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Leonardo De Mattos Write a Message

Team Leader

Research Line

Advanced Robotics


IIT Central Research Lab Genova


Via Morego 30
+39 010 71781 409


Leonardo S. Mattos (B.Sc. 1998, M.Sc. 2003, Ph.D. 2007) is a Team Leader at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) and the Head of the Biomedical Robotics Laboratory. His research background includes robotic microsurgery, laser microsurgery, user interfaces, mixed and augmented reality, systems integration, automation, usability analysis, computer vision, and micromanipulation.

Leonardo received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the North Carolina State University (NCSU, USA), where he worked as research assistant at the Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (CRIM) from 2002 until 2007. He has been a researcher at the IIT’s Department of Advanced Robotics since then.

Dr. Mattos was the PI and coordinator of the European project µRALP – Micro-Technologies and Systems for Robot-Assisted Laser Phonomicrosurgery. He is currently the PI and Coordinator of the project TEEP-SLA, which is dedicated to the creation of assistive systems for people with ALS.

Leonardo has graduated 7 PhD students and is currently supervising 8 PhD candidates. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, and has been the chair and main organizer of several international scientific events, including the 4th Joint Workshop on New Technologies for Computer/Robot Assisted Surgery (CRAS 2014), the IEEE BioRob 2014 Workshop on Robotic Microsurgery and Image-Guided Surgical Interventions, and the IEEE BioRob 2012 Workshop on Robot-Assisted Laryngeal Microsurgery. Leonardo has also been part of scientific and program committees of major international conferences, serving as Associate Editor for ICRA, BioRob, MFI, and the Hamlyn Symposium. He is also a regular reviewer for several computer-assisted surgery and robotics conferences and journals.

