Back to list

Antonio Bicchi

Senior Researcher - Principal Investigator
Senior Scientist and Professor of Robotics

Research Line

Soft Robotics for Human Cooperation and Rehabilitation


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


+39 010 2898 295
+39 010 71781
Contact Me


Antonio Bicchi is Senior Scientist at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa and the Chair of Robotics at the University of Pisa. He graduated from the University of Bologna in 1988 and was a postdoc scholar at M.I.T.  Artificial Intelligence Lab` in 1988–1990.  He teaches  Control Systems and Robotics in the Department of Information Engineering  (DII) of the University of Pisa. He leads the SoftRobotics Lab for Human Cooperation and Rehabilitation at IIT in Genoa. He leads since 1990 the Robotics Group at the Research Center "E. Piaggio'' of the University of PisaSince 2013 he is Adjunct Professor at the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering of Arizona State University.

His main research interests are in Robotics, Haptics, and Control Systems. He has published more than 400 papers on international journals, books, and refereed conferences. He was Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, which he founded in 2015. He has organized and chaired the first WorldHaptics Conference (2005). He was Editor of the book series ``Springer Briefs on Control, Automation and Robotics,'' and has served as an Editor for the Int.l J. Robotics Research, IEEE Trans. on Robotics and Automation, IEEE Trans. Automation Science and Engineering, and IEEE RAS Magazine. He has been Program Chair of Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) 2019, IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation (ICRA'16),  the Int. Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR' 2015) , Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control (HSCC 2007). In 2005 he co-founded and chaired of the first conference in the WorlHaptics series. He was Editor in Chief of the Conference Editorial Board for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), Vice President for Publications (2013-2014), for Membership (2006-2007), and Distinguished Lecturer (2004-2006) of IEEE RAS. He served as the President of the Italian Association or Researchers in Automatic Control (2012-2013). He is a co-founder and serves as Presidnet of the Italian Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Machines (I-RIM) since 2019, He is the recipient of several awards and honors. For his research on human and robot hands the European Research Council awarded him with four grants, including an Advanced Grant in 2012 and a Synergy Grant in 2018.  Antonio Bicchi is a Fellow of IEEE since 2005.

NEW Survey Paper: A Century of Artificial Hands, a critical review of design principles, control, applications in the last 106 years with 252 references.

Personal page at Centro Piaggio VIDEO LINKS

Natural Bionics at ERC@ESOF>

LHF-Connect  Sky TG24 9 Luglio 2020
LHF-Connect:su TGR 1 Maggio 2020, minuto 12.50)
Leonardo 500 Movie Trailer 
Clip M. Cacciari: Il pensiero è distrutto se non ha la mano
(subtitled, "Thought is nothing wihoutthe Hand")

Google Scholar RAI MEMEX AlterEgo Il Robot Avatar (Italiano, 2018)
Scientific Papers (most downloadable) RAI MEMEX SoftHand: Mano d`acciaio in guanto di velluto (Italiano, 2018)
Teoria del Controllo ( Let's Talk A Conversation on ERC & Research (English, 2017)
  LaDigitalTech  Robots souples et mains de robots : à la recherche du mouvement fluide (English, 2017)
Curriculum Vitae ICRA-X The Quest for Natural Machine Motion  (English, 2017)
  TED-X L'Intelligenza della Mano (Italiano, 2012)


Curriculum Vitae

Publication List

Google Scholar Page
MS Academic Research



Robotics Haptics Automatic Control


ERC Synergy Natural BionicS" Natural Integration of Bionic Limbs via Spinal Interfacing” [2019-2025]. Co-PIs Dario Farina (Imperial College, London) and Oskar Aszmann
(University Hospital, Wien).

ERC AdG SOFTHANDS "A Theory of Soft Synergies for a New Generation of Artificial Hands'' [2011--2016] European Research Council Advanced Grant ERC-291166

ERC PoC SOFTHANDLER ``Commercial feasibility of an integrated soft robotic system for industrial handling'' [2016-2018] European Research Council Proof-of-Concept Grant. Coordinator.

ERC PoC SOFTHAND-PRO H ``A Soft Synergy-based Hand Prosthesis with   Hybrid Control'' [2016-2018] European Research Council Proof-of-Concept Grant. Coordinator.

SOFTPRO "Synergy-based Open-source Foundations and Technologies for Prosthetics and RehabilitatiOn'' [2016-2020] Horizon 2020 2015.ICT.24a, Coordinator.

SOMA "Soft-bodied Intelligence for Manipulation''[2015--2019] EC H2020 ICT.23.2014

SSBAHPA "Soft Synergy-Based Artificial Hand for Prosthetic Applications'' [2014-2016] National Institute of Health (NIH) R21 Grant 1R21HD081938-01

ASHP ``Applications of Soft-Hands as Prostheses'' [2014-2016] Mayo Clinic Benefactor Grant

WALK-MAN "Whole-body Adaptive Locomotion and Manipulation'' [2013-2017] EC FP7-ICT-2013-10

WEARHAP "WEARable HAPtics   for humans and robots'' [2013-2017] EC FP7-ICT-2011-9

SAPHARI "Safe and Autonomous Physical Human-Aware Robot Interaction'' [2011-2015] EC FP7 IP ICT-287513

THE "The Hand Embodied'', [2010--2014] EC FP7, Coordinator

VIACTORS "Variable Impedance Actuation Systems Embodying Advanced Interaction Behaviors'' [2009--2012] EC FP7 project
CHAT "Control of Heterogeneous Automation Systems: Technologies for scalability, reconfigurability and security'' [2008--2011] EC FP7 project. Cordinator.

