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Michele Focchi Write a Message

Researcher
Researcher

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+39 010 71781 974

About

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. 

 

Projects

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.

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1406.4047.pdf

Chimney climb

I have been the first one in the world to realize a "chimney-climb" walk with a 80 kg quadruped robot:

[video chimney climb 2014]

The paper describing the implemented whole body controller (for quasi-static walk with optimization of contact forces) is:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10514-016-9573-1

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.

[paper on slip recovery (ISRR 2015)]

[video on slip recovery (ISRR 2015)]

 

Selected Publications

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.

PATENTS

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.

 

 

 

Awards

 

  • 1st  prize ''Premio Nazionale Innovazione'', Bari, 2013 (25keuro)
  • 1st prize ''StartCup il sole 24 ore'', Genova, 2012
  • 1st prize ''ItaliaCamp'', Verona, 2012

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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.