Organisation: Department of Advanced Robotics (ADVR), Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)


Address: Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy

Contact: Dr. Fei Chen (Tel: +39 010 71781 562, fei.chen(at)


Other Staff:

  • Carlo Canali (ADVR, IIT)
  • Boyang Gao (Ecole Centrale de Lyon)
  • Mariapaola D’Imperio (ADVR, IIT)
  • Ferdinando Cannella (ADVR, IIT)


Team Profile:

Most of the team members come from the Advanced Industrial Automation Lab (AIAL) under the Department of Advanced Robotics (ADVR) within Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Italy, and an additional member from Laboratory of LIRIS under the Department of Mathematics and Information within Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France. In this five member team, three are holding a single PhD each, one is holding a double PhD, and one is working towards the PhD. The expertise of the team covers from computer science to mechanism, from mechatronics to electronics, from virtual prototyping to artificial intelligence, all of which are closely connected with the state‐of‐art of robotics. Moreover, the research work/projects carried out the team members are all highly related to robotic industry, a field emphasizes and requires converting effective and reliable technologies and methodologies to fast industrial deployment and usage. This team tends to participate in challenge 1 ‐ Reconfigurable Interactive Manufacturing Cell, under which we are going to build a robotic assembly system where both robot and human share the working space and time to accomplish multiple assembly tasks.

The robotic manufacturing industry requires the team with a high integration skill by building on the current various robotics technologies, especially from hardware to software in general. The team construction aims to cover as many areas as possible targeting the 2nd or 3rd stages of challenge, but also maintain the strong development skills associated with the core robotic technology, such as virtual typing, electronics, sensors, control, and machine learning. We believe that our team meets the maximum of these requirements related to the state‐of‐art of the industrial robotics application.

Dr. Fei Chen is currently working on developing highly reconfigurable robotic gripper that can help robot handle various types of objects, and even do in‐hand manipulation. He used to work on the construction of next generation industrial robotic assembly system in Japan. He is also experienced in developing hybrid assembly cell where human and robot collaborate on assembly tasks by studying some key technology like task scheduling and optimization for human and robot, human gesture modelling and human intention estimation. He will be responsible for the overall team management based on his “know‐how” experience. He will also cooperate with other team members to build effective robotic control systems.

Dr. Carlo Canali is currently working in IIT to develop robotic grippers to be used in advanced industrial application. He is an expert on electronics and data acquisition. He has long experience in designing electronics systems following the whole process from the sketch idea up to the prototyping and commissioning of the device. He used to work in many research institute in Europe, designing electronics systems that have been used in several projects in Italy, Germany and Switzerland. He has plenty of experience with electronics CAD tools and firmware programming. He will closely work with the prototyping process that make the numerical robotic model into robots, and on the modification based on the feedback. He will also work on any hardware setup for robots and manufacturing environments.

Dr. Boyang Gao is currently working on structured semantic description for music information retrieval (MIR) system. His research interests include MIR, general‐purpose computation on graphics hardware, acoustic signal analysis and classification, multimedia retrieval system and machine learning. He got plenty of experiences on cluster computing for Big Data with Hadoop and Spark framework. He is also familiar with GPU based acceleration techniques with its application for deep learning approaches. He will cooperate with Dr. Fei Chen to development high‐level strategic making system to control the robot behaviour by doing big data mining and pattern recognition on the sensor data as well as cloud computing.

Dr. Ferdinando Cannella as advisor, is currently working as head of Advanced Industrial Automation Lab and PI on several EU and national projects to develop bio‐inspired robots for grasping and manipulation.Ms. Mariapaola D'Imperio is currently working in IIT as a PhD Fellow. She is working on Virtual Prototype Technique and Numerical Methods applied to Robotics. Both of them have long experience in using ANSYS, MSc.ADAMS, Msc.NASTRAN, ProE, CFX, Solidworks, and AUTOCAD to investigate and develop new robotic mechanism for industrial application. They will cooperate on virtual prototyping for any possible robotic device design and modification within the physical stage of the challenge.






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