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    PhD Position in Robotic Rehabilitation at Nanyang Technological University

    Compliant Advanced Robotic Actuation Powering Assistive Composite Exoskeleton
    Assistant Professor Lorenzo MASIA
    N. of available positions: 1
    Intake: August 2014

    Exoskeletons represent nowadays the ultimate challenge in robotics, especially for those applications where is required a level of additional effort for assisting a subject lacking of voluntarily control due to neurological damage or empowering human mobility or dexterity in working environments. Despite several devices have been developed and commercialized the diffusion of such kind of technology still remain driven by the conventional electromechanical actuation with the intrinsic limitations of power consumption, safety and power-weight ratio. The project aims to provide innovative solutions and overcome the aforementioned limitations by introducing a new concept of actuation technology based on a novel generation of adaptive/multifunctional structures working in elastically-nonlinear regimes and providing an unconventional approach that merges modern mechatronic technology and theory of composite materials. The ambition is to challenge current design principles, deliver new ones and create novel paradigms for control robustness by addressing the development and use of safe, energy-efficient and highly dynamic non-linear actuation systems based on multistable composite structures. This will permit the embodiment of natural characteristics found in biological systems, into the structures of a new generation of mechatronic assistive/augmenting devices with the possibility to finely modulate and to predict the mechanical impedance of composite material structures. The unconventional design of a novel actuated mechanism using the tunable compliance of the carbon fiber reinforced laminates will allow to downsize the electromechanical counterpart and consequently the power requirements.
    The present research theme aims to coordinate a multidisciplinary approach to the develop and use of compliant robotic technology and multistable composite structures for a new concept of actuation for assistive augmenting technology: the candidate will be required to design and characterize the actuators and develop assistive technology based on the proposed concept to assist/empower human motor performance. The project will be broken down into the following steps: conceptual design and simulation of new hardware; mechanical design and assembly of the system; characterization and control of the device and experimental trials on humans.
    The research student scholarship will be provided by Intelligent Systems Center (Intellisys) of Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and ST-Engineering today one of Asia's largest defence and engineering groups (Round the world more than 22,000 employees). ST is among the largest companies listed on the Singapore Exchange, and a component stock of the FTSE Straits Times Index, FTSE ASEAN 40 Index and MSCI Singapore. A leader in electronics, defense and marine, ST Engineering offer integrated and advanced solutions for customers across multiple industries in over 100 countries through a global network of over 100 subsidiaries and associated companies in 23 countries and 41 cities in the US, Europe, Asia and Australasia.

    REQUIREMENTS: We are preferably seeking candidates with a background in Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering AND/OR Robotics.
    The ideal candidate will be familiar with control engineering, robotics, mechanical measurements and instrumentation, biomechanics, structural engineering and/or theoretical understanding and practical knowledge of advanced composite materials.

    He/she will have generic mechanical engineering skills such as manual skills for hardware assembly, strong experience in CAD mechanical design, SolidWorks, Pro-E, Alibre, and with Matlab/Simulink.

    For further details concerning the research project, please contact: lorenzo.masia@ntu.edu.sg or visit www.ntu.edu.sg
    Last edited by lorenzo.masia; 01-13-2014 at 11:22 PM.
    Lorenzo MASIA, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor | Robotics Research Center
    Division of Mechatronics and Design | School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering |
    Nanyang Technological University | N3.2-02-46, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798 |
    Tel: (65) 6790-6239 GMT+8h | Email: lorenzo.masia@ntu.edu.sg | Web: www.lorenzomasia.info

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