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Ugo Pattacini


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IIT Central Research Labs Genova


Via San Quirico,19
+39 010 2898 236
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Ugo Pattacini was born in Foggia in 1977. He graduated in Electronic Engineering (cum laude) at the University of Pisa in 2001, with a thesis on the design and realization of an optic-fiber micromachined accelerometer with an integrated light sensor. In the period between 2001 and 2003, he worked at Racing Department of Magneti Marelli in Milan as SW developer for Formula 1 applications, dealing with the design and the implementation of integrated telemetry drivers and proprietary hard-constrained real-time operating systems for electronic control units of Toyota, Renault and Ferrari F1 cars. In 2004 he joined Toyota F1 team in Cologne, playing an active role in the embedded software development of TF104, TF105, and TF106 car projects, focusing his activities on the vehicle dynamics and torque-based traction control strategies. In 2006 he moved to the Earth Observation Business Unit of Thales Alenia Space in Rome where he was concerned with the specifications design and trade-off analyses of the satellite data acquisition system for COSMO-SkyMed (ASI) and GMES (ESA) scientific programs.

From 2008 to 2010 he carried out Ph.D. studies at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) on the synthesis and implementation of modular cartesian controllers for humanoid robots. Currently, he is a Technologist researcher at IIT involved in the development of the iCub and R1 platforms, in particular concerning the advancements of the robot motor capabilities.



Humanoid Robotics Control Engineering Optimization Real-Time Systems Software Engineering EdTech


RobotCubROBotic Open-architecture Technology for Cognition, Understanding and Behavior (EU FP6-IST-004370). The main goal is to study cognition through the implementation of a humanoid robot with the size of a 3.5-year-old child: the iCub. The project is meant to be open in many different ways: the platform is distributed openly, so as the software and the project are open to including partners forming collaboration worldwide.

CHRISCooperative Human Robot Interaction Systems (EU FP7-ICT-215805). The CHRIS project addresses the fundamental issues which would enable safe Human-Robot Interaction (HRI).

EFAAExperimental Functional Android Assistant (EU FP7-ICT-270490). The EFAA project will contribute to the development of socially intelligent humanoids by advancing the state of the art in both single human-like social capabilities and in their integration in a consistent architecture.

WYSIWYDWhat You Say Is What You Did (EU FP7-ICT-612139). The WYSIWYD project will create a new transparency in human-robot interaction (HRI) by allowing robots to both understand their own actions and those of humans, and to interpret and communicate these in human compatible intentional terms expressed as a language-like communication channel we call WYSIWYD Robotese (WR).

TACMANTACtile MANipulation (EU FP7-ICT-610967). The TACMAN project addresses the key problem of developing information processing and control technology enabling robot hands to exploit tactile sensitivity and thus become as dexterous as human hands.

Joint Lab created in 2017 in collaboration with Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS for the design, development, analysis and clinical validation of advanced technologies in the field of robotics, sensors, and new materials, to support patients’ rehabilitation and care.


  • KUKA Innovation Award 2018 Winner along with the IIT team CoAware, Hannover Messe, Germany, 23-27 April 2018.
  • First prize at the European Future Technologies Conference and Exhibitions (FET 11), Budapest, Hungary, 4-6 May 2011.
  • Best conference award at ROBIO2011 with the paper 'The encoding of complex visual stimuli by a canonical model of the primary visual cortex: temporal population coding for face recognition on the iCub robot'.


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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.