Michele Focchi was born in Rimini, Italy. He holds a Master of Science in Control System Engineering from Politecnico di Milano in 2007. His ﬁnal project dealt with dynamic modelling of hydraulic turbines for energy generation carried out at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Until 2008 he worked at the R&D department of Indesit company where he worked with design and dynamic modeling of hydraulic, thermal and mechanical phenomena and system identiﬁcation for house appliances. On the 2009 he was employed as a fellow at the Advanced Robotic Department (ADVR) at IIT developing a prototype of Novel concept for an air-pressure driven micro-turbine for power generation for which he obtained an international patent and several awards. He also gained some experience with force control with pneumatic muscles. In 2010 he started a PhD getting involved in the Hydraulically Actuated Quadruped Robot project at the Dynamic Legged Systems Laboratory at ADVR where he was involved on development of low-level controllers for locomotion purposes. Currently his research interests range from dynamic locomotion with legged robots, whole body control and planning, to actuation technologies.
Currently I am deeply involved in the following projects:
Low level control
how the range of stable impedance parameters is affected by sampling frequency, inner loop bandwidth and delays, an important topic for real time implementations.
I have been the first one in the world to realize a "chimney-climb" walk with a 80 kg quadruped robot:
The paper describing the implemented whole body controller (for quasi-static walk with optimization of contact forces) is:
Coming soon the extension to the dynamic case with joint and torque constraints
Slip recovery for quadruped robots
a simple strategy to online detect, estimate slippage and recover from it, exploiting the optimization capabilities of the whole body framework.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE PAPERS AND WORKSHOPS
Focchi M, Guglielmino E, Semini C, Boaventura T, Yang Y and Caldwell D G (2010). Control of a Hydraulically-Actuated Quadruped Robot Leg, IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), Anchorage, Alaska, USA.
Semini C, Buchli J, Frigerio M, Boaventura T, Focchi M, Guglielmino E, Cannella F, Tsagarakis N G and Caldwell D G (2011). HyQ - A Dynamic Locomotion Research Platform, International Workshop on Bio-Inspired Robotics, Nantes, France.
Focchi M, Persico G, Guglielmino E and Caldwell D G (2011). Novel concept for an air-pressure driven micro-turbine for power generation, ASME Turbo Expo 2011, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
M. Focchi, T. Boaventura, C. Semini, M. Frigerio, J. Buchli, D. G. Caldwell. Torque-control Based Compliant Actuation of a Quadruped Robot, The 12th International Workshop on Advanced Motion Control, March 25-27, 2012, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
C. Semini, N.G. Tsagarakis, E. Guglielmino, M. Focchi, F. Cannella, and D.G. Caldwell. Design of HyQ - a hydraulically and electrically actuated quadruped robot. IMechE Part I: J. of Systems and Control Engineering, 225(6):831–849.
T. Boaventura, C. Semini, J. Buchli, M. Frigerio, M. Focchi, D. G. Caldwell. Dynamic Locomotion of a Torque-Controlled Quadruped Robot. Dynamic locomotion of a torque-controlled quadruped robot. In Proceedings IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2012.
Focchi M, Guglielmino E, Pane G, Cordasco S, Tacchino C, Caldwell D G (2010). Dispositivo per la generazione di energia elettrica da una sorgente di aria compressa (Device for electric energy generation from a compressed air source). Italian patent number IT TO2010A000578. International patent extension in progress.