IEEE ICMA 2022 Conference

Plenary Talk II

From Robotics to Prosthetics and Back Again

Antonio Bicchi, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair

President of the Italian Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Machines

University of Pisa, Italy

Senior Scientist at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa


Abstract: In recent years, robotic technologies have been providing definite advances to assist people in need of physical help, including rehabilitation and prosthetics. Working in fields where humans are placed right at the center of the technology, on the other hand, is helping refocus our robotics research itself. In prosthetics, the goal is to have an artificial limb to move naturally and intelligently enough to perform the task that users intend, without requiring their attention. By abstracting this idea, a robot of the future can be thought as a physical “prosthesis” of its user, with sensors, actuators, and intelligence enough to interpret and execute the user intention, translating it in a sensible action of which the user remains the owner. In the talk I will present examples of human-robot integration, as in prosthetics and rehabilitation, augmentation with exoskeletons and supernumerary limbs, and shared-autonomy robotic avatars, with the robot executing the human's intended actions and the human perceiving the context of his/her actions and their consequences.

Prof. Antonio Bicchi is a scientist interested in robotics and intelligent machines. After graduating in Pisa and receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Bologna, he spent a few years at the MIT AI Lab of Cambridge before becoming Professor in Robotics at the University of Pisa. In 2009 he founded the Soft Robotics Laboratory at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa. Since 2013 he is Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. He has coordinated many international projects, including four grants from the European Research Council (ERC). He served the research community in several ways, including by launching the World Haptics conference and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. He is currently the President of the Italian Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Machines. He has authored over 500 scientific papers cited more than 25,000 times. He supervised over 60 doctoral students and more than 20 postdocs, most of whom are now professors in universities and international research centers or have launched their own spin-off companies. His students have received prestigious awards, including three first prizes and two nominations for the best theses in Europe on robotics and haptics. He is a Fellow of IEEE since 2005. In 2018 he received the prestigious IEEE Saridis Leadership Award.

The Robotics Society of Japan Kagawa University Kagawa University The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers Japan Society for Precision Engineering The Society of Instrument and Control Engineers State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System (HIT) State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System (HIT) Harbin Engineering University University of Electro-Communications University of Electronic Science and Technology of China JiLin University