IRI is a Joint University Research Institute participated by the Spanish
National Research Council (CSIC) and the Technical University of
Catalonia (UPC) that conducts research in human-centered robotics and
automatic control. The institute is a key player in the Spanish robotics
and automatic control scenes, and a valued participant in a large number
of international collaborations including more than ten ongoing H2020
projects and an ERC Advanced Grant. Recently, is has been recognized as
a Maria de Maeztu Excellence Unit, the main accreditation given by the
Spanish Government to research units that stand out for the impact and
international relevance of their results.
ABOUT CLOTHILDE PROJECT:
The European Project CLOTHILDE (Cloth manipulation learning from
demonstration) is an ERC Advanced Grant, awarded to Dr. Carme Torras,
that started in January 2018.
The project aim is to establish the foundations of versatile cloth
manipulation by robots. The theoretical ground will be to link machine
learning and computational topology methods, so as to come up with a
theory of cloth deformation under manipulation leading to a general
framework for robots to learn to manipulate garments from human
demonstrations. Such framework will encompass: non-expert teaching of a
task, robot perception and skill learning, task-oriented cloth
representation, probabilistic planning, robot task execution in varying
initial conditions, failure diagnosis and informed requests for human help.
ABOUT THE POSITION
Textile manipulation is intrinsically bimanual and its main challenge is
how to predict the behaviour of completely shapeless objects when they
are manipulated, in order to be able to plan an action such as folding
or covering an object. We want to exploit different gripper designs that
allow us to conform desired shapes of the pieces of cloth that are being
manipulated in a way that is meaningful for different geometric
representations of the configuration state of a bimanual system of
grippers+cloth. The main idea behind this project will be to define new
representations in terms of points or oriented lines that allow us to
extract topological and shape information from each configuration of our
grippers+cloth system. In the long term, we want to plan motions between
different configurations exploiting optimization methods based on
topological and geometric indexes.
To start, we will study the Gauss Linking Integral , as an index that
measures the writhe between two open polygonal curves. This index has
been recently used to synthesize motions for humanoid robots ,
grasping  and manipulation through holes in the environment . We
will revisit the computation of the index, its geometric interpretation
and possible improvements, and in parallel we will explore the 2D
extension of this index, starting by studying the writhe matrix between
different significant curves on a 2D surface.
 Ricca, Renzo L., and Bernardo Nipoti. "Gauss'Linking Number
revisited." Journal of Knot Theory and Its Ramifications 20.10 (2011):
 Ho, Edmond SL, and Taku Komura. "Indexing and retrieving motions of
characters in close contact." IEEE Transactions on Visualization &
Computer Graphics 3 (2008): 481-492.
 Zarubin, Dmitry, et al. "Topological synergies for grasp transfer."
Hand Synergies—How to Tame the Complexity of Grapsing, Workshop, IEEE
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2013),
Karlsruhe, Germany. Citeseer. 2013.
 Ivan, Vladimir, et al. "Topology-based representations for motion
planning and generalization in dynamic environments with interactions."
The International Journal of Robotics Research 32.9-10 (2013): 1151-1163.
*REQUIREMENTS OF THE CANDIDATES
The candidates can be of any nationality. S/he is expected to have a
Master in mathematics, computer science or a related field,
and have interest in Geometry and Computational Topology topics