanical Engineering or Mechatronics or similar. Experience with power transmission systems would be a benefit but is not essential. The candidates must also have good writing and communication skills (60% mechanical design, 20% hydraulics, 20% software).

For further details concerning the research project, please contact: david.branson at iit.it<mailto:david.branson at iit.it> or emanuele.guglielmino at iit.it<mailto:emanuele.guglielmino at iit.it> or claudio.semini at iit.it<mailto:claudio.semini at iit.it>

-Water hydraulic technology for robotics

Tutors: Dr Emanuele Guglielmino, Dr David Branson

Number of available positions: 1

There is an increasing trend in hydraulic power transmission to replace petroleum-based fluids with water in an effort to reduce dependence on petroleum products. Water is more environmentally friendly, easier to dispose of. However, water (as opposed to oil) is more prone to cavitation, its lubrication is poorer, and internal leakage of the components is higher. Hence research into appropriate component selection and system design is necessary to ensure proper application.

This project will look at the introduction of a water based fluid medium to achieve tasks such as walking, trotting, jumping, and rough-terrain walking on the HyQ quadruped hydraulically-actuated robotic platform developed at IIT. The project will be initially based on a system approach using off-the-shelf components to eliminate the need for component design at the initial stage.

The outcome of the project will be first a working leg using servovalve and digital hydraulic technology, and in the long term a full version of HyQ using water hydraulics. In particular research to improve powertrain efficiency through the use of digital hydraulics will be carried out. The project will involve some control, simulation work and mechanical system design to integrate hydraulic components into the robotic structure.

The candidate should ideally have a top class master's degree (or similar) in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics or a related domain. The candidates must have good writing and communication skills. Ideal candidates should have experience in fluid dynamics, and have programming skills in C. Experience with ProE, and/or AMESim would be a benefit but is not essential.
For further details concerning the research project, please contact: emanuele.guglielmino at iit.it<mailto:emanuele.guglielmino at iit.it> or david.branson at iit.it<mailto:david.branson 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>

<mailto:anastasia.bruzzone at iit.it>) or phone (+39 010 71781 472) Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

International applications are encouraged.

Emanuele Guglielmino PhD
Team leader

Department of Advanced Robotics
Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
(Italian Institute of Technology)
Via Morego, 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
T: +39 010 71781 511
F: +39 010 71781 232
E: emanuele.guglielmino at iit.it<mailto:emanuele.guglielmino at iit.it>

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