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Fei Chen

Post Doc

Research Line

Advanced Robotics


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


Via Morego 30
+39 010 71781 217
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Born in Jiangsu, China, on 8 August, 1983.

Full version CV is here: .pdf.

Update: 01/05/2017

Education & Work Experience:

Postdoc: 2013.6 - present Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genova, Italy

Postdoc: 2012.4 - 2013.3 Nagoya University (NU), Nagoya, Japan

PhD: 2008.10 - 2012.3 Robotics, Nagoya University (Thesis: Human and Robot Coordinated Hybrid Cell Assembly, Supervisor: Toshio Fukuda), Nagoya, Japan

MS:   2006.9   - 2008. 6 Computer Science, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), Harbin, China

BC:   2002.9   - 2006. 6 Computer Science, Xi'an Jiao Tong University (XJTU), Xi'an, China

Research of interest:

Robotic mobile manipulation and dexterous manipulation, human and robot collaboration, robot vision and learning.


@Italy (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia) (2013-present):

Since 2017, I have been leading the AutoMAP group developing robotic manipulation technologies for Grape Vine Recognition, Manipulation and Winter Pruning Automation (VINUM), an Agri-Food project funded by the IIT-Unicatt Joint Lab. The objective is to apply the state-of-the-art mobile manipulation platforms and systems, (1) a wheeled mobile platform with a commercial full torque sensing arm and multiple sensors, and (2) an under-develop quadruped robot mobile platform with a customized robotic arm and multiple sensors (Cooperated with DLS group led by Dr. Claudio Semini), for various maintenance and automation work in the vineyard, e.g., pruning, inspecting to tackle the shortage of skilled workers.



From 2014-2017, I have been working and coordinating IIT AutoMAP Mobile Manipulation Group collaborating with European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in the European Robotic Challenge (EuroC) which is part of the FP7 EuroC project. The maximum funding for AutoMAP is 585K EUR. AutoMAP addresses applications of robotic mobile manipulation in unstructured environments as found at CERN. This project is based on use case operations to be carried out on CERN’s flagship accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which is the most powerful accelerator in the world and has been in operation since 2010. Collimators are electromechanical devices installed at regular intervals around the 27km long LHC tunnel to ensure optimum quality particle beams are delivered to the experiments. There are approximately 100 collimators of different types in operation at any one time and new collimators are being produced to replace any failed devices and improve their performance. The main motivation for carrying out maintenance work using a remotely controlled mobile robot is to reduce maintenance personnel exposure to hazards in the LHC tunnels – such as ionising radiation and oxygen deficiency hazards. A second motivation is that the robot will be able to autonomously carry out the same tasks in the assembly facility as in the tunnel on collimators during their initial build and quality assurance. This robotic mobile manipulation system will be easily reconfigured by non-specialist personnel to perform autonomous/semi-autonomous tasks in the unstructured environment (autonomous navigation and identification of various types of collimators). Implementing a high performance teleoperation capability will also be necessary for the work in the LHC tunnel to allow safe teaching and learning for robot by teleoperation demonstration and to allow recovery without damaging delicate accelerator equipment in the event of unforeseen problems.



From 2013 to 2014, I have been working within Advanced Industrial Automation Laboratory on several EU and National projects -- Autorecon and AvioAero.

Autorecon: The objective is to develop highly reconfigurable robotic gripper that can help robot handle various types of objects, and even do in-hand manipulation. The current work forcus on how to design dexterous robotic grippers (ICRA2014) and the study of control for in-hand manipulation (IROS2014).



AvioAero: The objective is to develop highly reconfigurable, soft and  flexible robotic mechanism for precise gearbox assembly and inspection.


@Japan (Nagoya University) (2008-2013):

I used to work on a project led by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan, the objective of which is to create the next generation of industrial robotic assembly system. (Japanese link)(Youtube) My job is to develop special robotic gripper (ICRA2012) and algorithm that can help robot assemble deformable parts, i.e. electronic connectors.

I also worked on a project under the supervision by Prof. Toshio Fukuda to develop a hybrid assembly system that allows human and robot collaborate on assembly tasks. The key technology includes the task scheduling and optimization among human and robots, and RGB-D based environment reconstruction, particularly human gesture modeling and human intention estimation. (IROS2011) (Journal: T-ASE)

Publications (1st Author only)


1. Fei Chen, Hironobu Sasaki, Baiqing Sun, Jian Huang, Toshio Fukuda, Takayuki Matsuno, Koji Shiratsuchi, ''Error Recovery Strategies for Electronic Connectors Mating in Robotic Fault tolerant Assembly System'' in Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, 2015. DOI: 10.1007/s10846-015-0248-5.

