Advanced and Humanoid Robotics

The goal of the advanced and humanoid robotics curriculum is to study the design, realization, programming and control of anthropomorphic robots. Students will work at the forefront of mechatronics and computer science research jointly covering the full development cycle from software to mechanical design and from machine learning to realization of sensors, actuators and electronics.
We aim at developing robots that on the one hand can learn and adapt from their mistakes, and on the other are robust to work in real-world practical scenarios: e.g. at home, as personal assistants, as well as in industry as co-workers or to intervene in case of natural or man-made disasters.
On the hardware side, besides the realization of full-fledged platforms, we address the development of the technologies for the next generation of robots based on soft and adaptable materials for sensing, actuation and computation.
Humanoid robot software deals with vision, audition and tactile perception as well as the ability to look, reach and manipulate the world while walking freely to reach their targets, interacting naturally with the environment and their human “teachers”.
The research activities in this curriculum are offered by the iCub Facility and by the Department of Advanced Robotics (ADVR) at IIT. 
The iCub Facility is the main integrator of IIT’s research and technology on the iCub humanoid robotic platform. The iCub is the humanoid robot child designed to support researchers interested in the themes of learning, control, cognition, and interaction, both at IIT and worldwide.
The goal of the iCub Facility is to lead the development of the iCub, arrange and time the construction of new versions, supervise the incorporation of new technologies and possibly foster their commercial exploitation. We create opportunities for collaboration at IIT and worldwide in a large network of iCub owners via European funded projects or commercial contracts.
The iCub Facility ideal candidates are students with a master’s degree in engineering, computer science, or related disciplines, open to learning, to novelty but keeping always an eye on the possibility of implementing research on the state of the art iCub humanoid robot.
Research within the ADVR concentrates on an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to humanoid design and control, and the development of novel robotic components and technologies.
This encompasses activities from both the hard and soft systems areas of robotics. In particular, research on humanoid robotics at ADVR mostly focuses on the COMAN humanoid robot.
The development of the COMAN body exploits the use of actuation systems with passive compliance, with two main goals: i) to reduce the distinction between plant and controller that is typical in traditional control engineering to fully exploit complex body properties, and ii) to simplify perception, control and learning and to explore how compliance can be exploited for safer human robot interaction, reduced energy consumption, simplified control, and faster and more aggressive learning.

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