[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD Position in Haptics and Robotics at Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) and University of Pisa

Matteo Bianchi matteobianchi23 at gmail.com
Tue May 19 03:55:02 PDT 2015

*[jobs] Ph.D. Position available at Advanced Robotics Department, Italian
Institute of Technology (IIT) and Research Center ''E. Piaggio'',
University of Pisa*

*Title:** Design of  mathematical models, sensing systems and **haptic
devices** for soft robotics manipulation and HRI*

Tutors:* Dr. Matteo Bianchi* and  *Prof. Antonio Bicchi *

*Manipulation is the most important action humans rely on to explore and
interact with the external environment.*

*It is not hence surprising that a lot of effort in robotic research has
been devoted to the design and development of robotic hands, with the goal
of achieving performance ideally comparable with the human ones.*
*Recently, manipulation with the environment, as opposed to manipulation of
or in the environment, has gained an increasing attention as a novel avenue
of robotics research. According to this approach, hereinafter referred to
as Soft Manipulation, the physical constraints imposed by objects in the
environment and the manipulandum itself are not regarded as obstacles, but
rather as opportunities or environmental constraints (EC), which enable
robust grasping and manipulation in dynamic, open, and highly variable
environments. The key ingredient for the exploitation of EC is softness of
hands, i.e. their embodied ability to comply and adapt to features of the
environment. However, f**or a correct exploitation of EC, it is important
to study human behavior in grasp and manipulation and to devise control
principles for artificial systems.*
*To achieve this goal, what is important is to design and develop sensing
systems for both human and robotic hands and upper limbs. Furthermore,
since (soft) robotic hands can have applications in prosthetics, assistive
devices and Human Robot Interaction (HRI) tasks, it is also crucial to
suitably convey back the sensed information to the user, to maximize the
knowledge on the external environment and allow an effective and safe task
*Under this regard, what is also necessary is the correct identification of
the information to be sensed and the development of wearable and intuitive
haptic systems.*
*In this program, the candidate's work will follow a multi-disciplinary
approach, to deal with: (1) the study and analysis of human sensory-motor
behavior, according to the recent motor control theories, such as
synergistic approach; (2) the generalization of these findings to extract
control principles and design for robotic devices; (3) the development of
sensing systems, for robotic and human hands (upper limbs) and (4) of
intuitive systems for haptic feedback.*

*We are seeking for highly motivated candidates with a background in
robotics and/or mechanical/control/electronic/computer engineering with
focus on robotics. This is a multidisciplinary project where the successful
candidates should have knowledge and/or interest in modeling and analysis
of human sensory-motor behavior.*

*Contacts*: matteo.bianchi at iit.it; bicchi at centropiaggio.unipi.it

Please note that the deadline for applications is *June 19, 2015*, NOON,
Italy time (Local time: GMT+2).

Matteo Bianchi, PhD


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

Research Center "E.Piaggio"
School of Engineering - University of Pisa
Largo Lucio Lazzarino 1, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Email: matteo.bianchi at iit.it <matteo.bianchi at centropiaggio.unipi.it>
Web:  http://www.piaggio.ing.unipi.it/~bianchi

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