2 Postdoc Researchers - Computational topology/geometry applied to cloth representation and manipulation by robots (ERC CLOTHILDE)

Application deadline:

The "Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (IRI), CSIC-UPC", is seeking two Postdoc researchers to work under the framework of the European Project CLOTHILDE (ERC Advanced Grant 2016).

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.

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.

The CLOTHILDE project has been structured into four research workpackages, plus one integration workpackage. The four packages are: Theory of cloth manipulation, Cloth perception and representation, Probabilistic task and motion planning, and Manipulation learning from demonstration.

These positions correspond to the Theory of cloth manipulation Workpackage and its connection with cloth representation and motion planning. The tasks to be carried out are:

1. Research on combinatorial topology, computational geometry and tools
2. Research on surface representations in Computer Graphics, especially for clothing
3. Encoding manipulation-relevant features in cloth representation
4. Physical simulation of manipulation actions on clothing
5. Topological/geometric characterization of manipulation actions