Muscles for Robots:
Understanding, Designing and Controlling Natural Machine Motion

Prof. Antonio Bicchi
University of Pisa


How can we make a robot move ``naturally''? What makes a natural motion, and how can we reproduce it in an artificial body? To what extent is physical compliance, and its variability, contributing to reduce the gap between the performance and efficiency of present-day robotics and natural motion? In this talk, I will review some of the background, motivations and state of the art in the understanding, design and control of ``naturally moving'' machines. New interfaces between such machines and humans, to favor safe and effective physical interaction, will be also introduced, with reference to applications in teleoperation and prosthetics.

About the Speaker:

Antonio Bicchi is Professor of Robotics at the University of Pisa, and Senior Scientist at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa. He graduated from the University of Bologna in 1988 and was a postdoc scholar at M.I.T. Artificial Intelligence lab in 1988–1990. He teaches Control Systems and Robotics in the Department of Information Engineering (DII) of the University of Pisa, leads the Robotics group at the Research Center "E. Piaggio'' of the University of Pisa since 1990, and served as Director from 2003 to 2012. He is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering of Arizona State University since 2013.

His main research interests are in Robotics, Haptics, and Control Systems in general. He has published more than 300 papers on international journals, books, and refereed conferences. He currently serves as the President of the Italian Association or Researchers in Automatic Control. He has served as Editor in Chief of the Conference Editorial Board for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), as Vice President and as Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE RAS. He is Editor-in-Chief for the book series ``Springer Briefs on Control, Automation and Robotics,'' and is in the editorial board of several scientific journals, including the top-ranked Int.l J. Robotics Research, the IEEE Trans. on Robotics and Automation, IEEE Trans. Automation Science and Engineering, and IEEE RAS Magazine. He has organized and co-chaired the first WorldHaptics Conference (2005), and Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control (2007). He is the recipient of several awards and honors. In 2012, he was awarded with an individual Advanced Grant from the European Research Council for his research on human and robot hands.

Antonio Bicchi is a Fellow of IEEE since 2005.