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Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) - Coordinator

Posted in Consortium


The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a Research Foundation established in 2006 to promote scientific excellence in “Humanoid” technology. The Institute currently has over 1000 researchers with over 85 working exclusively in robotics within the Department of Advanced Robotics ( and about 45 within the iCub Facility ( activities concentrate on an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to robotic design, and control, and the development of novel robotic components and technologies. There are four core areas; Humanoid Technologies (mechanism design, actuation and sensing, compliant systems, locomotion, control, physical Human-Robot Interaction, learning by imitation, reinforcement learning,  and end-effectors, humanoids developed at IIT include iCub and COMAN), Biomimetic Technologies (high performance quadrupedal robots (HyQ) focusing on motion planning, gait generation and control, and power actuation), Biomedical Technologies and Haptic/VR technologies.

Key Personnel: Nikos Tsagarakis, Giorgio Metta, Lorenzo Natale, Darwin G. Caldwell

Role of the Partner

Within this project IIT will significantly contribute to the mechanical design and implementation of the robotic platform (WP2). IIT will investigate different design principles for compliant actuation to enhance the physical body motion, robustness and interaction performance of the humanoid platform. IIT will be also involved on the locomotion and motion planning developments (WP3, WP6) particularly on the gait pattern generators and effective whole body balance and stabilization schemes. IIT will also be responsible of the integration workpackage (WP7) and significantly contribute to in the experimentation and validation.

Key Personnel

Nikos Tsagarakis is a Senior Scientist at IIT with overall responsibility for Humanoid design & Human Centred Mechatronics development. Before joining IIT he was a research Fellow and then Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Robotics and Automation at the University of Salford where he worked on haptic systems, wearable exoskeletons, rehabilitation robots and humanoids robots. He is an author or co-author of over 170 papers in research journals and at international conferences, has 7 patents and has received the 2009 PE Publishing Award from the Journal of Systems and Control Engineering and prizes for Best Paper at ICAR (2003). He was also a finalist for Best Entertainment Robots and Systems - 20th Anniversary Award at IROS 2007 and finalist for the Best Manipulation paper at ICRA 2012 and Best Paper at Humanoids 2012.

Giorgio Metta is Senior Researcher at IIT and director of the iCub Facility. He is also Deputy Director at IIT, delegate to the international relations of the institute. Giorgio Metta is Professor of Cognitive Robotics at the University of Plymouth. He was one of the coordinators of the FP6 IST 004370 RobotCub project which will be providing a portfolio of robotic technologies to iCub2Work. Giorgio Metta has been active in the field of Cognitive Robotics for the past 15 years resulting in about 200 peer-reviewed publications. His main interests are at the intersection of robotics and neuroscience, in particular, with regards to the development of sensorimotor coordination. He has been principal investigator in a dozen of EU projects.

Lorenzo Natale received his degree in Electronic Engineering (with honors) in 2000 and Ph.D. in Robotics in 2004 from the University of Genoa. He was later postdoctoral researcher at the MIT CSAIL. Presently he is Team Leader at the IIT. In the past ten years Lorenzo Natale worked on various humanoid platforms. His research interests range from sensorimotor learning and perception to software architectures for robotics. He has participated to several EU-funded projects (MIRROR, CogVis, ADAPT, RobotCub, RoboSKIN and CHRIS).

Darwin G. Caldwell is the Director of Advanced Robotics at IIT, and a Visiting/Honorary Professor at the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Kings College, Bangor and Tianjin China. His research interests include innovative actuators, force augmentation exoskeletons, dextrous manipulators, humanoid (iCub, COMAN) and quadrupled robots (HyQ), and rehabilitation robotics. He is the author or co-author of over 300 academic papers, 15 patents and has received awards from several international conference and journals including, 2009 PE Publishing Award, 2011 Emerald publishing award, IEEE ICRA, IEEE/RSJ IROS, IEEE ICIA, MMVR, IEEE Humanoids, IEEE CASE; ACHI, ICAR, IFAC IAV and Virtual Concepts. He is on the editorial board of the Int. J. Social Robotics and Ind. Robot and Tech. Editor of the Trans. in Mechatronics. 

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