|D.E.I.S. - University
051 2093902 (new!)
I was born in Bentivoglio (BO), on 30th August 1975. I took my Laurea
Degree cum laude at the University of Bologna on the 21st of July 2000,
with an experimental master thesis titled "Navigation system for
mobile robots in unknown environments", developed at L.A.R.,
the Laboratory of Automation and Robotics under the supervision of prof.
I started my PhD program in "Automation and Operations Research"
on January 2002, my tutor is prof. Claudio
Melchiorri. On December of the same year I took the professional
degree in engineering.
In the period January-April 2003, I was at the Drebbel
Institute for Mechatronics of the Twente
University (NL) under the supervion of prof. Stefano
Stramigioli and Arjan
V.d. Schaft, developing passivity-based techniques aimed at improving
the transparency of telemanipulation systems. During this research activity
nonlinear recursive techniques for the estimation of contact parameters
for compliant materials have been developed.
In April 2004 - July 2005,
I am at the Stanford AI-Robotics
Lab at the Stanford University (CA,
USA) under the supervision of prof. J.
Kenneth Salisbury and
Gunter Niemeyer (Stanford
Telerobotics Lab), working at the stability and passivity analysis
of haptic interfaces when quantization and limited amplifier bandwith
introduce nonlinearities in the control loop. The purpose of this research
activity is to obtain guidelines to develop control algorithms to guarantee
the passivity of the overall system also for very stiff virtual objects.
On May, 19th 2005 I received
the PhD Degree in "Automation and Operations Research"
from the University of Bologna, defending the dissertation: "Robotic
Interaction: Analysis and Control".
My research interests are in the field of robotics and more generally
in the field of control, both from a theoretical and practical point
I started working in the
field of mobile robots, especially on map-building and path-planning
algorithms, that have been implemented on a Pioneer 2DX platform by
taking advantage of the Linux operating system.
Currently, I'm working
on teleoperation force-reflecting systems. Beside the need to guarantee
stability also for consistent time-delays in data communication between
master ans slave devices, it is fundamental to achieve also a good
telepresence sensation, so that the human operator feels like he's
directly manipulating a remote object. Several authors showed that,
generally speaking, stability and transparency are contrasting requisited
and a satisfactory trade-off has to be achieved by means of suitable
robotic devices (haptic interfaces) can be advantageously used in
virtual reality interaction tasks. In this case, the time-discrete
nature of virtual environments introduces several control and simulation
In both applications, passivity-based
non-linear control technique and the port-Hamiltonian formalism proved
to be suitable tool to handle modeling and control problems. In particular,
accurate modeling of contact dynamics between robotic devices and
real or virtual objects is required in order to let human operator
perceive correctly their mechanical properties.
- Control and simulation
algorithms are currently implemented by means of Real-Time Operating
Systems, mainly RTAI-Linux,
that allows to use common PCs to carry out control tasks.
back to top
Research Projects and Publications
Commission Sponsored Project): I work on the workpackages WP 8 (teleoperation
systems) and marginally on WP 7 (haptic interaction). The
aim of the project is to develop modeling and control techniques based
on the port-Hamiltonian approach. Therefore complex systems can be modeled
as a network of simpler components, interconnected through power ports.
In the context of this
research activity, control algorithms for time-delayed teleoperation
have been studied and validated. In particular, an asymmetric
system for the bilateral teleoperation of a mobile platform
has been used to study the effects of different kinematics and workspaces
between the master and the slave devices.
Moreover, the investigation
of contact dynamics lead to the design of nonlinear recursive
estimation techniques that could be used to improve the transparency
of a teleoperation system.
Stability of Haptic
Rendering: During my stay at the Stanford
AI-Robotics Lab I'm working on the analysis of the stability
of haptic rendering. When digital control loops are used to
simulate stiff virtual objects, haptic devices operate at the
edge of stability. High force feedback gain is limited by quantization,
discretization and possible computational delay, that cause
non-passive behaviors to appear even when simulating a simple
linear spring. New control algorithms are being studied to enable
current devices to improve this aspect and the insights obtained
through energy-based analysis are used to design better new
back to top
School and courses
14-20 July 2002,
Bertinoro (FO): Italian National School "Antonio Ruberti"
for PhD Students organized by "Centro Interuniversitario
per le Ricerche in Automatica" (CIRA), about the Geometric
and Polynomial Approaches in Control Theory and control aspects
of Mobile Robots.
6-12 July 2003,
Bertinoro (FO): Euron-Geoplex
summer school on Modelling and Control of Complex Dynamical
Systems - from Ports to Robotics
back to top
- December 2001: Introduction
to Industrial Robotics within the IFTS-Fortis program at the S.C.M.
2003: Tutor of the course of "Automatic Controls L-A"
held by prof. Claudio Melchiorri at the First Faculty of Engineering
of the University of Bologna ((Link
to course page).
back to top