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Laura Margheri

Post Doc

Research Line

Bioinspired Soft Robotics



+39 050 883013
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Laura Margheri works for the Bioinspired Soft Robotics research line at the Center for Micro-BioRobotics of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, under the coordination of Dr. Barbara Mazzolai. 

Professional skills

  • Multi-disciplinary scientific and technological expertise in Bioinspired Soft Robotics: bioinspired robotic design, biomechanical modelling, biology, soft and smart material science
  • 10-year experience in research and management activities within national and international projects, working with mechanical engineers, control engineers, bioengineers, biologists, mathematicians, neuroscientists, architects, material scientists, and industrial representatives
  • Research proposals writing, with expertise in European, national and regional funding programmes 
  • Scientific community building and development of national and international scientific partnerships
  • Organization of scientific events, scientific publications and science writing

Short biography

With a Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering (with Honours) and a PhD in BioRobotics (with Honours), Dr. Margheri has a research expertise in soft robotics and bioinspired robotics, soft and smart materials, 3D analysis and biomechanical modelling. Technical skills are combined with a pluri-annual experience in research programme management and project proposals management, including organization and planning of R&D activities, coordination of multi-institutional and cross-disciplinary partnerships, writing of new grant proposals, scientific networking and dissemination. Before joining the IIT Center for Micro-BioRobotics, Dr. Margheri has been Programme Manager and Knowledge Transfer Fellow at Imperial College London, for the Aerial Robotics Lab (2016-2018), and Post Doc, project manager and scientific secretariat, at the BioRobotics Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (2012-2016). She has worked and collaborated with roboticists, biologists, mathematicians, neuroscientists, architects, material scientists, earth science engineers, industrial researchers, business managers and politicians, acting also as a bridge between different disciplines and cultures. She has worked as bioengineer and scientific manager for large projects and networks in the fields of biorobotics and soft robotics (including the EU-funded ICT FET ProActive Project OCTOPUS and the FET Open Coordination Action RoboSoft), and has contributed to the institution of new joint laboratories, academia-industry networks and centre of excellence in robotics (at Imperial College). She has organized several international events in robotics, including project meetings, workshops and special sessions at international conferences, exhibitions, and Summer Schools. Thanks to her roles and activities, Dr. Margheri is well known in the international community of robotics, with a large network of links across academia, industry, government and press sectors. Dr. Margheri is also an active member of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS), for which she has been Student Member of the Administrative Committee (2012-2013), Chair of the Students Activities Committee (2012-2013), and Chair of the Women In Engineering Committee (2014-2015, 2016-2017). She is also member of the IEEE Women in Engineering Society and is part of the Editorial Board of the IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine. In 2018, she has been nominated among the worldwide “25 women in robotics you need to know about” by RoboHub.


Bioinspired Soft Robotics

Selected Publications

On Soft Robotics

  • Laschi C., Rossiter J., Iida F., Cianchetti M., Margheri L. - Editors (2016) Soft Robotics: Trends, Applications and Challenges: Proceedings of the Soft Robotics Week, April 25-30, 2016, Livorno, Italy Springer
  • Margheri L., Trimmer B. (2015) Soft Robotics Community Events: Meeting Different Backgrounds for Common Challenges, Soft Robotics 1 (4), 236-238
  • Mazzolai B., Margheri L., Dario P., Laschi C. (2013) Measurements of octopus arm elongation: Evidence of differences by body size and gender, Journal Of Experimental Marine Biology And Ecology, vol. 447, pp. 160–164
  • Mazzolai B., Margheri L., Cianchetti M., Dario P., Laschi C. (2012) Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus. II. From artificial requirements to innovative technological solutions. Bioinspir. Biomim.7 (2):025005
  • Margheri L., Laschi C., Mazzolai B. (2012) Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus. I. From biological functions to artificial requirements. Bioinspir. Biomim. 7 (2):025004
  • Margheri L., Ponte G., Mazzolai B., Laschi C., Fiorito G. (2011) Non invasive study of the Octopus vulgarisarm morphology using ultrasound. J. Exp. Biol.214, 3727-3731

On Women In Engineering

  • Margheri L. (2018) Inspiration and Independence, [Women In Engineering], Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE 25 (1)
  • Margheri L. (2016) Il nuovo petrolio è l’ingegneria vista al femminile. QN – Quotidiano Nazionale, Il piacere della lettura, Anno 1, numero 5, 22 maggio 2016
  • Margheri L. (2015) Funding Robotics Projects: An Interview with Cecile Huet, Deputy Head of the European Commission Robotics Unit [Women in Engineering], Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE 22 (3), 185-186
  • Margheri L. (2014) Le “donne- ingegnere” e la leadership al femminile, Il Sole 24 Ore, Commenti & Inchieste, N.147, pag. 20, 31/05/2014



  • 2018 RoboHub 25 women in robotics you need to know about
  • 2014 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2014) Pecha Kucha Finalist "Exploring Soft Robots: RoboSoft Community Tales" 
  • 2011 Award Comitato Studi EuroCeph Margheri L., Mazzolai B., Dario P., Laschi C. "A bioengineering approach for in vivo measurements of the octopus arms" 



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