Selected Publications


  1. Moccia, S., Vanone, G.A., Laborai, A., De Momi, E., Guastini, L., Peretti, G., Mattos, L., “Learning-based classification of informative laryngoscopic frames,” (in press) Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, January 2018
  2. Olivieri, E., Barresi, G., Caldwell, D., Mattos, L., “Haptic Feedback for Control and Active Constraints in Contactless Laser Surgery: Concept, Implementation and Evaluation,” IEEE Transactions on Haptics,, December 2017
  3. Penza, V., Ciullo, A., Moccia, S., Mattos, L., De Momi, E., “EndoAbS Dataset: Endoscopic Abdominal Stereo Image Dataset for Benchmarking 3D Stereo Reconstruction Algorithms,” (in press) The International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery, December 2017
  4. Penza, V., Stoyanov, D., Du, X., Forgione, A., Mattos, L., De Momi, E., “Long Term Safety Area Tracking (LT-SAT) with Online Failure Detection and Recovery for Robotic Minimally Invasive Surgery,” Medical Image Analysis,, December 2017
  5. Acemoglu, A., Deshpande, N., Mattos, L., “Towards a Magnetically Actuated Laser Scanner for Endoscopic Microsurgeries,” (in press) Journal of Medical Robotics Research, arXiv:1711.07777, October 2017
  6. Cheng, Z., Davies, B., Caldwell, D., Barresi, G., Xu, Q., Mattos, L., “A hand-held robotic device for peripheral intravenous catheterization,” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine,, September 2017
  7. Moccia, S., Guarnaschelli, M., Savazzi, M., Laborai, A., Guastini, L., Peretti, G., De Momi, E., Mattos, L., “Confident texture-based laryngeal tissue classification for early-stage diagnosis support,” Journal of Medical Imaging,, September 2017
  8. Cheng, Z., Davies, B., Caldwell, D., Mattos, L., “A hand-held robot for pediatric PIVC: Device design and pre-clinical trial,” (in press) Journal of Medical Robotics Research, September 2017
  9. Geraldes, A., Geretti, L., Bresolin, D., Muradore, R., Fiorini, P., Mattos, L., Villa, T., “Formal Verification of Medical CPS: a Laser Incision Case Study,” (in press) ACM Transactions on Cyber-Physical Systems, September 2017
  10. Acemoglu, A., Fichera, L., Kepiro, I., Caldwell, D., Mattos, L., “Laser Incision Depth Control in Robot-Assisted Soft Tissue Microsurgery,” Journal of Medical Robotics Research,, Vol. 02, No. 03, September 2017
  11. Penza, V., De Momi, E., Enayati, N., Chupin, T., Ortiz, J., Mattos, L., “EnViSoRS: Enhanced Vision System to improve Safety during Robotic Surgery,” Frontiers in Robotics and AI,, 24 May 2017
  12. Mattos, L., Caldwell, D., Peretti, G., Mora, F., Guastini, L., Cingolani, R., “Microsurgery robots: addressing the needs of high-precision surgical interventions,” Swiss Medical Weekly,, October 2016 (IF 2.086)
  13. Penza, V., Ortiz, J., Mattos, L., Forgione, A., De Momi, E., “Dense Soft Tissue 3D Reconstruction Refined with Super-pixel Segmentation for Robotic Abdominal Surgery,” International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 197-206,, February 2016 (IF 1.827)
  14. Barbalata, C., Mattos, L., “Laryngeal Tumor Detection and Classification in Endoscopic Video,” IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics (JBHI), vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 322-332,, January 2016 (IF 2.093)
  15. Fichera, L., Pardo, D., Illiano, P., Ortiz, J., Caldwell, D., Mattos, L., “Online Estimation of Laser Incision Depth for Transoral Microsurgery: Approach and Preliminary Evaluation,” The International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery,, March 2015 (IF 1.613)
  16. Dagnino, G., Mattos, L., Caldwell, D., “A Vision-Based System for Fast and Accurate Laser Scanning in Robot-Assisted Phonomicrosurgery,” International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery,, vol.10(2), pp. 217-229, February 2015 (IF 1.827)
  17. Pardo, D., Fichera, L., Caldwell, D., Mattos, L., “Learning temperature dynamics on agar-based phantom tissue surface during single point CO2 laser exposure,” Neural Processing Letters Journal, Springer,, October 2014 (IF 1.747)
  18. Mattos, L., Deshpande, N., Barresi, G., Guastini, L., Peretti, G., “A Novel Computerized Surgeon–Machine Interface for Robot-Assisted Laser Phonomicrosurgery,” The Laryngoscope,, August 2014 (IF 2.471)
  19. Becattini, G., Mattos, L., Caldwell, D., “A Fully Automated System for Adherent Cells Microinjection,” IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, vol. 18, No. 1,, January 2014 (IF 2.093)
  20. Becattini, G., Mattos, L., Caldwell, D., “A Visual Targeting System for the Microinjection of Unstained Adherent Cells,” Computers in Biology and Medicine, 43(2), pp. 109-120, Elsevier,, February 2013 (IF 1.683)
  21. Mattos, L., Caldwell, D., “A Micro-Biomanipulation Training System based on Mixed-Reality,” International Journal on Advances in Life Sciences, ISSN 1942-2660, vol. 2(3&4), pp. 73–81, 2010
  22. Mattos, L., Grant, E., Thresher, R., and Kluckman, K., “Blastocyst Microinjection Automation,” IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine, vol. 13(5), pp. 822-831,, September 2009 (IF 2.093)
  23. Grant, E., Luthy, K.A., Muth, J.F., Mattos, L.S., Braly, J.C., Seyam, A., Gosh, T., Dhawan, A., Natarajan, K., “Developing Portable Acoustic Arrays on a Large-Scale E-Textile Substrate,” International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 16, No. 1/2, pp. 73-83,, 2004 (IF 0.418)


Recent Conferences (from 2016)

