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Research lines

Applied Materials for Printed and Soft Electronics

You will investigate soft conductive materials and their fabrication processes for applications as sensors/actuators in biomedicine and robotics. These include printed epidermal electronics (tattoos) for biomonitoring and sustainable laser induced graphene for next-generation devices. [PI(s): Greco, Ferrari]
Project(s): Fit4MedRob - Fit for Medical Robotics (MUR (PNRR)); 5DNanoprinting - Functional & Dynamic 3D Nano- MicroDevices by Direct Multi-Photon Lithography (H2020, GA:899349).

Artificial Hands

Research activities in the areas of mechatronics and human-machine interfaces with the goal of developing advanced robotic limbs to be used as thought-controlled prostheses. Funded by European Research Council, INAIL, Ministries of Research and Health. [PI(s): Cipriani, Carrozza]

Bioelectronics & Neural Engineering

The students will be involved in research projects aiming at developing advanced solutions to restore sensory, motor, cognitive, and autonomic functions in disabled people based on wearable and implantable devices,machine learning approaches, signal and image processing. Computational models will be also developed to understand the neural functions and totailor the technological solutions to the specific recovery needs of patients.  [PI(s): Micera, Mazzoni, Moccia, Bandini, Proietti, Russo, Carpaneto]

BioInspired Soft Robotics (IIT)

The BioInspired Soft Robotics group at the Italian Institute of Technology focuses on researching and developing bioinspired, soft robotic technologies for exploring and monitoring unstructured environments, primarily in agriculture and industrial applications. Drawing inspiration from plants and soft-bodied animals, the research activities involve a thorough analysis of natural systems, encompassing biomechanics and behavioral responses. These insights are then translated into design principles for the implementation of soft robotic hardware and software. [PI(s): Mazzolai]
Project(s): I-WOOD – Forest Intelligence: robotics networks inspired by the Wood Wide Web (ERC, GA: 101003304); I-SEED - Towards New Frontiers for Distributed Environmental Monitoring (H2020, GA: 101017940);  PROBOSCIS - PROBOSCIdean Sensitive soft robot for versatile gripping (H2020, GA:863212); GROWBOT – Towards a new generation of plant-inspired growing artefacts (H2020, GA: 824074); RAISE – Environmental Caring and Protection Technologies, towards a Zero Emission Environment (PNRR).

Biorobotic Ecosystems

Research focused on the deep integration of technology elements in life form communities, sharing their abilities collectively in organism-robot augmented (eco)systems. Major aims of such systems are biodiversity preservation, sustainable environmental management, life support in extreme scenarios. [PI(s): Romano]
Project(s): SENSORBEES - Sensorbees are ENhanced Self-ORganizing Biohybrids for Ecological and Environmental Surveillance (HORIZON, GA:101130325); COSMIC - COntrolled Space MIcroecological system supporting eCopoiesis (MUR (PRIN), 2022EY5BXC); ECOBOTICS.SEA - Bioinspired Technologies for a Sustainable Marine Ecosystem (H2020, GA:824043); SURF - Swarm of heterogeneous Underwater Robotic Fishes (TII (UAE), Contract no. TII/ARRC/2047/2020).

Brain-Inspired Robotics

Research activities focus on brain models for motor control, sensory-motor coordination, and cognition in autonomous robots. Such models are based on AI methods with the goal of improving robot capabilities for soft and rigid platforms. [PI(s): Falotico]
Project(s): PROBOSCIS - PROBOSCIdean Sensitive soft robot for versatile gripping (H2020, GA:863212); Fit4Med - Fit for Medical Robotics (MUR (PNRR)).

Computational Mechanics

You will develop computational models for the design of bioengineering devices inspired by biological organisms. These include: unicellular swimmers with applications to targeted drug delivery, leaves and seeds of plants with applications to environmental sensing, worms for new surgical tools. [PI(s): De Simone]
Project(s): I-Seed - Towards new frontiers for distributed environmental monitoring based on an ecosystem of plant seed-like soft robots (H2020, GA:101017940).

Creative Engineering Design

Research oriented at developing and using design methodologies to address open real-world challenges, especially in the area of biorobotics. Research mostly conducted in collaboration with industry, adopting approaches typical of Human Centered Design and Design Thinking. [PI(s): Stefanini]
Project(s): Robocoenosis - ROBOts in cooperation with a bioCOENOSIS (H2020, GA:899520); Fit4Med - Fit for Medical Robotics (MUR (PNRR).

