[robotics-worldwide] PhD positions in Variable Impedance Haptics and Upper Limb Assistance at ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Gassert Roger gassertr at ethz.ch
Sun Jan 16 15:26:42 PST 2011


Two PhD positions are available immediately at the Rehabilitation Engineering Lab at ETH Zurich, Switzerland:

1) Variable Impedance Haptics
2) Multimodal Upper Limb Assistance in Patients with Neurological Motor Deficits, collaboration with Hocoma AG


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1) PHD POSITION IN VARIABLE IMPEDANCE HAPTICS AT ETH ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
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The Rehabilitation Engineering Lab at ETH Zurich is seeking applications for a PhD position in Variable Impedance Haptics, offered in the framework of the newly created Swiss National Center of Competence in Robotics (NCCR robotics). The position is available immediately, is fully funded and will involve interaction with several robotics groups in Switzerland.

BACKGROUND
The goal of this project is to investigate, design, control and characterize mechatronic joints which can physically match the human impedance/torque range and reproduce behavioral strategies of joints in upper and lower limbs. These joints will be integrated and evaluated in prosthetic and orthotic platforms being developed by other groups within the NCCR robotics. Requirements will be defined based on human identification studies and developments will build on earlier work on hybrid actuators consisting of active and passive (electro-)mechanical elements.

YOUR PROFILE
We are seeking candidates with an MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics, or a related discipline, with a strong background in mechanical design, robotics and controls. Good programming skills, previous experience in real-time control and human-machine interaction are a plus. If you are an integrative personality with good communication skills desiring to advance this topic with your independent working style, we are looking forward to your application.

HOW TO APPLY
Applications should be sent by e-mail to Roger Gassert (gassertr at ethz.ch) and include a statement of interest, full CV with photograph, academic transcripts and contact information of two referees.

ABOUT THE REHABILITATION ENGINEERING LAB
The Rehabilitation Engineering Lab pursues research at the frontiers of human-machine interaction and neuroscience, using robotic interfaces and non-invasive brain imaging as tools to investigate the mechanisms underlying sensorimotor control and recovery after neurological injury, and explores how the gained insights could be applied to novel modes of diagnostics, therapy and assistance. Research focuses on the design, control and (clinical) evaluation/application of robotic tools to investigate, model, restore and augment sensorimotor control in humans.

LINKS
NCCR Robotics: http://www.nccr-robotics.ch/
Rehabilitation Engineering Lab: http://www.relab.ethz.ch
ETH Zurich: http://www.ethz.ch


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2) PHD POSITION: MULTIMODAL UPPER LIMB ASSISTANCE IN PATIENTS WITH NEUROLOGICAL MOTOR DEFICITS
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Within the MUNDUS (MUltimodal Neuroprosthesis for Daily Upper limb Support) EU project, a highly modular framework is being developed to assist patients with upper extremity motor deficits due to neurodegenerative diseases or high-level spinal cord injury. Assistive components include a portable exoskeleton to compensate for the weight of the arm, functional electrical stimulation for arm and hand, and a robotic wrist/hand actuation. The assistance will be controlled by intention-detection algorithms for which a range of modalities will be investigated: intelligent objects, surface EMG, head/gaze tracking, and/or a brain computer interface.

In this context ETH Zurich and Hocoma are offering a PhD Position in the field of Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology focusing on the "Integration and control of a Multimodal Assistive Device for Upper Limb Support of Patients with neurological motor deficits".

The focus of this project is to design and implement a portable exoskeleton by interacting with the development department at Hocoma and project partners at ETH Zurich, as well as in Austria, Germany, and Italy. Within your studies you will develop an integrated, modular control concept for the assistive MUNDUS platform and explore the application of these novel technologies also to upper extremity rehabilitation research.

Your main work will be carried out at Hocoma, while the scientific guidance and PhD administration will be accompanied by the Rehabilitation Engineering Lab at ETH Zurich headed by Professor Roger Gassert in collaboration with the Neuroprosthesis Control Group (Professor Silvestro Micera) at the Automatic Control Lab at ETH Zurich.

YOUR PROFILE
We are looking for candidates with an MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics, or a related discipline, with solid knowledge in control systems (experience with real-time hardware-in-the-loop systems is a plus) and basic knowledge in electronics. Furthermore, specific experience
in mechanical design (CAD) would be a plus.
If you are an integrative personality with good communication skills (fluent in English, German is preferable) and willing to push on this interesting project with your independent working style, we are looking forward to your application.

HOW TO CONTACT US
For questions regarding this position, please contact Dr. Alexander Duschau-Wicke, Product Manager at Hocoma, Tel. +41 (0)43 444 22 00, Email: alexander.duschau-wicke at hocoma.com

Please send your complete application with a photo to: Hocoma AG, Human Resources,
Industriestrasse 4, CH-8604 Volketswil or via e-mail to personal at hocoma.com


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Prof. Dr. Roger Gassert
Rehabilitation Engineering Lab
Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems
ETH Zürich, LEO B 9.1
Leonhardstrasse 27
8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 632 32 66
E-Mail: gassertr at ethz.ch
http://www.relab.ethz.ch

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Rehab Week Zurich 2011 – One week.  Three conferences.
ICORR'11 | ICVR'11 | INRS'11 | http://www.rehabweekzurich.com/

12th IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics
ICORR 2011, June 29–July 1, http://www.icorr2011.com
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