Humanoids and Human Centered Mechatronics

Humanoids and Human Centered Mechatronics (HHCM)

The Humanoid and Human Centred Mechatronics (HHCM) Research Line is a leading research laboratory with strong expertise in robot design, modelling and control of new mechatronics components (actuation and sensing) for building the next generation of enhanced physical performance robots, effective interfaces and augmentation systems.  The activity of the lab explores both the mechatronic technological limits, state of art design approaches (structural, actuation and transmission systems) combined with advancements in control including whole body loco-manipulation generation, balancing regulation and teleoperation control.

HHCM is the home laboratory of the humanoid platforms COMAN, WALK-MAN,  COMAN+ and CENTAURO hybrid wheeled-legged quadrupedal platform. The lab also concentrates on the development of innovative wearable devices such as customized hand/arm Master systems for teleoperation control and augmentation technologies including wearable assistive devices for the human limbs.

The research activities of research line focus on the development of advanced robotic machines targeting to assist humans in operations executed in remote and hazardous environments or in more conventional industrial and warehouse workspaces. The development of such robotic systems necessitates significant advancements in robot design, actuation, software, control and interface components.

 -  In one direction our research concentrates on advancing the state of art of robotics mechatronics enabling the realization of robots (legged robots, humanoids, manipulation platforms and wearable devices) that can mirror the physical performance of the human body, demonstrating enhanced power and strength performance combined with physical resilience during challenging interactions.

 -  A second line of research is devoted to the realization of real time loco-manipulation planning, interaction control, software tools and interfaces aiming to endow the developed robotic platforms with enhanced motion and interaction adaptation skills.



Activities and Expertise

Robot Mechatronics

This activity targets to advance the robot design towards more performing robots, leveraging on mechanical optimization of lightweight structures, selection of kinematics, efficient placement of actuators and transmission systems, including efficient energy-storage concepts integrated with the robot actuation system.

Robot Software

The aim of this activity is to develop versatile and configurable software middleware tools that permits to abstract the robot specific hardware, providing a simple and easy-to-use middleware Application Programming Interface (API), while ensuring Real-Time (RT) performance even in complex Multi-Degree-Of-Freedom systems.

Robot Control

With this research activity our effort concentrates on the development of versatile real-time loco-manipulation control tools by exploring modern optimization techniques and impedance modulation control to realize whole body motion and interaction skills that demonstrate enhanced adaptability to real world interaction and uncertainties.

Robot Teleoperation

This activity focuses on the development of advanced teleoperation tools and interfaces that combine the research and development on dexterous Master devices for hand-arm motion tracking and proprioceptive feedback interfaces towards the realization truly effective tele-manipulation control of remote mobile robotic platforms.