Gravitational biology and automated bioregenerative life support systems

You will learn how an interdisciplinary approach can provide solutions for bioregenerative systems and life support in extreme, extraterrestrial environments. [PI(s): Angeloni, Romano]
Project(s): REGOLIFE (ASI, DC-DSR-UVS-2022-375).

Healthcare Mechatronics

Research oriented to the design of intelligent medical robotic systems, e.g. AI-driven assistive/collaborative robots, and mesoscale devices, e.g. endoluminal capsules and catheters, for improving diagnostic/therapeutic procedures and other healthcare-oriented tasks for the hospital of the future. [PI(s): Ciuti, Chiurazzi]
Project(s): ODIN - Leveraging AI based technology to transform the future of health care delivery in Leading Hospitals in Europe (H2020, GA:101017331); MANiBOT - Advancing the physical intelligence and performance of roBOTs towards human-like bi-manual objects MANipulation (HORIZON, GA:101120823).

Human-Robot Interaction

Research topics include design of robotic/prosthetic hands endowed with a high-resolution electronic skin for prosthetic and dexterous grasping (eg Human inspired manipulation algorithms), human-robot interaction (Evaluation of hand functions by means of instrumented tools). [PI(s): Controzzi]
Project(s): B-Cratos - Wireless Brain-Connect inteRfAce TO machineS (H2020, GA:965044); Fit4Med - Fit for Medical Robotics (MUR (PNRR)).


Research methodology includes cell and molecular biology to explore the mechanisms of mechanosensing and mechanotransduction at cell level, also to understand how defects of force transmission are generated and what their consequences are. [PI(s): Angeloni]
Project(s): VISION (MUR, PRIN 2022FLXS8T).

Microscale Robotics

You will develop microscopic systems with advanced robotic functionalities (e.g. autonomous motion and navigation). Such microrobots will be designed taking inspiration by cells, produced by chemical, physical and synthetic-biology methods, and tested in realistic medical scenarios. Indeed, they will have high potential impact in minimally invasive medicine (e.g. localized delivery). [PI(s): Palagi]
Project(s): CELLOIDS - Cell-inspired particle-based intelligent microrobots (H2020, GA:948590).

Nanotechnologies applied to medicine (IIT)

The Smart Bio-Interfaces group focuses on the development and exploitation of physically-active nanoparticles and nanostructured materials, able to provide appropriate instructive cues to cells and tissues. [PI(s): Ciofani]
Project(s): CyberNano (AIRC IG 2020); MagDock - Advanced 3D in vitro models based on magnetically-driven docking of modular microscaffolds (HORIZON, GA:101081539); iCare - Integrated assessment and Advanced Characterisation of Neuro-Nanotoxicity (HORIZON, GA:101092971).

Neuromodulation for cancer therapy

You will take part at developing a completely novel anti-cancer paradigm. With a Bioelectronic Medicine approach, we will test the possibility of controlling the tumor microenvironment through modulation of neurotransmitter release by defined target nerves, to hamper tumor growth. [PI(s): Angeloni, Micera]
Project(s): ELMO (FPS 2024)

Neuro-Robotic Touch

You will target the engineering of an artificial tactile sense in parallel to the investigation of human touch, integrating transducers, implementing neuromorphic strategies, developing wearable and medical devices, and running behavioural protocols to characterize tactile perception. [PI(s): Oddo]
Project(s): BRIEF - Biorobotics Research and Innovation Engineering Facilities (MUR (PNRR)); Proximity Care (Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca); DPI SMART (INAIL).

Regenerative Technologies

Research activities focused on biomaterials, cell cultures, biophysical stimulation tools and a series of supporting technologies for tissue/organ healing and regeneration, and mechatronic technologies for the development of implantable artificial organs and other medical devices. [PI(s): Ricotti, Cafarelli, Vannozzi]
Project(s): REBORN - Remodelling of the infarcted heart: piezoelectric multifunctional patch enabling the sequential release of of therapeutic factors (HORIZON, GA:101091852); BioMeld - A modular framework for designing and producing biohybrid machines (HORIZON, GA:101070328); FORGETDIABETES - A Bionic Invisible Pancreas to Forget Diabetes (H2020, GA:951933); ImmUniverse - Better control and treatment of immune-mediated diseases by exploring the universe of microenvironment imposed tissue signatures and their correlates in liquid biopsies (H2020, GA:853995); MIO-PRO - A new human-machine interface for the control of prostheses (INAIL, GA:PR19-CR-P1).

