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Barbara Mazzolai Write a Message

Senior Researcher Tenured - Center Coordinator
Center Director

Center

CMBR@SSSA Pisa

Contacts

Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 34

About

Barbara Mazzolai is Coordinator of the Center for Micro-BioRobotics (CMBR) at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) and Deputy Director at IIT delegate to the Supervision and Organization of IIT Centers Network at the same institute.

She holds an MSc cum laude (1995) in Biology at the University of Pisa and a PhD in Microsystems Engineering at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy). From 1994 to 1998 she was research assistant at the Institute of Biophysics of the National Research Council in Pisa. In 1997 she won a scholarship for an International Master Degree in Eco-Management at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA) in Pisa. From 1999 to 2009 she performed her research in service and green robotics, and bioinspired robotics at the Center for Research in Microengineering (now The BioRobotics Institute) at SSSA. Since November 2009 she has been a scientist at IIT. She was Project Manager of several EU project, including the FET-Proactive OCTOPUS European Project, and the Coordinator of the PLANTOID FET-Open European Project.

She is Editorial Board Member of Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Soft Robotics, Biomimetics, Robotics & Automation Letters, and Associated Editor of Frontiers in Bionics and Biomimetics, Micro-BioRobotics.

She is author and co-author of more than 180 scientific publications. Her current scientific activity focuses on bioinspired and soft robotics. 

Projects

XoSoft - Soft modular biomimetic exoskeleton to assist people with mobility impairments (EC H2020-ICT-2015, IIT Coordinator) – CMBR PI

Innovative Robotic Artefacts Inspired by Plant Roots for Soil Monitoring (PLANTOID, ICT-2011.9.1 FET Open, Grant Agreement no. 293431, 2012-2015) - Coordinator

 

Selected Publications

 

C. Larson, B. Peele, S. Li, S. Robinson, M. Totaro, L. Beccai, B. Mazzolai, R. Shepherd, Highly stretchable electroluminescent skin for optical signaling and tactile sensing, Science 351(6277): 1071-1074, 2016.

A Argiolas, GL Puleo, E Sinibaldi, B Mazzolai, Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants, Scientific Reports 6, 2016.

L. Popova, D. van Dusschoten, K.A. Nagel, F. Fiorani, B. Mazzolai, Plant root tortuosity: an indicator of root path formation in soil with different composition and density, Ann Bot 2016.

B Mazzolai, V Mattoli, Robotics: Generation soft, Nature 536 (7617), 400-401, 2016.

S. Taccola, F. Greco, E. Sinibaldi, A. Mondini, B. Mazzolai, V. Mattoli, Toward a new generation of electrically controllable hygromorphic soft actuators, Advanced Materials 27(10) 1637–1795, 2015.

Sadeghi, A. Tonazzini, L. Popova and B. Mazzolai, A Novel Growing Device Inspired by Plant Root Soil Penetration Behaviors, PLoS ONE 9(2), 2014.

F. Tramacere, A. Kovalev, T. Kleinteich, S. N. Gorb, B. Mazzolai “Structure and mechanical properties of Octopus vulgaris suckers”, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, vol. 11, (no. 91), pp. 20130816, 2014.

F. Tramacere, L. Beccai, M. Kuba, A. Gozzi, A. Bifone, B. Mazzolai "The Morphology and Adhesion Mechanism of Octopus vulgaris suckers", PLoS ONE 8(6): e65074, 2013.

B. Mazzolai, L. Margheri, M. Cianchetti, P. Dario and C. Laschi, Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus. II. From artificial requirements to innovative technological solutions, Bioinspir. Biomim., 7 025005, 2012.

Mazzolai, A. Mondini, P. Corradi, C. Laschi, V. Mattoli, E. Sinibaldi, P. Dario, A Miniaturized Mechatronic System Inspired by Plant Roots, IEEE Transaction on Mechatronics 16(2), 201-212, 2011.

 

Awards

2015 Listed among the 25 most influential women in robotics by RoboHub

2015 International Award, We Woman for EXPO, October 7, 2015, Genoa, Italy (for the scientific activities performed in biomimetics and biorobotics)

2014 Best Poster Award at EuroEAP 2014, International conference on Electromechanically Active Polymer (EAP) transducers & artificial muscles, Linköping, Sweden, 10-11 June 2014, with the work "Shaping and patterning of electrically driven soft PEDOT:PSS bilayer actuators" by S. Taccola, F. Greco, A. Mondini, B. Mazzolai, V. Mattoli.

2013 Medal of the Senate of the Italian Republic, October 27, 2013, Rimini, Italy (for the scientific activities performed in biomimetics and biorobotics)

2013 Best Poster Award at EuroEAP 2013, International conference on Electromechanically Active Polymer (EAP) transducers & artificial muscles, Duebendorf, 25-26 June, 2013, with the work S. Taccola, A. Zucca, F. Greco, B. Mazzolai, V. Mattoli, Electrically driven dry state actuators based on PEDOT:PSS nanofilms.

2012 TMECH Best Paper Award with the work B. Mazzolai, A. Mondini, P. Corradi, C. Laschi, V. Mattoli, E. Sinibaldi, P. Dario, A Miniaturized Mechatronic System Inspired by Plant Roots, IEEE Transaction on Mechatronics, vol 16(2), pp. 201-212, 2011.

2010 Award Marisa Bellisario, “Germoglio d’Oro”, XXII Edition, June 18 2010, Rome (for the creativity and innovative character of the DustBot idea and for its social and environmental impact)

2007 Best Paper Award at RoBio 2007, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics, 15-18 December, 2007 Sanya, with the work F. Patanè, V. Mattoli, C. Laschi, B. Mazzolai and P. Dario, H. Ishii, A. Takanishi, Biomechatronic Design and Development of a Legged Rat Robot.

Colleagues at CMBR@SSSA Pisa See all

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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.

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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.

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