[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] 1 postdoc and 2 PhD positions at Italian Institute of Technology, Genoa, Italy (Luca Brayda)

Luca Brayda luca.brayda at iit.it
Sat Apr 9 11:17:21 PDT 2016


Three positions are available at the IIT (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia) institute,
Research Unit: RBCS (Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences)
Division: Spatial Awareness and Multisensory Perception  
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.iit.it_rbcs&d=CwIFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=kbuuJnUs-jcLRkhnrm3_oLLPhM2VM33oQ8ymGt1Pi9w&s=TooMAJLxPuTI0edR6pIKtK1By__iS-1QNCUaOklAvk4&e= 

A) ***Post-doctoral position: Interaction Design in Haptic-based Mediated Rehabilitaton ***

Tutor: Dr. Luca Brayda

Description: Goal of the project (start date: August 2016, duration: 12 months) is to facilitate the construction of cognitive maps in sensory disabled persons, by means of haptic devices that are controlled by rehabilitation practitioners. 
Specifically, a rehabilitation practitioner will interact with a patient mainly by means of haptic cues (tactile, vibrotactile and kinesthetic), however using impoverished communication channels. The researcher will have to establish under which circumstances haptic communications between the two actors can lead to non ambiguous messages and which communication strategies to adopt in case of unsuccessful information exchange. The researcher will test the designed interaction schemes directly with end users. The main target tasks are haptic stimulations in absence of vision. The project will lead to novel rehabilitation practices for person with visual disabilities.
Examples of devices that will be used are the Tactile Mouse [1] the prototypes developed within the WU FP7 project Blindpad [2]

Requirements: Candidates should have a PhD in Interaction Design, HCI, cognitive sciences or biomedical/computer science engineering.
The research activities will take place at IIT in Genoa. The working language of the institute is English. An internationally competitive salary, dependent on experience, will be offered.
Interested applicants should submit CV, list of publications, names of 2 referees. Please send your application to the following email address: 

luca.brayda at iit.it
 
Deadline: >>> June 30th, 2016 <<<<

References
[1] L. Brayda, C. Campus, M. Memeo, L. Lucagrossi
The importance of visual experience, gender and emotion in the assessment of an assistive tactile mouse, IEEE Transaction on Haptics, 2015
[2] Juan Jose Zarate, Giordano Tosolini, Simona Petroni, Herbert Shea, Massimo De Vittorio, „Optimization of the force and power consumption of a microfabricated magnetic actuator for haptic applications“,Sensors and Actuators A: Physical 2015

B) ***Phd position: Spatial awareness through egocentric on-body tactile stimulation***

Tutor: Dr. Luca Brayda, Dr. Fabrizio Leo

Description: 

The construction of cognitive maps relies on multisensory cues that inform about physical features of external structures, namely the presence of buildings, doors, obstacles or generic points of interests. However, the mutual relation of the diverse features must include continuous knowledge of our own position and orientation over time. This last constraint is at stake when visual loss occurs and poses a major challenge when blind persons need to acquire, combine and keep in memory information about surrounding objects. This research is focused on projecting and coding parts of environmental information onto the human body, under the form of tactile stimulations. The chosen modality is particularly attractive because it can pair new tactile, artificial, punctual information with existing, acoustic, natural and ecological global input. The methodology is to establish optimal body loci where tactile stimulation can occur, then design targeted stimuli which are able to quickly and easily inform about environmental features. The goal is to build assistive technologies which can increase spatial awareness by displaying a number of spatial cues. These cues have to be easily learnable and recognizable through touch over time, when vision is not available. The system will have potential use in rehabilitation programs for blind and visually impaired persons, therefore increasing the level of social inclusion of weak components of the society.
Requirements: a degree in Computer Science Engineering, Bioengineering or equivalent, with high interests in human sciences. Expertise in Assistive Technologies, and Haptics will constitute factors of preference.

