[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD Opening on "3D Perception for Humanoid Robots", at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genoa

Dimitrios Kanoulas dimitrios.kanoulas at iit.it
Thu Apr 30 05:54:54 PDT 2015

*PhD Opening on "3D Perception for Humanoid Robots", at the Italian Institute
of Technology (IIT), Genoa*

*Official Link*:  IIT-PhD Opening Call
<http://www.iit.it/en/openings/phd-calls.html>   and  PhD_Calls.pdf

*Where:* Department of Advanced Robotics (ADVR-IIT) at the Istituto Italiano
di Tecnologia (IIT), in Genoa, Italy.

*Starting Date*: November 2015

*Deadline*:  June 10, 2015 noon (Italian time/CET).

*Title*: 3D Perception for Humanoid Robots: Rough terrain locomotion and
Free-form object manipulation.

*Tutors*: Dr. Dimitrios Kanoulas, Dr. Nikos Tsagarakis

*Description*: After Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 the need of
robots to deal with unstructured environments and replace humans in
hazardous tasks became one of the main open problems in robotics. Rapid
advancements in actuation and control over the last few years enabled
articulated humanoid robots to both walk in uneven terrain and perform
dexterous manipulation using their hands. These capabilities are usually
gained without using 3D perception at all, by assuming that either the
environment is mostly known and well-structured, or the uncertainty can be
tolerated by low-level feedback control. In real world scenarios these
assumptions may not hold. 3D perception is required! The problem of foot
placement in rough terrain (for example in a rocky trail) for walking or the
problem of grasping free-formed objects (for example a rock) using 3D
perception remains one of the central challenges in robotics and is the key
aspect for completing locomotion or manipulation tasks in unknown

The aim of this topic is to develop new environment reconstruction
techniques that enable humanoid robots to perform both legged locomotion and
manipulation tasks in unstructured environments using *3D perception for
foot or hand placement*. The state-of-the-art 3D perception sensors will be
used (stereo/time-of-flight cameras, laser sensors, or structured light
systems) along with other perception sensors like tactile, force control, or
IMU ones. The dense 3D point cloud that is acquired from a range sensor will
require some geometric simplifications for reasoning the contact between the
robot's foot/hand and an area in the environment. Modeling these contact
areas around and on a robot while using *Simultaneous Localization and
Mapping (SLAM)* techniques for creating and keeping a map of these with
respect to the robot is a key aspect for completing these tasks. The
developed methods will be tested both in simulation and on a real full-size
humanoid robot (WALK-MAN). The project is interdisciplinary since perception
needs to be combined with path planning and control techniques for making
the actual robot complete a task. Thus the collaboration with other members
of the project will be required into that direction. The work activity of
this theme will be in line with the developments of the WALK-MAN EU project

*Details* can be found under the WALK-MAN website: www.walk-man.eu or under

*Requirements*: This topic lies in the intersection of Computer Vision and
Robotics. Ideal applicants should have strong analytical and programming
skills (C/C++). A relevant degree is required, for instance in Computer
Science or Engineering. A background in Robotics/Computer Vision is
desirable, while knowledge of the Robot Operating System (ROS), the Point
Cloud Library (PCL), or the Open Source Computer Vision Library (OpenCV) is
a big plus. The applicants should be fluent in English and team players.

*Reference*: Dimitrios Kanoulas, "Curved Surface Patches for Rough Terrain
Perception", Ph.D Thesis, 2014.

*Contacts*: dimitrios.kanoulas at iit.it, nikos.tsagarakis at iit.it

/  Best Regards
  Dimitrios Kanoulas, Ph.D.
  Postdoctoral Researcher 

  Dept of Advanced Robotics (ADVR)
  Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT-Genova)
  Via Morego 30,Genova 16163, Italy

  e-mail: [hidden email]
  url: http://dkanou.github.io//

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