Darwin G Caldwell is Founding Director of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa Italy, and Director of the Dept. of Advanced Robotics (ADVR) at IIT. He has pioneered developments in compliant and variable impedance actuation, Soft and Human Friendly Robotics and the creation of 'softer', safer robots, that draw on developments in materials, mechanisms, sensing, actuation and software. These developments have been fundamental to advances in humanoids, quadrupeds, medical robotics and exoskeletons. Key robots developed by his team include: iCub, a child-sized humanoid robot; COMAN, a controllably compliant humanoid designed to safely interact with people and have more natural (loco)motion; WALK-MAN, a 1.85m tall, 120kg humanoid that competed in the DARPA Robotics Challenge; the HyQ series (HyQ, HyQ2Max, HyQ-Real) of high performance hydraulic quadrupedal robots; and PHOLUS/Centauro, a human-robot symbiotic system capable of robust locomotion and dexterous manipulation in rough terrain and harsh environments. In addition to his research in legged robots, Prof. Caldwell also works extensively to develop wearable and haptic systems including whole body exoskeletons such as the XoSoft, XoTrunk, XoShoulder and XoElbow and in surgical and rehabilitation robotics where his team have developed systems such as the CALM (Computer Aided Laser Microsurgery) systems, the Cathbot, Cathbot-Pro and SVEI (for catherization and tissue type detection) and the Arbot (Ankle rehabilitation robot).
Caldwell is or has been an Honorary professor at the Universities of Manchester, Sheffield, Bangor and King's College London in the UK, and Tianjin University in China. He has published over 700 papers, has over 25 patents and has received over 50 awards/nominations at international conferences and events. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK's National Academy) and the IEEE.