New paper published on The International Journal of Robotics Research: “Cutaneous haptic feedback to ensure the stability of robotic teleoperation systems”

Cutaneous haptic feedback can be used to enhance the performance of robotic teleoperation systems while guaranteeing their safety. Delivering ungrounded cutaneous cues to the human operator conveys in fact information about the forces exerted at the slave side and does not affect the stability of the control loop.

In this work we analyze the feasibility, effectiveness, and implications of providing solely cutaneous feedback in robotic teleoperation.

Screenshot from 2015-10-20 09:57:36

We carried out two peg-in-hole experiments, both in a virtual environment and in a real (teleoperated) environment. Two novel 3-degree-of-freedom fingertip cutaneous displays deliver a suitable amount of cutaneous feedback at the thumb and index fingers. Results assessed the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed approach.


Cutaneous feedback was outperformed by full haptic feedback provided by grounded haptic interfaces, but it outperformed conditions providing no force feedback at all. Moreover, cutaneous feedback always kept the system stable, even in the presence of destabilizing factors such as communication delays and hard contacts.


C. Pacchierotti, L. Meli, F. Chinello, M. Malvezzi, D. Prattichizzo. Cutaneous haptic feedback to ensure the stability of robotic teleoperation systems. International Journal of Robotics Research, 2015. doi: 10.1177/0278364915603135.pdf

4th Wearhap Consortium Meeting

The WEARHAP Consortium met in the Madrid, Spain for it 4th Consortium Review Meeting. It was held in Madrid, Spain on 17th and 18th of November 2014. The meeting was reviewed by Prof. Karen Maclean of University of British Columbia and Dr. Patrick Helmer, CEO of Force Dimension. All the partners involved in the consortium were represented in the meeting.


The venue was Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, hosted by Prof. Miguel Otaduy. This gathering of the consortium reviewed the progress and forged ideas to moved towards the ultimate objectives of the project. The meeting ended on a high note as the progress of the project is as planned. All the outstanding and future issues came under rigorous discussions and presentations, lasting two days.

UNISI participated in the meeting with a lot of enthusiasm and managed to appreciate the beauty of Madrid and the generosity of our hosts after the work-sessions. It was a joy able work and personal experience for everyone who took part in this Review Meeting from Siena.

Here are some of the pictures from the event.
Pictures of 4th WEARHAP Consortium Meeting

Videoconference of Prof. Roudolf Kalman-June 9-11, 2014 @UNIBO

The School of Engineering and Architecture, in collaboration with the research group “Studies on epistemology and philosophy of science” at the Department of Philosophy and Communication, presented the conference:

“The lesson of the last 100 years.
Accomplishments of control theory and related fields since the beginning of World War One”
9th June 2014, Bologna, Italy – UniBo

“The recent history of System theory and new research directions in the 21st century”
Prof. Rudolf Kalman
11th June 2014, Bologna, Italy – UniBo

A 24 DoF human hand model is now available in SynGrasp


A new hand model is available in SynGrasp, you can find more details and download it following this link:

grasp 24 dofs

InFORM – Interacting with a dynamic shape display


Imagine the potentialities of such devices…

And if also haptic feedback is added?

DALi project at ICT 2013

DAli project will be shown at ICT 2013 (Vilnius 6-8 November 2013) which features top ICT professionals from industry, academia, research.

Aging is generally associated with a decrease in mobility and social interaction. A growing body of research suggests that reduced levels of out-of-home mobility can have widespread, detrimental effects for older adults. Adults for whom mobility is a problem suffer in a variety of ways. Not only are their social lives restricted but they are also more limited in terms of their access to good nutrition, leisure and other activities.

The DALi project pursues autonomous mobility through the development of the so-called c-walker. This mobility aid supports navigation in crowded and unstructured spaces by acquiring sensory information, by anticipating the intent of human agents and by deciding the path that minimizes the risk of accidents. The c-walker is aimed at providing physical, cognitive and emotional support to older adults in public environments such as shopping centers and airports.

In the context of the project we designed haptic interfaces that can effectively convey the information on the environment and on the planned route to the c-walker. In particular we developed the design of control strategies for the mechanical guidance support which allow to smoothly guide the assisted person avoiding as much as possible aggressive corrections of its trajectory. The goal is to control the c-walker to track precomputed paths while providing the user with haptic perception of the environment and of possible obstacles or unsafe areas. Moreover we realized prototypes of wearable haptic interfaces (vibrotactile bracelets) able to provide haptic feedback to the user.