  1. Schiatti, L., Tessadori, J., Deshpande, N., Barresi, G, Mattos, L., “Human-in-the-Loop of Robot Learning: EEG-based Reward Signal for Target Identification and Reaching Task,” (accepted)The 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2018), Australia, May 21 – 25, 2018
  2. Tessadori, J., Schiatti, L., Barresi, G, Mattos, L., “Does Tactile Feedback Enhance Single-Trial Detection of Error-Related EEG Potentials?,” IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Banff, Canada,, October 5 – 8, 2017
  3. Acemoglu, A., Deshpande, N., Mattos, L., “A Magnetic Laser Scanner for Non-Contact Endoscopic Ablations,” Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, June 2017
  4. Prudente, F. Moccia, S., Perin, A., Sekula, F., Mattos, L., Balzer, J. R., Fellows-Mayle, W., De Momi, E., Riviere, C., “Toward safer neurosurgery with an active handheld instrument,” Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, June 2017
  5. Penza, V., De Momi, E., Enayati, N., Chupin, T., Ortiz, J., Mattos, L., “Safety Enhancement Framework for Robotic Minimally Invasive Surgery,” Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, June 2017
  6. Cheng, Z., Davies, B., Caldwell, D., Mattos, L., “SAID: a Semi-Autonomous Intravenous access Device for pediatric peripheral intravenous catheterization,” (best paper runner up), Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, June 2017
  7. Schiatti, L., Tessadori, J., Barresi, G, Mattos, L., Ajoudani, A., “Soft Brain-Machine Interfaces for Assistive Robotics: A Novel Control Approach,” 2017 IEEE-RAS-EMBS International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR 2017), July 17-20, 2017
  8. Larradet, F., Barresi, G., Mattos, L., “Effects of GSR-estimated relaxation feedback on user experience in gaze-controlled gaming: a pilot study,” 39th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2017), Jeju Island, Korea, July 2017
  9. Maglioli, C., Caldwell, D., Mattos, L., “A Bioimpedance Sensing System for In-Vivo Cancer Tissue Identification: Design and Preliminary Evaluation,” 39th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2017), Jeju Island, Korea, July 2017
  10. Chauhan, M., Deshpande, N., Barresi, G., Pacchierotti, C., Prattichizzo, D., Caldwell, D., Mattos, L., “Design and control of a novel robotic microsurgical forceps for transoral laser microsurgery,” 2017 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM 2017), Munich, Germany, July 3-7, 2017
  11. Acemoglu, A., Mattos, L., “Magnetic Laser Scanner for Endoscopic Microsurgery,” Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2017), pp. 4215-4220, Singapore, May 2017
  12. Scorza, D., Moccia, S., De Luca, G., Plaino, L., Cardinale, F., Mattos, L., Kabongo, L., De Momi, E., “Safe electrode trajectory planning in SEEG via MIP-based vessel segmentation,” Conference on Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling – SPIE Medical Imaging, Orlando (FL), USA, 11-16 February 2017
  13. Barresi, G, Schiatti, L., Tessadori, J., Mattos, L., “Focus-Sensitive Dwell Time in EyeBCI: Pilot Study,” 8th IEEE Computer Science & Electronic Engineering Conference (CEEC 2016), Essex, UK, September 2016
  14. Moccia, S., Penza, V., Vanone, G., De Momi, E., Mattos, L., “Automatic Workflow for Narrow-Band Laryngeal Video Stitching,” 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2016), pp. 1188-1191, Orlando, USA, August 2016
  15. Schiatti, L., Faes, L., Tessadori, J., Barresi, G, Mattos, L., “Mutual information-based feature selection for low-cost BCIs based on motor imagery,” 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2016), pp. 2772-2775, Orlando, USA, August 2016
  16. Deshpande, N., Chauhan, M., Pacchierotti, C., Caldwell, D., Prattichizzo, D., Mattos, L., “Robot-assisted Microsurgical Forceps with Haptic Feedback for Transoral Laser Microsurgery,” 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2016), pp. 5156-5159, Orlando, USA, August 2016
  17. Chauhan, M., Barresi, G., Deshpande, N., Caldwell, D., Mattos, L., “Novel modular 2-DOF microsurgical forceps for Transoral Laser Microsurgeries: Ergonomic design and preliminary evaluation,” 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2016), pp. 5216-5219, Orlando, USA, August 2016
  18. Chauhan, M. , Mattos, L., Caldwell, D., Deshpande, N., “Design and Modelling of Novel modular 2 DOF microsurgical forceps for Trans-oral Laser Microsurgeries,” 2016 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM 2016), Banff, Canada, July 2016
  19. Cheng, Z., Davies, B., Caldwell, D., Mattos, L., “A venipuncture detection system for robot-assisted intravenous catheterization,” Proceedings of the 6th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob 2016), pp. 80-86, Singapore, June 26-29, 2016
  20. Moccia, S., De Momi, E., Baselli, G., Mattos, L., “Supervised Hessian-based vessels segmentation in narrow-band laryngeal images,” CARS 2016 - 30th International Congress and Exhibition on Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, pp. S50-S51, June 21-26, 2016
  21. Fichera, L., Pacchierotti, C., Olivieri, E., Prattichizzo, D., Mattos, L., “Kinesthetic and Vibrotactile Haptic Feedback Improves the Performance of Laser Microsurgery,” 2016 IEEE Haptics Symposium (HAPTICS 2016), DOI: 10.1109/HAPTICS.2016.7463156, Philadelphia, USA, April 2016
  22. Mattos, L., Guastini, L., Mora, F., Caldwell, D., Peretti, G., “Robot-Assisted System for Free-Beam Transoral Laser Microsurgery,” XIV Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing (MEDICON 2016), Paphos, Cyprus, March 2016


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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.