[robotics-worldwide] [Jobs] 1 Postdoctoral position on the control of exoskeletons at Rehab Technologies, IIT, Genoa, Italy

Matteo Laffranchi Matteo.Laffranchi at iit.it
Tue Nov 6 09:24:58 PST 2018

Analysis and control of lower limb exoskeleton systems
The Rehab Techonology Lab (https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__rehab.iit.it_&d=DwIGaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=RClpZWBEu58RjEEL0OQaqkkDws3_t6yI4T70onB8bFQ&s=1_OyLYa-Kzl7afcwICHJfAMumjWYTExA20zDvqiorUg&e=) at Italian Institute of Technology (IIT - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.iit.it_&d=DwIGaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=RClpZWBEu58RjEEL0OQaqkkDws3_t6yI4T70onB8bFQ&s=hBmiMHjtNeSpGks-EF0ckJI08MynSR8lgaVMc2w_Hho&e=) is seeking to appoint one Post-Doctoral position to carry out research on the control of a lower limb exoskeleton system for rehabilitation purposes. The offered position is to be carried out at the Genova headquarters of IIT.
Rehabilitation exoskeletons are complex electromechanical devices capable of supporting (partially or totally) the body weight and the patient's movement by applying forces. They also have the ability to measure with objectivity, repeatability and precision several parameters that indicate the performance of the patient during use. This makes it possible to make accurate and quantitative evaluation of the residual motor function of the patient, allowing to tune and define optimal control strategies either for actives of daily life  (climbing stairs, walking on uneven terrains, etc.) and for therapeutic protocols (joint range of motions, level of assistance provided to the movement, trajectory tracking, etc.) as well as to offer feedback to the patient for motivational purposes. Control strategies for exoskeletons tend to vary widely from one design to another, combining position-based and torque/impedance-based controls. Strategies change according to the context (daily-life activities or rehabilitation activities), the task to be executed, e.g. assistive or resistive exercises, and the level of residual capabilities of the patient. Given the nature of locomotion, which could be decomposed in multiple phases, it is possible to implement multiple control states depending on the gait cycle state. State machines can be employed also to switch among different control strategies depending on the tasks: walking on stairs, over a soft terrain, along a slope or on flat ground. These are adaptable to different situations, hovewer the main challenge lies in their implementation in a real-world device.
The aim of this project is to develop a complete control framework in order to enhance the exoskeleton performance for rehabilitation and daily-life activities for a lower-limb exoskeleton that is currently under development at IIT. This will contribute to the technical progress of the IIT experimental exoskeleton device which aims to become product in the next few years. The outcomes of this project will also be exploited to participate to the Cybathlon competition - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.cybathlon.ethz.ch_&d=DwIGaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=RClpZWBEu58RjEEL0OQaqkkDws3_t6yI4T70onB8bFQ&s=UzMN3Jut-90-fxzjcdvnfXNw8EFkNZgzkGKJMtAvVgA&e= in 2020.
The project will be carried out at the Rehab Technologies Lab of IIT. It will be a technological challenge in which IIT will share resources, competencies and motivation to achieve excellent results transferable to the medical field.
We are looking for a highly motivated and outstanding candidate with the following requirements:
-Solid background in one or more of the following areas:

-   Design (simulation) and implementation of control algorithms for locomotion

-   Kinematic and dynamic modelling

-   Motion planning and calibration

-   Signal processing

-   C, C++ (using an OOP approach)

•PhD in related field

 - Publication record showing evidence of strong expertise in the field, or relevant industrial experience

Any of the following skills will be considered a plus:

- Previous experience on exoskeleton devices

- A pragmatic mindset

- Understanding of biomechanics and mechatronics

During the Post-Doc, the researcher will be mainly involved in:
- Analyzing the dynamic behavior of the exoskeleton and its interaction with the patients - so to improve the device design
- Developing control algorithms and strategies intended to improve the exoskeleton dexterity (climbing stairs, stepping on stones, walk on uneven terrains, etc.) and performance (low-consumption trajectories or strategies) while reducing the patient effort
This position requires to work in a real-world scenario, cooperating with both engineers and clinicians.

To apply, please send your CV, publication list, cover letter and at least one reference to matteo.laffranchi at iit.it<mailto:matteo.laffranchi at iit.it>  keeping giulio.cerruti at iit.it<mailto:giulio.cerruti at iit.it> in cc., using “Post-Doc application – Exoskeleton Control” as title of the mail.

More information about the robotics-worldwide mailing list