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Manuel Catalano

manuel.catalano@iit.it
Researcher
Soft Robotics for Human Cooperation and Rehabilitation
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Manuel G. Catalano is a Researcher in IIT under the research line SoftRobotics for Human Cooperation and Rehabilitation. He is also Research Fellow at Centro di Ricerca E. Piaggio - University of Pisa, and at MayoClinic, Rochester, USA. He received the Laurea degree in Mechanical Engineering and the Doctoral degree in Robotics and Bioengineering from the E. Piaggio Research Center at the University of Pisa.

Manuel is Principal Investigator of the EU Project “Reconcycle” and coordinates the activities of the “JoIInt Lab” in Bergamo, a technology transfer collaboration between IIT and Intellimech, a consortium of Medium and Big Mechatronic Enterprises.

His Ph.D. thesis contributed some important results in at least two subfields, Variable Stiffness Actuation and Soft Hands, which supported influential EU projects involving IIT, such as VIACTORS, SAPHARI, and the ERC AdG SoftHands. His thesis received the G. Giralt Award for the best Ph.D. Thesis in 2014, followed by a number of other awards in conferences and events where my work was presented.

Today his main research interests are in the design of Soft Robotics systems, Human-Robot Interaction, Avatars, Prosthetics, and Rehabilitation. Recent results of his contributions are the prosthetic hand SoftHand Pro; the SoftFoot a proof-of-concept soft robotic foot; Alter-Ego a soft humanoid robot for physical interaction in autonomous, and teleoperated contexts, and the Walk-Man platform, a humanoid robot designed for the DARPA Robotic Challenge.

He had a prominent role in the organization of IIT’s participation in several important expeditions and events: leader of the AlterEgo team at the ANA AVATAR XPrize, IIT leader in the field mission in collaboration with Stanford’s Ocean One K underwater robot using the SoftHand Underwater; leader of the SoftHand Pro team in the two editions of the Cybathlon Powered Arm Prosthesis competition; leader of the LHF Connect Project, which developed a ready-to-use telepresence and telemedicine robot to help Covid-19 patients and operators under the strict lockdown in the spring of 2020, and deployed it in the Covid area of two hospitals; leader of IIT’s team in Amatrice in 2016, where the WalkMan platform was adopted to assist the Italian Civil Corps to assess building safety in the post-quake scenario; field leader for the DARPA Robotic Challenge, where IIT participated with the humanoid Walk-Man; leader in the ESA Lunar Robotics Challenge Competition in Tenerife. A complete list of field and experimental activities are available in the Manuel's CV.

Manuel is co-Founder of Natural Machine Motion Initiative (NMMI - https://www.naturalmachinemotioninitiative.com), an Open-Source community and platform for SoftRobotics. The Initiative is supported and Hosted by Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia e Centro di Ricerca “E. Piaggio”- Università di Pisa.

Manuel is co-founder of “qbrobotics s.r.l.”, a spin-off company of Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia e Centro di Ricerca “E. Piaggio”- Università di Pisa. qbrobotics Srl is a high-tech company that produces innovative soft robotic muscles and robotic hands that exploit soft robotics technologies.

Nowadays most of the technologies developed by Manuel Catalano reached a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6/7. The Pisa/IIT SoftHand, the SoftHand Pro, and the VSA-Cubes, approached a TRL of 9 (Market Ready). A complete list of systems and robots developed is available in the Manuel's CV.

Publications

More than 160 papers in peer-reviewed international Journals and Conferences, the complete list is available at: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=32dvargAAAAJ&hl=it

Curriculum Vitae

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fxfopg6a7wbe16r/CV_compact_catalano_v9.docx?dl=0

Education

Title: Ph.D in Robotics and Bionegineering
Institute: University of Pisa - IIT
Location: Pisa
Country: Italy
From: 2010 To: 2013

Title: M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering
Institute: University of Pisa
Location: Pisa
Country: Italy
From: 2006 To: 2008

