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Ioannis Sarakoglou

Chief Technician
Mechatronics Research Engineer

Research Line

Humanoids & Human Centered Mechatronics


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


 Dr Ioannis Sarakoglou is a Mechatronics Rerearch Engineer working on Exoskeletons and Wearble robots, body sensing technologies, Teleoperation and actuation mechatronics. He received his degree in Robotics and Electronic Eng. from the University of Salford following this with a Phd. in Robotics at the same University. His research interests include the design and development of upper and lower body exoskeletos, werable and descktop haptic feedback devices, teleoperation systems, force torque sensors, body posture and grasp measurement sensors and hybrid actuators. He is the author of a number of papers in journal and international conferences including ICRA, IROS, WorldHaptics and EuroHaptics. He was awarded the 1st prize in the Immersion & Interactive Design (IID) Competition in Virtual Concept 2005. He was finalist for the Best Entertainment Robots and Systems - 20th Anniversary Award at IROS 2007 and for the best demo award in WorldHaptics 2011. He is a member of the IEEE.


Teleoperation Wearable robots Exoskeletons Body sensing systems Force-Torque sensors Variable impedance actuators

Selected Publications

Conference Proceedings

Sarakoglou, I., A. Brygo, D. Mazzanti, N. V. Garcia Hernandez, D. G. Caldwell and N. G. Tsagarakis (2016). HEXOTRAC: A Highly Under-Actuated Hand Exoskeleton for Finger Tracking and Force Feedback. IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems IROS(2016), Daejeon, Korea.

Saccares, L., I. Sarakoglou and N. G. Tsagarakis (2016). It-Knee: An Exoskeleton with Ideal Torque Transmission Interface for Ergonomic Power Augmentation. IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems IROS(2016), Daejeon, Korea.

Brygo, A., I. Sarakoglou, A. Ajoudani, N. V. Garcia Hernandez, G. Grioli, M. G. Catalano and N. G. Tsagarakis (2016). Synergy-Based Interface for Bilateral Tele-Manipulations of a Master-Slave System with Large Asymmetries. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

Serio, A., E. Riccomini, V. Tartaglia, I. Sarakoglou, M. Gabiccini, N. Tsagarakis and A. Bicchi (2014). The Patched Intrinsic Tactile Object: a Tool to Investigate Human Grasps. IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Sarakoglou, I., N. G. Tsagarakis and D. G. Caldwell (2014). Toward Haptic Interfaces with Higher Impedance Range: A Hybrid Actuator with Controllable Mechanical Damping. Actuator, 14th Int. conf on new actuators, Bremen.

Sarakoglou, I., N. G. Tsagarakis and D. G. Caldwell (2014). Development of a Hybrid Actuator with Controllable Mechanical Damping. IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Hong Kong, China.

Salvietti, G., G. Gioioso, M. Malvezzi, D. Prattichizzo, A. Serio, E. Farnioli, M. Gabiccini, A. Bicchi, I. Sarakoglou, N. Tsagarakis and D. Caldwell (2014). HANDS.DVI: A Device-Independent Programming and Control Framework for Robotic Hands. Gearing Up and Accelerating Cross-fertilization between Academic and Industrial Robotics Research in Europe:. F. Röhrbein, G. Veiga and C. Natale, Springer International Publishing. 94: 197-215.

Brygo, A., I. Sarakoglou and N. Tsagarakis (2014). Teleoperation of a humanoid robot with autonomous joint impedance regulation and vibrotactile balancing feedback. 2014 IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, Madrid.

Brygo, A., I. Sarakoglou, N. Garcia-Hernandez and N. Tsagarakis (2014). Tele-Manipulation with a Humanoid Robot under Autonomous Impedance Regulation and Balancing Feedback. IEEE ROBIO 2014, Bali.

Brygo, A., I. Sarakoglou, N. Garcia and N. Tsagarakis (2014). Humanoid Robot Teleoperation with Vibrotactile based Balancing Feedback. EuroHaptics 2014.

Garcia-Hernandez, N., I. Sarakoglou, N. Tsagarakis and D. G. Caldwell (2012 ). Exploration of virtual surface features with a high performance tactile and force feedback interface. Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC), 2012 IEEE International Conference on, Seoul, Korea.

Alessandro Serio, Marco Gabiccini, Ioannis Sarakoglou and Antonio Bicchi, “Calibration and Test of a Multi-Touch Tactile Object” in Proc. IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems, Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal, 2012.

N. Garcia-Hernandez, I. Sarakoglou, N. Tsagarakis, and D. G. Caldwell,"Exploration of Virtual Surface Features with a High Performance Tactile and Force Feedback Interface," in Proc. IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (IEEE SMC 2012), Seoul, Korea, 2012.

I. Sarakoglou, N. Garcia-Hernandez, N. G. Tsagarakis , and D. G. Caldwell,"Integration of a Tactile Display in Teleoperation of a Soft Robotic Finger Using Model Based Tactile Feedback," in Proc. IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems, Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal, 2012.

I. Sarakoglou, N. Garcia-Hernandez, N. G. Tsagarakis and D. G. Caldwell, “A Compact Tactile Display Suitable for Integration in VR and Teleoperation”, IEEE – International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA. May 14-18, 2012, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA.

