[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] Openings for two Marie-Curie PhD positions at Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Science Department of the Italian Institute of Technology

Gabriel Baud-Bovy baud-bovy.gabriel at hsr.it
Tue May 19 14:47:38 PDT 2015

*Openings for two Marie-Curie PhD positions at Robotics, Brain and 
Cognitive Science Department of the Italian Institute of Technology,, **

The Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Science Department (www.iit.it/rbcs 
<http://www.iit.it/rbcs>) of the Italian Institute of Technology is 
two positions funded by the Perception and Action in Complex 
Environments (PACE) network, an Innovative Training Network funded by 
the Marie Skodowska-Curie program of the European Union, which aims at 
better understanding the dynamic link between the efficient processing 
of complex perceptual inputs and the adaptive control of motor behavior. 
We are looking for excellent students (early stage researchers, ESRs) 
willing to work in a multi-disciplinary environment and spend two 
periods at the other PACE groups’ locations.

*ESR-8 (Research Theme 10). The control and representation of 
articulated objects: insights from robots
*Tutor: Dr. Francesco Nori, Prof. Gabriel Baud-Bovy
Objectives: Because of their structural rigidity, most robots strain to 
manipulate kinematically-constrained objects without causing large 
interaction forces. Thanks to its unique tactile and force sensing, the 
iCub (www.icub.org <http://www.icub.org>) is an ideal platform to study 
physical interaction, especially when kinematically constrained. While 
progresses in robotics, ranging from elastic actuators to new control 
schemes, are useful in the manipulation of such objects, the robotic 
ability to develop models of the objects they manipulate is limited. The 
project aims at developing a computational framework that might endow 
robots with such capacity by modelling human physical interaction 

*ESR-9 (Research Theme 11). Control and representation of articulated 
objects: human behavior in sighted and blind adults and children
*Tutor: Dr. Monica Gori, Prof. Gabriel Baud-Bovy
Objectives: Many actions, from opening a door to using scissors, involve 
kinematically constrained objects. It has long been recognized in 
robotics that kinematic constraints is particularly challenging it 
requires one to control the interaction at the kinematic and dynamical 
levels simultaneously.  Despite its ubiquity in everyday action, only a 
few studies have investigated how humans manipulate kinematically 
constrained objects. The general objective of this PhD project is to 
study sensory and motor processes involved in the control of these 
objects. Starting from experimental data and acquaintance with current 
computational account of motor and sensory processes, the PhD candidate 
will need to develop  a model of one from the visual observation of the 
movements of its parts and from the experience derived during its 

Candidates must have a degree that allow them to enroll in PhD program 
and don’t have a doctoral degree yet. They must be in the first four 
years of their research careers and not have resided or carried out 
their main activity in Italy for more than 12 months in the last 3 
years. The position is associated with a considerably higher salary than 
a regular studentship and offers many opportunities to travel to the 
other European partners in the network.

To apply, see Research Themes 10 and 11 in


Additional information about the ITN PACE program can be found here:


For additonal information about the application process and the research 
topic, contact Gabriel Baud-Bovy (gabriel.baud-bovy at iit.it 
<mailto:gabriel.baud-bovy at iit.it>).

**** The deadline is June 10, 2015, 12pm Italian time. *** *

Gabriel Baud-Bovy               tel.: (+39) 02 2643 4839 (office)
UHSR University                       (+39) 02 2643 3429 (laboratory)
via Olgettina, 58                     (+39) 02 2643 4891 (secretary)
20132 Milan, Italy               fax: (+39) 02 2643 4892

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