Research. The research at our group focuses on the development and testing of wearable assistive exoskeletons. Driven by the desire to help exoskeletons succeed in real-life applications, I am interested in studying how the human body performs certain tasks and in using this knowledge to design the best possible exoskeletons. My doctoral research contributed to the Robo-Mate EU project in the development of a back-support exoskeleton to protect factory workers from lumbar spine injuries. The focus was on two aspects: modulating the device in real time to provide meaningful physical assistance, and exploiting elastic elements to minimize the need for active actuation.
An ongoing national project has allowed our group to expand and to further research the design of previous and new exoskeletons, extending the focus from lumbar spine to other human joints. As part of this endeavor, I strive to make exoskeletons impactful in real-life. From my perspective, this includes understanding how the way they are built and controlled affects the resulting physical effectiveness and ergonomics for the users.
Bio. I was born and grew up in Sardinia (Italy). There, I enrolled at the University of Cagliari and obtained a BSc in Biomedical Engineering in 2011. Driven by the possibility to work on wearable robots, I moved to Zurich (Switzerland) and earned a MSc in Robotics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), taking part in research projects in the field of rehabilitation robotics. In September 2014 I joined Advanced Robotics at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) as a PhD candidate and Early Stage Researcher in the SMART-E ITN. I defended my PhD thesis in February 2018. Since then, I have been working as a postdoctoral researcher in the same group.