[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] 3 Fully-Funded PhD openings in Touch-Enabled Robotics and Haptics in Aix-Marseille University, France

Michael Wiertlewski michael.wiertlewski at univ-amu.fr
Mon Aug 22 08:37:37 PDT 2016


The Biorobotics group at the Aix-Marseille Université in France has 3 fully funded PhD openings related to robotic tactile sensing and surface-haptic interfaces. The positions are expected to begin early October 2016. 

1) Design of a biomimetic soft fingertip for robotic touch
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Human hands owe their impressive dexterity to the tactile perception of the environment. In particular the sense of touch has the unique ability to gauge friction and detect slippage with the object held in hand. This project aims to bring tactile sensory capabilities to robotic manipulator via a ground up approach based on bio-inspired sensors. The objective of this thesis is to develop tactile sensors for estimating the contact condition between the artificial skin and the object held. 

Expected Profile:
Applicants should have a strong background in mechatronics, robotics or other relevant fields. Students with a Master degree in mechanical engineering, manufacturing, electrical engineering will be given priority. 
Proficiency in CAD and Finite Element Analysis software such as COMSOL is appreciated. 
	
2) Computer touch framework for robotic manipulation
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Touch is an important part of human dexterity. Lately more and more robots are leveraging tactile cues to improve motion planning to execute precise and robust manipulation. However the richness of the data produced by robotic tactile sensors is barely exploited. This thesis aims to explore the building blocks of signal processing that empowers artificial touch. Of particular interest is the transformation between the raw data produced by robotic skin to a rich tactile scene that contains relevant information about the compliance of the surface, state of slippage and the presence of edges. 

Expected Profile:
Applicants should hold a Master degree or an Engineering diploma in mechanical engineering, acoustics, manufacturing or electrical engineering and have a strong background in mechatronics, robotics or other relevant fields.
Proficiency in CAD and Finite Element Analysis software such as COMSOL is appreciated. 


3) High-fidelity Surface-Haptics interface
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Our lab develop haptic interfaces that produce tactile features directly to the finger sliding on a flat glass plate by modulating its friction, see doi:10.1073/pnas.1603908113. The ANR-funded IOTA project aims to leverage high-fidelity interfaces to control optical tweezers, which are developed by our colleagues at ISIR/Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris. This instrument allows anyone to interact with micro-scale objects. Because of the difference of scale, the mechanical interaction with the micro-world is highly unintuitive and this thesis will explore how to design surface haptic display, based on ultrasonic friction modulation technology, to provide a high-fidelity tactile rendering that will make it possible to feel the micro-world directly with bare fingertips.

Expected Profile:
Applicants should hold a Master degree or an Engineering diploma in mechanical engineering, acoustics, or electrical engineering and should have a strong background in control and mechatronics. 


Environment:
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The research is to take place at the Biorobotics lab of the Aix-Marseille University in the south of France. This group is internationally recognized and foster collaboration eminent researchers both in robotics and neuroscience. The laboratory has strong ties with industrial partners and has more than 30 years of major contributions to visual perception and its application to the development of bio-inspired sensors used to control robots. The laboratory is equipped with a workshop that includes 3D printers and CNC machines, electronic workstation, and all the facilities that will ensure the success of this endeavor. 
Candidates will be under the supervision of Dr. Michael Wiertlewski (all subject) and Dr. Stéphane Viollet (subject 1 and 2) and Prof. Vincent Hayward (subject 3).

How to apply
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Send us an email with a CV, transcripts and a statement of interest to michael.wiertlewski at univ-amu.fr <mailto:michael.wiertlewski at univ-amu.fr>


Michael Wiertlewski
CNRS Research Scientist
Aix-Marseille Université
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