Robot Companions

Research aimed at developing a new generation of robot companions, based on supportive technologies that aim to help citizens of all ages, from infants to the elderly. [PI(s): Dario, Ciuti, Chiurazzi]

Soft BioRobotics Perception (IIT)

Research topics include: Bioinspired tactile sensors/skins (study of selected biological models, material selection and characterization, modelling, selection of transduction mechanism, electronics design and signal processing development - hardware and software); Integrated soft systems with transduction & actuation (by 3D fabrication technologies across multiple scales with non-linear soft materials and composites, including 3D multimaterial printing); Soft grippers for food manipulation; Soft continuum manipulators for strong and delicate tasks based on the study of the elephant trunk (i.e. experiments with animals; investigation of natural skin). [PI(s): Beccai]
Project(s): PROBOSCIS - PROBOSCIdean Sensitive soft robot for versatile gripping (H2020, GA:863212); MOZART - Morphing Computerized mats with Embodied Sensing and Artificial Intelligence (HORIZON, GA:101069536); RAISE - Robotics and AI for Socio-economic Empowerment (MUR, PNRR); DESTRO - Dextrous, strong yet soft robots (MAECI, Italy-Singapore Science and Technology Cooperation); C-iGrip - Development of continuum intelligent soft grippers for unmanned operations fabricated by 3D printing (MAECI).

Soft Robotics

Research focused on soft actuators, smart compliant sensors and flexible mechanisms, from enabling technologies to complete soft robotic systems that utilize body deformability and compliance as a form of physical/embodied intelligence to obtain complex and rich behaviour with minimal control. [PI(s): Cianchetti, Laschi]
Project(s): AInCP - Clinical validation of Artificial Intelligence for providing a personalized motor clinical profile assessment and rehabilitation of upper limb in children with unilateral Cerebral Palsy (HORIZON, GA:101057309); SoftGrip - Soft robotic gripper for delicate produce harvesting (H2020, GA:101017054); ARISE – Advanced AI and RobotIcS for autonomous task pErformance (HORIZON, GA:101135959); SWAG – Soft Wearable Assistive Garment for human empowerment (HORIZON, GA:101120408).

Surgical and Interventional Robotics

Study and development of innovative building blocks (sensors, actuators, smart components) and robotic solutions for minimally and non-invasive surgery, artificial biorobotic organs, wearable physical interfaces and targeted therapy. In your PhD, you will design and validate models, components and robots at different scales to cope with the challenges of surgical and interventional robotics. [PI(s): Menciassi, Iacovacci, Paternò]
Project(s): MAPWORMS - Mimicking Adaptation and Plasticity in WORMS (HORIZON, GA:101046846); REGO - Cognitive robotic tools for human-centered small-scale multi-robot operations (HORIZON, GA:101070066); ARTERY - Autonomous Robotics for Transcatheter dEliveRy sYstems (H2020, GA:101017140); SURF-UP - Surgery by Using a Robotic Focused Ultrasound Platform (MUR, FISA); and FUTURO - Focused Ultrasound Surgery ​enabled by Robotics and Simulation ​(MUR, PRIN); BRIEF - Biorobotics Research and Innovation Engineering Facilities (MUR (PNRR)); eLiner - Cuffia smart con sensoristica integrata e stimoli aptici per il controllo di protesi avanzate (INAIL, GA:PR23-PAI-P2); IBRIS - Innovative BioRobotic artIficial organS (MUR, FIS); Proximity Care (Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca).

Textile Robotic & Musculoskeletal Expansion

Research focuses on the development of robotic techonlogies designed to enhance human motion and perception. Students will leverage textile materials to develop novel sensors and actuators, and will explore groundbreaking human-machine interfaces (HMI) and sensory feedback strategies to empower individuals affected by sensorimotor impairments. Your contribution to the activities of this lab will be the key that unlocks a future where technology deeply intertwines with the human body restoring dignity and fostering independence. [PI(s): Cappello]
Project(s): MUSE - MusculoSkeletal Expansion (HORIZON, GA:101116249); HandEval - Integrated system for the evaluation of functional recovery of the hand (INAIL, GA:PR23-SV-P1).

Wearable Robotics

You will carry out research activities in the field of lower-limb prosthetics, hand exoskeletons, upper- and lower-limb exoskeletons and exosuits for human movement replacement, assistance, augmentation and rehabilitation. Activities will encompass the design of hardware and software solutions and the conduction of clinical trials. [PI(s): Vitiello, Crea, Trigili]
Project(s): THE - Tuscany Health Ecosystem (MUR (PNRR)); Fit4MedRob - Fit for Medical Robotics (MUR (PNRR)); Proximity Care (Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca); DETERMINISTIC6G - Deterministic E2E Communication with 6G (HORIZON, GA:101096504); HandEval - Integrated system for the evaluation of functional recovery of the hand (INAIL, GA:PR23-SV-P1).