Biomedical Robotics

The Biomedical Robotics Laboratory focuses on research and development of human-centered robotic technologies. We are a highly multidisciplinary group working towards the creation of novel technologies that can directly impact the health and well-being of people.

The overall research theme involves the creation of robotic systems to augment human capabilities through enhanced interfaces. This includes research in areas such as robot-assisted surgery, micromanipulation, human-robot interfaces, assistive systems for the disabled, medical imaging and computer vision, teleoperation, cognitive controllers, and automation. Typical goals are to improve the consistency, efficiency, usability and safety of difficult and/or delicate operations traditionally performed manually.


The Biomedical Robotics Laboratory is part of the Advanced Robotics Department and counts with a larger range of state-of-the-art equipment that support our research and stimulate the curiosity of our researchers. These include surgical laser systems, microscopes, motorized micromanipulators, haptic devices, EEG systems, robotic arms, endoscopes, and many other scientific instruments. We also have a dedicated room for Class-IV laser experiments, where novel laser microsurgery prototypes are developed and safely tested.


We deeply believe in collaborations to speed-up the progress of human-centered technologies and achieve meaningful results. Therefore, we are always open to new and challenging opportunities to collaborate with other groups and institutions. The multidisciplinarity of our research is a result of this vision. We currently have collaborations in the medical robotics area with the San Martino Hospital (ENT Department, UNIGE), NearLab (Politecnico di Milano), AIMS Academy (Niguarda Hospital), ALTAIR Laboratory (University of Verona), and El.En S.r.l. (Firenze). In addition, we are developing novel assistive systems for ALS patients with the Fondazione Roma.

Dynamic Legged Systems

The Dynamic Legged Systems lab focuses on research that concerns the design and control aspects of agile legged robots. We are interested in the development of legged robotic systems, chiefly quadrupeds, and we are investigating ways that can increase flexibility and performance of legged designs. Apart from developing agile quadruped robots we emphasize the need for accurate and robust control, ranging from the level of individual joints up to the overall behavior of the legged robot.

Apart from accurate hydraulic force/torque control at the joint level we are investigating ways of creating and using a variety of different locomotion gaits, that are robust to external disturbances and changing environmental conditions. A significant part of our groups' effort is devoted to perception tailored to dynamic quadrupedal robots. This becomes important as robots take their first steps outside controlled lab environments and into real-life applications.

Our flagship platform is the Hydraulic Quadruped robot HyQ. Since its construction in 2010, HyQ demonstrated a wide repertoire of motions ranging from stair climbing, chimney climbing, omnidirectional trotting over rough terrain, trotting with step reflexes, to flying trotting and jumping.


The Dynamic Legged Systems Lab has state-of-the-art facilities to develop, build and test hydraulic robots and their components. We currently have several quadruped robots (two HyQs, a HyQ2Max, a MiniHyQ), two hydraulic arms and several leg prototypes. Our indoor lab space comprises several hydraulic pump units, test benches, a VICON motion capture system, a large-scale treadmill, a force plate, a high-speed camera, etc.

Our outdoor lab space consists of a 25m race track with overhead rail and various types of obstacles


We have tight collaborations with international research groups from academia and industry. Main academic partners: ETH Zurich (control), Univ. of Edinburgh (state estimation), Tokyo Tech (robot design), Univ. Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil (hydraulics).

Main industrial partners: MOOG (actuation, design) and Toshiba (hydraulics).

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