Top Publications
2022
Trompetto C., Catalano M.G., Farina A., Grioli G., Mori L., Ciullo A., Pittaluga M., Rossero M., Puce L., Bicchi A.
A soft supernumerary hand for rehabilitation in sub-acute stroke: a pilot study
Scientific Reports, vol. 12, (no. 1)
Article Journal
2021
Capsi-Morales P., Piazza C., Catalano M.G., Grioli G., Schiavon L., Fiaschi E., Bicchi A.
Comparison between rigid and soft poly-articulated prosthetic hands in non-expert myo-electric users shows advantages of soft robotics
Scientific Reports, vol. 11, (no. 1)
2017
Della Santina C., Piazza C., Gasparri G.M., Bonilla M., Catalano M.G., Grioli G., Garabini M., Bicchi A.
The Quest for Natural Machine Motion: An Open Platform to Fast-Prototyping Articulated Soft Robots
IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, vol. 24, (no. 1), pp. 48-59
2017
Tsagarakis N.G., Caldwell D.G., Negrello F., Choi W., Baccelliere L., Loc V.G., Noorden J., Muratore L., Margan A., Cardellino A., Natale L., Mingo Hoffman E., Dallali H., Kashiri N., Malzahn J., Lee J., Kryczka P., Kanoulas D., Garabini M., Catalano M., Ferrati M., Varricchio V., Pallottino L., Pavan C., Bicchi A., Settimi A., Rocchi A., Ajoudani A.
WALK-MAN: A High-Performance Humanoid Platform for Realistic Environments
Journal of Field Robotics, vol. 34, (no. 7), pp. 1225-1259
Article Journal
2016
Piazza C., Della Santina C., Gasparri G.M., Catalano M.G., Grioli G., Garabini M., Bicchi A.
Toward an adaptive foot for natural walking
IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, pp. 1204-1210
Conference Paper Conference
All Publications
2023
Fossati M.R., Catalano M.G., Grioli G., Carbone M., Caporale D., Lentini G., Poggiani M., Maimeri M., Barbarossa M., Petrocelli C., Ferrari M., Gesi M., Viglialoro R.M., Ferrari V., Bicchi A.
Technological Low Hanging Fruits Involved in Combating the COVID 19 Pandemic
Springer Series in Design and Innovation, vol. 26, pp. 109-123
Book Chapter Book Series
2022
Capsi-Morales P., Catalano M.G., Grioli G., Schiavon L., Fiaschi E., Bicchi A.
Adaptable Poly-Articulated Bionic Hands EnhanceBoth Performance and User's Perception in Bilateral Amputation: A Case Study
IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 30, pp. 2437-2445
Article Journal
2022
Catalano M.G., Pollayil M.J., Grioli G., Valsecchi G., Kolvenbach H., Hutter M., Bicchi A., Garabini M.
Adaptive Feet for Quadrupedal Walkers
IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 38, (no. 1), pp. 302-316
Article Journal
2022
Kong F., Monteleone S., Grioli G., Catalano M.G., Bicchi A.
A Robotic Aerial Platform with Functionally Anthropomorphic Arms designed for Physical Interaction
IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, vol. 2022-October, pp. 7581-7588
Conference Paper Conference
2022
Ozdamar I., Laghi M., Grioli G., Ajoudani A., Catalano M., Bicchi A.
A Shared Autonomy Reconfigurable Control Framework for Telemanipulation of Multi-arm Systems
IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Article Journal
Dissemination
2018
Catalano Manuel G.
Humanoids@Work: robot Avatar per il monitoraggio e l’ispezione dopo un disastro
Be the Bot!, Festival della Robotica, Pisa, Italy
Public Event
2018
Catalano M. G.
Protesi di arto superiore: dalla ricerca avanzata al mondo reale
Cyber Prosthetics, Festival della Robotica 2018, Pisa, Italy
Public Event
2018
Catalano M. G.
Robot and Avatars
RTV38, Firenze, Italy
Media
2017
Catalano M.G.
Soft Robotics from Lab to Industries
ROBOTS: WHAT’S NEXT?, Maker Faire Rome, Roma, Italy
Public Event
2012
Catalano M. G.
Pisa/IIT SoftHand
I Fatti Vostri, Roma, Italy
Media
Scientific Talks
2022
Negrello F., Monteleone S., Garabini M., Grioli G., Bicchi A., Catalano M.G.
Towards Resilient Robots
Robotic Science and Systems (RSS) 2022
Conference
2021
Negrello F., Catalano M.G., Grioli G., Bicchi A.
Ergonomics in Industrial Environment: a User Perspective
Italian Conference in Robotics and Intelligent Machines
Workshop/Symposium
2019
Catalano M. G., Piazza C., Bianchi M., Grioli G., Bicchi A.
Soft robotics technologies to implement human motor control lessons in bionic hands
32nd annual Meeting of the European Musculo Skeletal Oncology Society (EMSOS)
Conference
2018
Catalano M. G.
Connecting hardware & behavior: new opportunities for soft robotic end-effectors
Hands in the Real World, IROS 2018, Madrid, Spain
Workshop/Symposium
2018
Catalano M. G.
Dynamic Morphological Computation: Embodying Control Intelligence in Soft Continuum Robots
Controlling Soft Robots, IROS 2018, Madrid, Spain
Workshop/Symposium
Awards and Achievements
2022
Duz A., Negrello F., Paludo L., Benvenuti D., Palleschi A., Stefanini E., Ierace S., Tsagarakis N., Pallottino L., Bicchi A., Catalano M.G.
Miglior lavoro presentato "Robotic Autonomous Loco-Manipulation For Logistics In Industrial Plants", 4° Conferenza Italiana di Robotica e Macchine Intelliegenti
2018
Laghi M., Maimeri M., Marchand M., Leparoux C., Catalano M., Ajoudani A., Bicchi A.
Best Conference Paper Award (oral presentation category) Finalist
2018
Ciullo A., Catalano M., Bicchi A., Ajoudani A.
Winner of the Best Poster Award
2017
Negrello F., Catalano M., Garabini M., Poggiani M., Caldwell D.G., Tsagarakis N., Bicchi A.
Best Paper (Runner-up) “Design and Characterization of a Novel High-Compliance Spring for Robots with Soft Joints”,
2016
Bicchi A., Catalano M., Bianchi M., Grioli G., Garabini M., Rocchi A., Farnioli E., Marino H., Bonilla M., Piazza C., Della Santina C., Luberto E., Santaera G., Brando A., Bonomo F., Raugi A.
Robotics Grasp and Manipulation Challenge at IROS
Organized Events
2018
Stuart H., Negrello F., Catalano M.G.
Hands in the real world: Connecting End-effector Design, Sensitivity and Behavior