SIRSLab – Siena Robotics and System Lab – Main Lab Video Presentation – 2017 – #sirslab

The SIRSLab focuses on human centred robotics research and is established at the Department of Information Engineering and Mathematics of University of Siena and is coordinated by Prof. Domenico Prattichizzo ( The SIRSLab is very active in the field of Robotics in Italy, and its main focus is on  haptics, wearables, virtual reality, and robotic grasping and manipulation. Main research subjects are:
– control of robotic manipulation and grasping
– bilateral human-robot tele manipulation
– wearable haptic interfaces and wearable robots
– applications of AR and VR
– rehabilitation robotics with application to stroke and parkinson
– telepresence and remote tactile interaction

Our vision is to design highly wearable robotic/haptic interfaces to propose novel paradigms of integration between humans and robots.

The SIRSLab closely cooperates with the Advanced Robotics Lab of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genova.

For any additional information about our research and opportunities to work with us send an email to

Domenico Prattichizzo

Professor of Robotics, University of Siena
Senior Scientist, IIT Genova
IEEE Fellow
phone: +39 329 2606659
skype: domenico.prattichizzo



Grasp Quality Evaluation in Underactuated and Compliant Robotic Hands: New Indexes and New Challenges

The new trend in the design of robotic hands is to make them underactuated and compliant, so that they can safely interact with the enviroment, and adapt to the objects they have to grasp.
Evaluating the grasping capabilities of such type of hands is a challenging task because there is the need of an evaluation method that takes into account i) which forces can be actually controlled by the hand, depending on its actuation system, and ii) the parameters that characterize the contact points such as the friction coefficient and the maximum and minimum applicable contact forces.
To this aim, the work presented in [1] revisits some traditional quality measures developed for multi-fingered, fully actuated hands, and applies them to the case of underactuated hands. Measures based on the wrench space computation, namely the largest minimum resisted wrench, and measures of contact and grasp robustness, namely the Potential Grasp Robustness (PGR) and the Potential Contact Robustness (PCR), are compared through simulated examples. Both types of indexes are found to be suitable for evaluating underactuated grasps in a realistic and coherent way, because they can account for friction constraints and physically achievable contact forces.
Underactuated and compliant hands can adapt to the shape of the objects they have to grasp and tend to perform power grasps, rather than precision grasps. This consideration lead to the work described in [2], where authors demonstrate that the PGR can be applied not only to precision grasps, but also to power grasps.
The workshop entitled “Evaluation and benchmarking of underactuated and soft robotic hands” was held at IROS 2016 to discuss on the possibility of having a common benchmarking framework for assessing the quality of compliant and underactuated manipulation systems, and highlighted that in the community there is a clear need of comparability and reproducibility, not only for soft and underactuated hands, but for general robotic grasping systems.
The posters and the slides that were presented at the workshop are available here.



[1] M. Pozzi, A. M. Sundaram, M. Malvezzi, D. Prattichizzo, and M. A. Roa, “Grasp quality evaluation in underactuated robotic hands,” in Proceedings, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2016. [PDF]

[2] M. Pozzi, M. Malvezzi, and D. Prattichizzo, “On grasp quality measures: Grasp robustness and contact force distribution in underactuated and compliant robotic hands,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 2, 2017. [Link]

Wearable Haptics is the 2nd most downloaded paper on IEEE Transactions on Haptics

Our paper on Wearable Haptics “Towards wearability in fingertip haptics: a 3-DoF wearable device for cutaneous force feedback.” by Domenico Prattichizzo, Francesco Chinello,Claudio Pacchierotti, Monica Malvezzi. published on IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 6(4):506-516, 2013 is the second most downloaded paper on the IEEE Transactions on Haptics journal as shown yesterday the the EIC Lynette Jones at #whc2017 at the World Haptics Conference in Munich. The first one is a review/survey paper on medical training simulators. #sirslab

Thimbles, rings, armbands: a challenging road towards wearability in haptics at #WH2017

Thimbles, rings, armbands: a challenging road towards wearability in haptics is the ‘new’ title of my talk at the Workshop on Wearable Haptics in Munich on next Tuesday at the World Haptic Conference in Munich #WHC17 _DP #sirslab.

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:

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