PhD positions in Biomedical Robotics in Italy

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PhD Openings in Biomedical Robotics
Department of Advanced Robotics
Italian Institute of Technology
www.iit.it<http://www.iit.it>

The Department of Advanced Robotics of the Italian Institute of Technology has three open PhD positions in the biomedical robotics area:

PhD 1: (Theme 2.5) Cognitive Supervision for Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Laser Microsurgery
Tutors: Dr. Edward Grant and Dr. Leonardo Mattos
This research will be an integral part of the European project µRALP (Micro-Technologies and Systems for Robot-Assisted Laser Phonomicrosurgery). The focus of the research is the creation of cognitive systems that are able to learn the continuous appearance changes of the surgical site observed during laser procedures; then be able to predict the result of similar actions during later procedures. Once these cognitive systems are proven to be reliable, a supervisory-layer will be created to increase surgical safety by generating alarms should unexpected or unforeseen situations arise during a surgical procedure. This research will contribute to the establishment of a general set of guidelines for robotic laser surgery and, in addition, generate sets of knowledge-based and learned control algorithms that will help the design of surgical robot systems, and the medical procedures being carried out by them.
Candidates for this research should have a computer science or engineering background, and have a strong interest in medical robotics. The ideal candidate will already have a history of involvement on medical robotics.
Requirements: Experience in the development and application of cognitive systems or other types of artificial intelligence systems; including a working knowledge of machine learning algorithms. Development experience in object oriented programming systems, C, C++, multi-thread programming, and software development in MS Windows and/or Linux would be an advantage. The candidate must be fluent in both spoken and written English.

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PhD 2: (Theme 2.6) Novel User Interfaces for Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Laser Microsurgery
Tutor: Dr. Leonardo Mattos
This research will also be part of the µRALP project on micro-technologies and systems for robot-assisted laser microsurgeries. The research focus will be on the analysis and development of novel user interfaces for intuitive, precise, safe and ergonomic teleoperation of a surgical robotic system. This will involve the creation of experimental setups to scientifically investigate critical factors that affect each of these characteristics, including their impact on the cognitive burden imposed on the system operator. In addition, a strong collaboration with partner surgeons is expected as part of the new systems’ evaluations. The results of this research will support the creation of an optimal teleoperation system for laser microsurgeries, advancing the state of the art in surgical laser control via new interface devices and operating environments.
The ideal candidates for this research theme should have a computer science or engineering background and a strong interest in medical robotics.
Requirements: Experience in the development of user interfaces, evaluation of human factors, development of computer games, and software development using object oriented programming approach in C++ are all bonuses. The candidate must be fluent in both spoken and written English.

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PhD 3: (Theme 2.17) Robotic neural interface for autonomous stabilization of in-vivo patch clamping electrodes
Tutor: Dr. Leonardo Mattos
This research will be conducted in collaboration with the IIT’s Neuroscience department and researchers in the IIT-Parma center. The research focus will be on the creation of a new mechatronic device and its associated control system to enable the measurement of individual neuron activity in-vivo. Such a device will provide active mechanical stabilization for a patch clamping electrode, compensating for brain pulsations caused by respiration, heartbeat and physical motions of the subject.
The ideal candidate for this research theme should have a mechatronics background and a strong interest in multidisciplinary robotics research.
Requirements: Experience in the design, development and control of mechatronic devices. In addition, experience in real-time systems, embedded microcontrollers, data acquisition, sensing and actuation, and software development in C++ would be an advantage. The candidate must be fluent in both spoken and written English.

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For additional information concerning these projects please contact Dr. Leonardo Mattos (leonardo.demattos@iit.it<mailto:leonardo.demattos@iit.it>).

Application Procedure:
Apply on-line through:
http://www.iit.it/en/resources/calls/unige/xxvii-cycle-doctoral-school-on-life-and-humanoid-technologies.html, no later than the
* 23rd of September, 2011 *

For administrative help with the application please contact Ms. Anastasia Bruzzone by email (anastasia.bruzzone@iit.it<mailto:anastasia.bruzzone@iit.it>) or phone (+39 010 71781 472) Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
International applications are encouraged.

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