Every year, the Dynamic Legged Systems lab (HyQ Project)
has open PhD positions
in the PhD Program Bioengineering and Robotics (curriculum: Advanced and Humanoid Robotics)
of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), an English language Institute. All the positions are fully funded.
At the moment we have in our group the following open PhD position:
Hydraulic Quadruped Robots: Recovery Strategies for Dynamic Locomotion on Irregular Surfaces
Tutors: Michele Focchi, Victor Barasuol and Claudio Semini
Research Line: Dynamic Legged Systems lab, Dept. of Advanced Robotics (IIT)
To apply for this position, in the online application, choose the following course/theme:
Course in: BIOENGINEERING AND ROBOTICS
Curriculum: ADVANCED AND HUMANOID ROBOTICS (CODE 7698)
Research theme 1: 6 Hydraulic Quadruped Robots: Recovery Strategies for Dynamic Locomotion on Irregular Surfaces
Description: The Hydraulic Quadruped robot -HyQ- is a fully torque-controlled hydraulically actuated quadruped robot, capable of locomotion over rough terrain and performing highly dynamic tasks such as jumping and running with a variety of gaits, e.g. [1,2]. It is a unique research platform, designed for unstructured environments, e.g. outdoors and disaster sites. These environments present several challenges to locomotion. Using a vision feedback,it is possible to plan appropriate motions that are taking into consideration the features of the terrain. Long term planning methods could deal with these terrains, but they reach their limits because they are inherently unable to cope with accumulation of errors. These errors can be due to tracking/filtering delays, inaccuracy of the 3D map, modeling errors, sensor calibration errors, unforeseen events (external pushes, slipping, rock falling) or simply by the fact that terrain can be changing (e.g. rolling stones). These errors would make the robot state drift away from the original plan. Recovery strategies (based on a map of the environment) can help to mitigate these errors [3,4].
This position will focus on the design of successful recovery strategies for stabilization to deal with a variety of terrain (e.g. climbing stairs, pile of rubble) in face of unpredicted situations (e.g. external pushes, stepping on rolling rocks or slippery surfaces).
Requirements: Background in robotics, computer science, electrical engineering or mechanical engineering. Mandatory: Basic knowledge on control and signal processing. Understanding of robot kinematics and dynamics, strong
C++ skills. Creativity, problem-solving skills. Passionate for robotics and legged locomotion. Experience in Matlab. Desired but not mandatory: basic knowledge on neural networks and machine learning, 3D mapping, ROS and Python.
 V. Barasuol, J. Buchli, C. Semini, M. Frigerio, E. R. De Pieri, D. G. Caldwell, A Reactive Controller Framework for Quadrupedal Locomotion on Challenging Terrain. IEEE ICRA, 2013.
 M. Focchi, A. del Prete, I. Havoutis, R. Featherstone, D. G. Caldwell, C. Semini, High-slope terrain locomotion for torque-controlled quadruped robots. Autonomous Robots, 2017.
 V. Barasuol, M. Camurri, S. Bazeille, D. Caldwell, C. Semini, Reactive Trotting with Foot Placement Corrections through Visual Pattern Classification. IEEE/RSJ IROS, 2015.
 O. A. Villarreal, V. Barasuol, M. Camurri, L. Franceschi, M. Focchi, M. Pontil, D. G. Caldwell, C. Semini, Fast and Continuous Foothold Adaptation for Dynamic Locomotion Through CNNs. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2019.
Guidelines for the PhD application
, including the tag [PHD2019]
in the email's subject
: For a valid application, it is required that you fill the "Università Degli Studi Di Genova online application". All PhD courses at IIT are organized in collaboration with the University of Genoa. Information on the official PhD call and the full details and information on the application procedure are published here:
http://phd.dibris.unige.it/biorob/index.php/how-to-apply, while the online application link is: https://unige.it/usg/it/dottorati-di-ricerca.
PLEASE NOTE THE DEADLINE FOR ONLINE APPLICATION - June 12nd, 2019 NOON, Italy time (CEST)
Please note that the online application procedure requires preparing and uploading a set of documents before the deadline. You first need to register online and then proceed to the online application.
It's strongly recommended to start the application process well before the deadline!
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