Instructions to apply:

Build an on-line application following instructions here: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.studenti.unige.it_postlaurea_dottorati_XXXII_ENG_&d=CwIFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=kbuuJnUs-jcLRkhnrm3_oLLPhM2VM33oQ8ymGt1Pi9w&s=rsPTjK22e8hKwbylMSscvxKgWG3-i6opo26H9cDSsqY&e= 
When asked, choose the “Cognitive robotics, interaction and rehabilitation technologies” schools, Theme number 11
Deadline: >>>>>June 10th 2016<<<<<<

References:

- Brayda L, Campus C., Memeo M, Lucagrossi, The importance of visual experience, gender and emotion in the assessment of an assistive tactile mouse, Journal of IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2015
- Oliveira V., Nedel L., Maciel A., Brayda L., Spatial Discrimination of Vibrotactile Stimuli Around the Head, in Proc of IEEE Haptics Symposium 2016
- Ortiz, Tomás, et al. "Occipital cortex activation by long-term repetitive tactile stimulation is necessary for object recognition in blinds: A case report." Neurocase 20.3 (2014): 273-282.

Contacts: luca.brayda at iit.it , fabrizio.leo at iit.it 

C)***Phd position: Improving orientation and mobility skills in visually impaired persons by means of programmable tactile displays***

Tutor: Dr. Luca Brayda, Dr. Fabrizio Leo

Description: 

The lack of vision has usually a negative impact on spatial cognition which ultimately limits independence and autonomy in blind users. A key aspect of this limitation is represented by the difficulties blind people experience in the development of orientation and mobility skills both in indoor and outdoor environments. These difficulties are due, at least partially, to qualitative differences in spatial coding and to limited imagery abilities in blind compared to sighted people. Furthermore, blind users have impoverished access to pre-route information due to its scarcity in a suitable format. This research is focused on finding the most effective way to represent spatial maps of environments using tactile cues presented with pin-array displays. While there are evidences that blind users might prefer route-like representations of environments, those who are able to use survey-like representations show better orientation and mobility performances.  The methodology will be to identify the crucial cues describing complex environments which, in particular, facilitate survey representations. Detailed assessments of these technological solutions including actual exploration performance (e.g. motion capture) and usability measurements will be executed both in indoor and outdoor environments. This project will provide useful instruments in rehabilitation programs for blind and visually impaired persons, therefore improving their autonomy.
Requirements: a degree in Computer Science Engineering, Bioengineering, Experimental Psychology or equivalent. Expertise in Assistive Technologies, and Motion Capture modeling will constitute factors of preference.

Instructions to apply:
- Build an on-line application following instructions here: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.studenti.unige.it_postlaurea_dottorati_XXXII_ENG_&d=CwIFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=kbuuJnUs-jcLRkhnrm3_oLLPhM2VM33oQ8ymGt1Pi9w&s=rsPTjK22e8hKwbylMSscvxKgWG3-i6opo26H9cDSsqY&e= 
- When asked, choose the “Cognitive robotics, interaction and rehabilitation technologies” schools, Theme number 12
- Deadline: >>>>>June 10th 2016<<<<<<

References:
- Lahav, Orly, David W. Schloerb, and Mandayam A. Srinivasan. "Rehabilitation program integrating virtual environment to improve orientation and mobility skills for people who are blind." Computers & education 80 (2015): 1-14.
- Eardley, Alison F., et al. "Allocentric Spatial Performance Higher in Early-Blind and Sighted Adults Than in Retinopathy-of-Prematurity Adults." Perception (2015)
- Brock, Anke M., et al. "Interactivity Improves Usability of Geographic Maps for Visually Impaired People." Human–Computer Interaction 30.2 (2015): 156-194.

Contacts: luca.brayda at iit.it , fabrizio.leo at iit.it 



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Luca Brayda, PhD
Researcher, Team Leader
Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences dept.
ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI TECNOLOGIA
Via Morego, 30 - 16163 Genova
t: +39 010 71781527
f: +39 010 71781234

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