Postdoctoral position in Coordination and Control in Bimanual and Dyadic tasks
Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia - IIT (www.iit.it<http://www.iit.it>) - was founded with the objective of promoting Italy's technological development and further education in science and technology. In this framework, IIT's scientific program is based on the combination of basic scientific research with the development of technical applications, a major inspirational principle. The research areas cover scientific topics of high innovative content, representing the most advanced frontiers of modern technology, with wide application possibilities in various fields ranging from medicine to industry, from computer science to robotics, life sciences and nanobiotechnology.
A post-doctoral position in the field of "Coordination and control in bimanual and dyadic tasks" is available at the Motor Learning and Robotic Rehabilitation Lab led by Prof. Pietro Morasso within IIT Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, Genova, Italy.
Using a tool or shaping a new tool to solve a task are important aspects of sub-symbolic human cognition. Moreover, the skilled use of tools implies a modification of the body schema that incorporates the tool as a functional extension of the body. If a task is stable and the tool is sufficiently rigid, the incorporation of the tool in the body schema and its control require a rather straightforward reorganization of the coordination patterns, equivalent to the modification of the Jacobian matrix of the end-effector. On the contrary, compliant tools employed in unstable tasks require learning a novel control mechanism by careful integration of multi joint/multi-limb coordination with the stabilization aspects. Unstable tasks are common components of human activities, like screwing/unscrewing, drilling, inserting a peg in a hole, chiseling, manipulating soft tissues (such as in surgery), balancing a pole etc. A biomechanical system, comprising the dynamics of the human body, the muscles and the interactions with environmental physics, is unstable if, starting from an equilibrium configuration, any small perturbation is generally capable to induce boundless growth of state variables or some sort of catastrophic crashing. A biological controller, by using a combination of control strategies, is supposed to compensate the biomechanical instability and bring the controlled system to some form of stability, such as asymptotic, meta or bounded stability. A deeper knowledge of this area is fundamental to advance into the development of haptic platforms for interactive systems and protocols for effective haptic communication, with the goal of modeling interactive strategies and adaptation mechanisms and ultimately understanding better how the brain control movements in physiological and pathological situations.
The ideal candidate has a Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Ph.D. degree in Robotics. He/she has published at least one article in peer-reviewed scientific journals in the specific field and has a strong research background in bioengineering with emphasis on biomechanics and motor control.
Moreover, experience in the design and control of robots and embedded systems and a good knowledge of signal processing, modelling and statistics are required.
Research will be performed in a fully equipped laboratory within the "Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences" Department.
An internationally competitive salary and benefitswill be offered according to the candidate's experience. A 24-month contract is foreseen starting on January 1st 2016.
Please submit CV, list of publications, a statement of research interests and names of 2 references. to the following email address: [hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>
Please apply before November 28, 2015.
In order to comply with Italian law (art. 23 of Privacy Law of the Italian Legislative Decree n. 196/03), the candidate is kindly asked to give his/her consent to allow IIT to process his/her personal data. We inform you that the information you provide will be solely used for the purpose of assessing your professional profile to meet the requirements of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. Your data will be processed by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, with its headquarters in Genoa, Via Morego 30, acting as the Data Holder, using computer and paper-based means, observing the rules on the protection of personal data, including those relating to the security of data. Please also note that, pursuant to art.7 of Legislative Decree 196/2003, you may exercise your rights at any time as a party concerned by contacting the Data Manager.
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.
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