2. Fei Chen, Luca Carbonari, Carlo Canali, Mariapaola D'Imperio, Ferdinando Cannella, ''Design of a Novel Dexterous Robotic Gripper for In-Hand Twisting and Positioning within Assembly Automation'' in Assembly Automation, 2015. DOI 10.1108/AA-05-2015-046..

3. Fei Chen, Kosuke Sekiyama, Toshio Fukuda, ''Hand Gesture Recognition for Hybrid Electronic Assembly Using Hidden Markov Models'' in International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 2015, 12:48. doi: 10.5772/60044.

4. Fei Chen, Kosuke Sekiyama, Ferdinando Cannella, Toshio Fukuda, ''Optimal Subtask Allocation for Human and Robot Collaboration within Hybrid Assembly System'' in IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 1065-1075, 2014.

5. Fei Chen, Kosuke Sekiyama, Baiqing Sun, Pei Di, Jian Huang, Hironobu Sasaki, Toshio Fukuda, ''Design and application of an intelligent robotic gripper for accurate and tolerant electronic connector mating'' in Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics, Vol.24, No.3, pp.441-451, 2012.

6. Fei Chen, Kosuke Sekiyama, Jian Huang, Baiqing Sun, Hironobu Sasaki, Toshio Fukuda, ''An assembly strategy scheduling method for human and robot coordinated cell manufacturing'' in International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, vol. 4, no. 4, pp.487-508, 2011.

-International Conference-

1. Fei Chen, Ferdinando Cannella, Carlo Canali, Traveler Hauptman, Giuseppe Sofia, Darwin Caldwell, ''A Study on Data-Driven In-Hand Twisting Process Using a Novel Dexterous Robotic Gripper for Assembly Automation'', IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2014), pp. 4470 - 4475, Chicago, Illinois, USA, September 2014. 

2. Fei Chen, Ferdinando Cannella, Horonobu Sasaki, Carlo Canali, Toshio Fukuda, ``Error Recovery Strategies for Electronic Connectors Mating in Robotic Fault-tolerant Assembly System'', IEEE/ASME 10th International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications (MESA 2014), Senigallia, Italy, pp. 1-6, September 2014. 

3. Fei Chen, Ferdinando Cannella, Carlo Canali, Traveler Hauptman, Giuseppe Sofia, Darwin Caldwell, ''In-Hand Precise Twisting and Positioning by a Novel Dexterous Robotic Gripper for Industrial High-Speed Assembly'', IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2014), pp. 270 - 275, Hong Kong, China, June 2014.

4. Fei Chen, Ferdinando Cannella, Carlo Canali, Amit Eytan, Aldo Bottero, Darwin Caldwell, ''Theoretical and Kinematic Solution of High Reconfigurable Grasping for Industrial Manufacturing'', iin IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (Robio2013), Shenzhen, China, Dec. 2013, pp. 734-739.

5. Fei Chen, Kosuke Sekiyama, Toshio Fukuda, ''A Genetic Algorithm for Human and Robot Coordinated Assembly'', International Symposium on Micro-NanoMechatronics and Human Science (MHS 2012), pp.508-512, 2012.

6. Fei Chen, Kosuke Sekiyama, Hironobu Sasaki, Jian Huang, Baiqing Sun, Toshio Fukuda, ''i-Hand: an Intelligent Robotic Hand for Fast and Accurate Assembly in Electronic Manufacturing'', IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2012), Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, May 2012.

7. Fei Chen, Kosuke Sekiyama, Hironobu Sasaki, Jian Huang, Baiqing Sun, Toshio Fukuda, ''Assembly Strategy Modeling and Selection for Human and Robot Coordinated Cell Assembly'', IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2011), San Francisco, CA, USA, pp.4670-4675, Sep. 2011.

8. Fei Chen, Kosuke Sekiyama, Toshio Fukuda, ''Deformable PCB based on connector mating method by using iHand for im-proving HRC performance efficiency'', International Symposium on Micro-NanoMechatronics and Human Science (MHS 2011), pp.409-414, 2011.

9. Fei Chen, Jian Huang, Sasaki, H. and Fukuda T., ''Human Intention Estimation Algorithm Design for Robot in Human and Robot Cooperated Cell Assembly'' in International Symposium on Micro-Nano Mechatronics and Human Science (MHS2010). pp.483-488, 2010.

10. Fei Chen, Pei Di, Jian Huang, Sasaki, H. and Fukuda T., ''Evolutionary artificial potential field method based manipulator path planning for safe robotic assembly'' in International Symposium on Micro-Nano Mechatronics and Human Science (MHS2009). pp.92-97, 2009.


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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.