A new perspective paper published on Frontiers on Neurorobotics

A human-robot interaction perspective on assistive and rehabilitation robotics

Philipp Beckerle, Gionata Salvietti, Ramazan Unal, Domenico Prattichizzo, Simone Rossi, Claudio Castellini, Sandra Hirche, Satoshi Endo, Heni Ben Amor, Matei Ciocarlie, Fulvio Mastrogiovanni, Brenna D. Argall and Matteo Bianchi

Abstract Assistive and rehabilitation devices are a promising and challenging field of recent robotics research. Motivated by societal needs such as aging populations, such devices can support motor functionality and subject training. The design, control, sensing and assessment of the devices become more sophisticated due to a human in the loop. This paper gives a human-robot interaction perspective on current issues and opportunities in the field. On the topic of control and machine learning, approaches that support but do not distract subjects are reviewed.  Options to provide sensory user-feedback that are currently missing from robotic devices are outlined. Parallels between device acceptance and affective computing are made. Furthermore, requirements for functional assessment protocols that relate to real-world tasks are discussed. In all topic areas, the design of human-oriented frameworks and methods is dominated by challenges related to the close interaction between the human and robotic device. This paper discusses the aforementioned aspects in order to open up new perspectives for future robotic solutions.
A human-robot interaction perspective on assistive and rehabilitation robotics. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316735448_A_human-robot_interaction_perspective_on_assistive_and_rehabilitation_robotics

Our paper on wearable haptics for Augmented reality is the most popular article in IEEE Transactions on Haptics

Screenshot from 2017-05-19 15-21-58


Smart City Radio 24. Oggi e domani alle 20.50 parliamo di VR con Maurizio Melis.

Smart City Radio 24. Oggi e domani alle 20.50  parliamo di VR con  Maurizio Melis. http://www.radio24.ilsole24ore.com/programma/smart-city

Drone and Arm Cooperative Manipulation demo is running at the #hannovermesse2017 #kuka Innovation Award

This is the video of the running demo at the Hannover Messe 2017. We are competing to win the 2017 Kuka Innovation Award. This is a wonderful example of cooperative manipulation between a robotic arm and a drone.

See this post  https://prattichizzoblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/kuka-innovation-award-competition-is-running-hannovermesse-sirslab/

Finger Crossed


Science Magazine – Our research at University of Siena #sirslab on Augmented Reality



Science Magazine – Our research at University of Siena #sirslab on Augmented Reality with Maurizio Maisto, Claudio Pacchierotti, Francesco Chinello, Gionata Salvietti, Alessandro De Luca is on ScienceMag.org “So Domenico Prattichizzo, a robotics engineer at the University of Siena in Italy, and his collaborators designed two devices that enable users to feel virtual objects, which they put to the test in a paper to be published in IEEE Transactions on Haptics. … Prattichizzo’s lab has led “a revolution in the topic of virtual touch,” says Miguel Otaduy, a computer scientist at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid. He’s tried Prattichizzo’s devices and is impressed that you can wear them and still hold real objects. ‘That just blows your mind’, he says.” _DP

Kuka Innovation Award Competition is running #hannovermesse #sirslab

Mostafa Mohammadi from our #sirslab is defending with the whole international team coordinated by CNRS the project #telemagmas to the 2017 Kuka Innovation Award at the Hannover Messe. Today and tomorrow are the most important days. Stay tuned.

The Tele-MAGMaS Team: The international research team led by LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse (Antonio Franchi and Nicolas Staub, Davide Bicego, Victor Arellano, Quentin Sablé, Subodh Mishra), with members from the University of Siena (Domenico Prattichizzo and Mostafa Mohammadi), Seoul National University (Dongjun Lee and  H. Yang, C. Ha, M. Kim) and CNRS at the research center IRISA in Rennes (Paolo Robuffo Giordano and Quentin Delamare), is addressing search and rescue operations in regions which are difficult to access or dangerous following disasters.

Tele-MAGMaS stays for Human-in-the-loop multi-robot aerial-grounded manipulation system.


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New paper on the Robotic Sixth Finger

It is our pleasure to announce a new publication regarding the Robotic Sixth Finger on the Robotics and Autonomous System Journal.

Title: Supernumerary robotic finger and mobile arm support: from grasp compensation to hemiparetic upper limb rehabilitation


In this paper, we present the combination of our soft supernumerary robotic finger i.e. Soft-SixthFinger with a commercially available zero gravity arm support, the SaeboMAS. The overall proposed system can provide the needed assistance during paretic upper limb rehabilitation involving both grasping and arm mobility to solve task-oriented activities. The Soft-SixthFinger is a wearable robotic supernumerary finger designed to be used as an active assistive device by post stroke patients to compensate the paretic hand grasp. The device works jointly with the paretic hand/arm to grasp an object similarly to the two parts of a robotic gripper. The SaeboMAS is a commercially available mobile arm support to neutralize gravity effects on the paretic arm specifically designed to facilitate and challenge the weakened shoulder muscles during functional tasks. The proposed system has been designed to be used during the rehabilitation phase when the arm is potentially able to recover its functionality, but the hand is still not able to perform a grasp due to the lack of an efficient thumb opposition. The overall system also act as a motivation tool for the patients to perform task-oriented rehabilitation activities.

With the aid of proposed system, the patient can closely simulate the desired motion with the non-functional arm for rehabilitation purposes, while performing a grasp with the help of the Soft-SixthFinger. As a pilot study we tested the proposed system with a chronic stroke patient to evaluate how the mobile arm support in conjunction with a robotic supernumerary finger can help in performing the tasks requiring the manipulation of grasped object through the paretic arm. In particular, we performed the Frenchay Arm Test (FAT) and Box and Block Test (BBT). The proposed system successfully enabled the patient to complete tasks which were previously impossible to perform.