N. Garcia-Hernandez, I. Sarakoglou, N. G. Tsagarakis and D. G. Caldwell, Orientation Discrimination of Patterned Surfaces through an Actuated and Non-actuated Tactile Display”, IEEE - World Haptics Conference 2011, pp. 599-604, June 22-24, 2011, Istanbul, Turkey

N. Garcia-Hernandez, I. Sarakoglou, N. G. Tsagarakis and D. G. Caldwell, ”Effectiveness of a Tactile Display for Providing Orientation Information of 3d-patterned Surfaces” HCI International 2011, pp. 327-332, 9-14 July 2011, Orlando, Florida, USA

N. Garcia-Hernandez, N. G. Tsagarakis, I. Sarakoglou, and D. G. Caldwell, (2010),"Psychophysical Evaluation of a Low Density and Portable Tactile Device Displaying Small-Scale Surface Features," Eurohaptics 2010, Amsterdam.

I. Sarakoglou, M. Bezdicek, N. Tsagarakis, and D. G. Caldwell, “Free to Touch: A Portable Tactile Display for 3D Surface Texture Exploration,” in Proc. International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2006), pp. 3597-3592. (20 Years IROS, NTF Award Finalist for Entertainment Robots and Systems, IROS 2007)

I. Sarakoglou, N. Tsagarakis, and D. G. Caldwell, “A Portable Fingertip Tactile Feedback Array: Transmission System Reliability and Modelling,” in Proc. World Haptics Conference, 2005, pp. 547-548.

I. Sarakoglou, N. G. Tsagarakis and D. G. Caldwell, “Occupational and Physical Therapy Using a Hand Exoskeleton Based Exerciser,” in Proc. International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2004), 2004, pp. 2973-2978.

N. G. Tsagarakis, I. Sarakoglou, and D. G. Caldwell, “A Combined Haptic Interface and its Application on the Pre-Operative Planning for Total Hip Replacement,” in Proc. EuroHaptics, Munich, Germany, 2004, pp. 348-351.

Journal Papers

A Brygo, I Sarakoglou, G Grioli, N Tsagarakis "Synergy-based Bilateral Port: a Universal Control Module for Tele-manipulation Frameworks using Asymmetric Master-Slave Systems," Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 5 (March 2017), Article 19.

I. Sarakoglou, N. Garcia-Hernandez, N. G. Tsagarakis, and D. G. Caldwell, "A High Performance Tactile Feedback Display and Its Integration in Teleoperation," IEEE Transactions on Haptics, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 252-263, 2012.

D. G. Caldwell, N. G. Tsagarakis, S. Kousidou, N. Costa and I. Sarakoglou, ““Soft” Exoskeletons for Upper and Lower Body Rehabilitation – Design, Control and Testing,” International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, vol. 4, 3, pp. 549-574, 2007

Book chapters

I.Sarakoglou, S.Kousidou, N.Tsagarakis and D.G.Caldwell, “Exoskeleton-Based Exercisers for the Disabilities of the Upper Arm and Hand”, In Rehabilitation Robotics, S.S.Kommu, Ed., InTech, Vienna, Austria, 2007, pp. 499-522


2011        Ioannis Sarakoglou, Nadia Garcia-Hernandez, “Integration of a High Performance Tactile Display in VR,” IEEE - World Haptics Conference 2011, June 22-24, 2011, Istanbul, Turkey

2005        G.Tsagarakis, M.Petrone, I.Sarakoglou, D.G.Caldwell, ”Demonstration of Multisense Haptic Enabled Environment”, WorldHaptics 2005, Pisa, Italy.

2005         I.sarakoglou, M.Bezdicek, D.GCaldwell “Free to Touch” Demonstrated at the Virtual Concept International Conference 2005, Biaritz, France.


Patent application: 


Inventors: SARAKOGLOU Ioannis, TSAGARAKIS Nikos e CALDWELL Darwin

Assignee: Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Priority: TO2012A000890


Patent application:

Title:“Esoscheletro per arti inferiori”

Inventors: SACCARES Lorenzo, SARAKOGLOU Ioannis, TSAGARAKIS Nikos

Assignee: Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, n. IT 102016000099694


Awards, Achievements and the Media

Jun 2011             IEEE - WorldHaptics Award Nomination            Istanbul, Turkey

In the WorldHaptics 2011 conference our demo “Integration of a High Performance Tactile Display in VR,” was nominated for the best demonstration award, receiving a place in the top 5 out of the 45 presented demos. Presenters: Ioannis Sarakoglou, Nadia Garcia-Hernandez.

Oct 2007              IROS2007 NTF Award Nomination                  San Diego ,USA

The paper “Free to Touch: A Portable Tactile Display For 3D Surface Texture Exploration” presented at IEEE IROS 2006 was nominated for the NTF (New Technology Foundation) Award on Entertainment Systems and Robots at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2007), San Diego (USA).  This award reviewed the best papers on entertainment robots during the 20 years of the IROS conference.

Feb 2005             “The Gadget Show”                             National TV Channel 5, UK

The tactile display “Free to Touch” produced during my PhD was featured on national television in the show “The Gadget Show” (UK Channel 5) as part of a programme on emerging telepresence technologies.

Nov 2005             1st Prize Virtual Concept International Conference   Biarritz, France

I was awarded with another colleague the 1st prize in the Immersion & Interactive Design (IID) Competition for the presentation of the “Free to Touch”tactile VR system.  This system consisted of a wireless portable finger tactile display integrated in a VR environment.  This system was the first to have achieved the display of high density tactile shape information on the finger pad of a free moving finger within a VR environment.

Oct 2005              IEEE Spectrum magazine

The hand exoskeleton was included in the feature article “Exoskeletons Around the World” (A photo gallery of exoskeletons and wearable robotic systems in the U.S., Europe, and Asia).

2002-2005           PhD Grant                      The University of Salford, UK

I was awarded a 3 year maintenance grand and fee waiver by the Advanced Robotics Laboratory in the University of Salford towards for a PhD in Advanced Robotics.


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Accetta e chiudi

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.