[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD Position available in Soft Exoskeleton for Upper Limb Assistance/Augmentation at Nanyang Technological University (NTU, Singapore)

Lorenzo MASIA lorenzo.masia at ntu.edu.sg
Mon Jun 15 19:46:57 PDT 2015

PhD Position available in Soft Exoskeleton for Upper Limb
Assistance/Augmentation at Nanyang Technological University (NTU, Singapore)

Robotic exoskeletons have been developed for a large number of applications
and now they represent the new frontiers in human augmentation and assistive
devices. Such kind of technology is mainly devoted to assist in activities
of daily living or rehabilitation for people who suffer from neurological
impairments of spinal cord injuries. Exoskeletons have been extensively
designed for walking assistance, with stationary solutions, mounted over
treadmill in hospitals and used to provide gait and retraining or
rehabilitation. All these solutions were mainly focused on lower limb, while
for the upper limb assistance at present few effective devices have been
developed. The reason can be found in the complexity of the actions that a
human arm/hand must perform, starting form a simple movement of the shoulder
which involves multiple degrees of freedom, to a series of complex
manipulation of objects that are usually made by using the hands. That's why
the technologies for upper limb rehabilitation are bulky systems, usually
designed for mobilization of elbow and shoulder, and deployed in hospitals
for constrained induced motion therapy. 
The present project aims at designing a new concept of assistive devices
based on soft materials. The use of the system will be mainly devoted to
provide assistance to arm movement for elders or neurologically impaired
subjects, lacking of capacity of motion and arm/hand dexterity. Assisting
individuals, able-bodied or patients with partial impairments poses
particular challenges, especially when using robotic devices or
exoskeletons. To work toward these goals, we propose a new paradigm in
assistive device design, which we call soft clothing-like Exosuits. These
are devices that use textiles to interface with the body and apply joint
torques via tensile forces over the outside of the body in parallel with the
muscles, using the bone structure to support compressive loads.
The scope of the project is merging two main expertise in mechatronics and
smart clothing design and to develop a new wearable exoskeleton for human
assistance. Furthermore the exoskeleton (or Exosuit) will be powered by a
novel generation of actuators based on tendon driven transmission which will
be integrated in the textiles such as  new sensing technology using carbon
nanotubes to detect muscles activity and motion from the user. 
The long goal is to create a portable wearable Exosuit that assists or
augments people with disabilities and lack of muscular control, by providing
assistance and reducing metabolic expenditure when carrying or manipulating
a load during activities of daily living. 
The candidate will be enrolled in a vibrant and multidisciplinary
environment and she/he will be asked to join the team working on the project
by providing inputs and improvements in the design and characterization of
the device, for both the engineering counterpart and the research related to
smart wearable textiles. More specifically we aim at designing a new kind of
device made by intelligent garments which will embed wearable
instrumentations such as conductive materials, electromyography and
biosignal sensors in general, and will allow to have a product based on high
tech solutions, simplicity and superior ergonomics compared on pre-existing
Your profile: We are looking for excellent applicants with a Bachelor or
Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, Robotics, Computer Science, Applied
Mathematics, Materials Science or a related area of study, who are motivated
to carry out internationally leading research. 

Knowledge in one or more of the following topics is mandatory: robotics and
mechatronics, control design, computer-aided design (CAD), computational
structural mechanics, computational design, applied computing and applied
artificial intelligence.

What we are offering: The PhD positions are fully funded with a competitive
salary (tuition fee is covered by NTU). You will be part of a highly
motivated, international team at one of the most competitive universities in
Asia and in the world. Besides working in our growing, ambitious team you
will also have the chance to collaborate with numerous faculty, other labs
and industrial partners co-funding the project.

PhD starting date January 2016, application deadline is 30th June 2015.
PhD starting date August 2016, application starts after 15th July 2015.

Application: Please contact at first Asst Prof Lorenzo MASIA for further
info by email: lorenzo.masia at ntu.edu.sg

How to apply:
•         Apply to IGS:
•         Incomplete submission will be rejected. Please visit
http://admissions.ntu.edu.sg/graduate/R-Programs/Pages/default.aspx to find
out details on how to apply before making a formal application.
•         For admission requirements, please kindly refer to
•         For admission procedures, please kindly refer to
•         A list of PhD research projects for prospective students is
available at
under the heading of PhD Research Projects.

Lorenzo MASIA, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor |
Robotics Research Center
Division of Mechatronics and Design 
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
Nanyang Technological University  
N3.2-02-46, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798  
Tel: (65) 6790-6239 GMT+8h | Email: lorenzo.masia at ntu.edu.sg  
Web: www.lorenzomasia.info 

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