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. After some experience in the industry, in 2009 he joined IIT and developed a prototype of a novel concept of an air-pressure driven micro-turbine for power generation. The Microtubine Project obtained an international patent and several awards is now a spin-off company. During his PhD he started to work with robotics getting involved in the development of the hydraulic quadruped robot HyQ at the Dynamic Legged Systems Laboratory at IIT. Initially he was working on low-level controllers for locomotion purposes. Subsequently he started to develop high-level (whole body) controller to improve locomotion stability. Currently his research interest is now on dynamic locomotion and trajectory planning for legged robots.
Currently I am deeply involved in the following projects:
Low level control (CTT 2016)
how the range of stable impedance parameters is affected by sampling frequency, inner loop bandwidth and delays, an important topic for real time implementations.
Chimney climb (AURO 2017)
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:
Whole body controller with joint and torque constraints
Slip recovery for quadruped robots (ISRR 2015)
a simple strategy to online detect, estimate slippage and recover from it, exploiting the optimization capabilities of the whole body framework.
Step reflex generation for quadruped robots (Clawar 2013)
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.