Shared control of microrobots for endovascular medical interventions

Publié le
Date de début de thèse (si connue)
Septembre/Octobre 2024
Unité de recherche
IRISA - UMR 6074
Description du sujet de la thèse

PhD position on “Shared control of microrobots for endovascular medical interventions”



Untethered miniature robots have recently shown promising results in several scenarios at the microscale, such as targeted drug delivery, microassembly, and biopsy procedures. However, the vast majority of these small-scale robots have very limited manipulation capabilities, and none of the steering systems currently available enable humans to intuitively and effectively control dexterous miniaturized robots in a remote environment. Moreover, most of the results reported so far concern the control of individual microrobots. It is only recently that the control of swarms of multifunctional microrobots has become possible. Enabling a human user to independently and intuitively control a swarm of microrobots can indeed be beneficial in many scenarios.

Input information regarding, e.g., where the robot should move is usually provided by simply clicking on the screen to indicate the target reference positions. While this approach is widely employed, and it provides all the necessary information to drive the robots, it does not enable an intuitive control and visualization of the robots and their environment.

The objective of this research work is to enable intuitive and trustworthy human control of untethered multi-robot systems at the small-scale via innovative cognitive-based interfaces and interaction techniques, exploiting multisensory feedback and AI-powered shared control.

The work will address a few of the following points, depending on the expertise and interests of the researcher as well as the advancement of the project:

  • Cognitive shared-control: develop shared-control methods to regulate the trade‐off between following human operator’s commands and autonomous control actions during the control of multi-robot systems at the micro-scale.

  • Reactive trajectory generation: develop online trajectory generation and re‐planning strategies for (semi) autonomous task execution by means of AI-based constrained optimization problems for multi-robot systems at the microscale.

  • Haptic rendering: design haptic rendering techniques for communicating with the operators, combining kinesthetic feedback with tactile/cutaneous sensations.

  • Stability control and trustworthiness: design stability techniques to guarantee the safety of the microrobotic system; depending on how much we know about the environment, time-domain (less knowledge) and model-based (more knowledge) passivity techniques can be interleaved or combine.

  • Applications: evaluate such multi-robot systems in various navigation and manipulation scenarios, starting from grasping and assembly to finally be used in endovascular medical interventions during, e.g., the coiling of aneurysms.


The work will be carried out at IRISA-CNRS in Rennes as part of the Rainbow team (, which is internationally recognized for its scientific activity as well as for technology transfer experience in the field of shared control, multi-robots, haptics, sensor-based control, visual tracking, and visual servoing. The position is open in the framework of the collaborative European project RĔGO (, which aims at developing an innovative set of AI-powered, microsized, untethered, stimuli-responsive swarms of robots. The project is composed of eight international partners from four EU countries: CNRS, Inria, CHU Rennes, Haption (France), University of Twente (The Netherlands), Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italy), Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (Germany). The work will be carried out in collaboration with one or more of the above laboratories and might include a visiting period in one of these labs.

CNRS is the largest fundamental science agency in Europe, ranked the second most important global research institution in terms of scientific publications (source: Scimago Institutions Rankings) and the eight most important in terms of innovation (source: Thomson Reuters).

Rennes in a lively city in the north-west part of France, capital of the Britanny region. Located 90 minutes from Paris and less than one hour from the sea, Rennes was named as the leading French city in Europe for “quality of life” in 2020 and has the highest satisfaction rate among its inhabitants (source: European Commission).



  • M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree in computer science, robotics, engineering, applied mathematics (or related fields);

  • Experience in C/C++, ROS;

  • Experience with robotic control and human-robot interaction;

  • Excellent scientific track of record, scientific curiosity, large autonomy, and ability to work independently.

Advisors and contact

Claudio Pacchierotti

(claudio [*] pacchierottiatirisa [*] fr,


How to apply

Contact Claudio Pacchierotti at claudio [*] pacchierottiatirisa [*] fr, providing

  • Complete Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • Transcript of record

  • Short letter of motivation (1 page)

  • Name of one or two references, e.g., a Professor you worked with.




Ongaro, Federico, et al. "Design of an electromagnetic setup for independent three-dimensional control of pairs of identical and nonidentical microrobots." IEEE transactions on robotics 35.1 (2018): 174-183.

Piñan Basualdo, Franco N., and Sarthak Misra. "Collaborative Magnetic Agents for 3D Microrobotic Grasping." Advanced Intelligent Systems (2023): 2300365.

Pacchierotti, Claudio, and Domenico Prattichizzo. "Cutaneous/tactile haptic feedback in robotic teleoperation: Motivation, survey, and perspectives." IEEE Transactions on Robotics (2023).
Pacchierotti, Claudio, et al. "Intuitive control of self-propelled microjets with haptic feedback." Journal of micro-bio robotics 10.1-4 (2015): 37-53.



Liste des encadrants et encadrantes de thèse

Nom, Prénom
Pacchierotti, Claudio
Type d'encadrement
Directeur.trice de thèse
Unité de recherche
UMR 6074
Pacchierotti, Claudio
robotics, microrobotics, haptics