Robotics research is faced within the automation group with a strong methodological approach, aiming at the thorough understanding of the foundational principles and theories. This is key for the development of identification, estimation and control techniques for  modern applications in the fields of industrial and civil robotics: the study and the design of algorithms for manipulators and mobile platforms in these two areas find a further synthesis in the field of cooperative robotics, where network theory comes into play with multiagent robotic systems.

Advanced topics from autonomous driving systems, to fail-safe aerial and terrestrial formations, to context aware manipulation and transportation platforms, are here in focus, as better detailed hereafter. For many of these topics, virtual and real experiments can be run in realistic simulation environments and in the laboratory.

Industrial Robotics Robotics Industrial robotics is mainly concerned with the use of manipulators at the bench or in the productive chain. In this field, research and innovation regard both the analysis and the synthesis of control systems at large, namely including the phases of modeling, identification, and regulation. In the first case, we are interested in understanding the workspace of actively controlled arms, with respect to their actuation and sensing capabilities. In the second, we are concerned with the design of innovative control laws based on physics-based or data-driven models and/or real time measurements (e.g. force controlled or contact-aware systems, model-predictive solutions).

Cooperative Robotics The research focuses on multi-agent robotics for manipulation and transportation of loads and for exploration, map building and patrolling of unstructured and unknown environments. In particular, in the first case we want to design control laws that account for the single agent dynamics while performing a common task that imposes additional constraints to the single agent behaviors; in the second case, we are interested in understanding the benefits of the use of multiple cooperating robots in terms of improved localization from relative measurements, reduced time-to-map and scalability. Other fundamental aspects under investigation are robustness to unreliable communication and scalability.

Mobile Robotics This research is focused on the modeling and control of terrestrial (UGVs) and aerial unmanned vehicles (UAVs) and ranges from the identification of the system to the design of control laws for autonomous operation of the vehicle both as a single unit and in cooperation with other agents of the same or different nature (see Cooperative Robotics research). In particular, methodologies for navigation and maneuvering of both traditional and newly designed robotic platforms are in scope, together with more focused research on structural platform controllability, thrust vectoring UAV design, active sensing methodologies.





People: Angelo Cenedese (contact person), Ruggero Carli, Giulia Michieletto, Roberto Oboe