PHRIENDS "Physical Human-Robot Interaction: Dependability and Safety'' [2006--2009] EC FP6. Cordinator.




2019 Ordine del Cherubino, top distinction awarded by the University of Pisa

2018 ``IEEE RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and   Automation.'' Citation: For his leadership in the robotics and   automation community through research innovation, technology   transfer, education and professional development.

 2017 “Award for Excellence” for top 10 most cited papers since   first publication of the Elsevier Mechanism and Machine Theory   Journal for ``An atlas of physical human–robot interaction'' Volume   43, Issue 3, March 2008, Pages 253-270, by A. De Santis, B. Siciliano, A. De Luca, A. Bicchi

 2017 IEEE Int.l Conf. on Advanced Intelligent   Mechatronics (AIM'17)er Award (finalist): ``Design and   Characterization of a Novel High-Compliance Spring for Robots with   Soft Joints'' F. egrello, M.  Catalano, M.arabini, M. Poggiani, D. G. Caldwell, N. Tsagarakis, A. Bicchi.

 2017 IEEE Worldhaptics Conference 2017. Best Paper Award   (finalist): ``Tactile Slip and Hand Displacement: Bending Hand   Motion with Tactile Illusions'', M. Bianchi, A. Moscatelli,   S. Ciotti, G.C. Bettelani, F. Fioretti, F. Lacquaniti, and A. Bicchi.

 2017 IEEE Worldhaptics Conference 2017. Best Paper Award and   Best Student Paper Award (finalist): ``The Rice Haptic Rocker: skin   stretch haptic feedback with the Pisa/IIT SoftHand'', E. Battaglia, J. Clark, M. Bianchi, M. Catalano, A. Bicchi, and M. O'Malley

2017 ICUMT2017, Best Paper Award (Robotics) and Best Student Paper Award (General)

 2016 Haptics Symposium 2016 Best Paper Award: ''A Wearable   Fabric-based Display for Haptic Multi-Cue Delivery'', M. Bianchi, E. Battaglia, M. Poggiani, S. Ciotti, A. Bicchi.

 2015 Humanoids 2015 Best Interactive Paper Award:   ``Dexterity augmentation on a synergistic hand: the Pisa/IIT   SoftHand+'', C. Della Santina, G. Grioli, M. Catalano, A. Brando,   and A. Bicchi;

2015 Humanoids 2015 Best Interactive Paper Award:   ``Dexterity augmentation on a synergistic hand: the Pisa/IIT   SoftHand+'', C. Della Santina, G. Grioli, M. Catalano, A. Brando,   and A. Bicchi;

2015 Two of Top Ten Cited papers, Robotics and Autonomous Systems  

2014 EuroHaptics 2014 Best Poster Award: `` A change in the   fingertip contact area induces an illusory displacement of the   finger'', A. Moscatelli, M. Bianchi, A. Serio, O. Al Atassi,   S. Fani, A. Terekhov, V. Hayward, M. Ernst and A. Bicchi

2013 Top Ten Best Research Papers, IEEE Transaction on   Intelligent Transportation Systems

2012--2017 Awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for the individual research   program ``SoftHands'';

2013 IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation 2013 Best Paper   Award (finalist): ``A real--time robust observer for an   agonist--antagonist variable stiffness actuator'', T. Menard,   G. Grioli, and A. Bicchi;

2012 Humanoids 2012 Best Paper Award for paper “Adaptive Synergies for a Humanoid Robot Hand”, by G. Grioli, M. Catalano, C. Piazza, A. Serio, E. Farnioli, and A. Bicchi;

2012 JTCF Novel Technology Best Paper Award in IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2012, for paper “Synergy-based optimal design of hand pose sensing”, by M. Bianchi, P. Salaris, and A. Bicchi;

2 2012 IROS Jubilee Best Video Award, “Variable Impedance Actuators: Moving the Robots of Tomorrow”, by B. Vanderborght, A. Albu-Schaeffer, A. Bicchi, et al.;

2012 Awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for the individual research program “SoftHands”;

2012 Finalist, ICRA’12 Best Manipulation Paper Award for paper “Tele-Impedance: Towards Transferring Human Impedance Regulation Skills to Robots”, by A. Ajoudani, N. Tsagarakis, and A. Bicchi;

2010 Finalist, Haptics Symposium 2010 Best Paper Award, for paper “A new fabric-based softness display” by M. Bianchi, A. Serio, E. P. Scilingo, and A. Bicchi;

2009 Fumio Harashima Best Paper Award in Emerging Technologies, IEEE Industrial Elec- tronics Society (IES), 14th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation, for paper “Designing Real-Time Embedded Controllers using the Anytime Computing Paradigm” by A. Quagli, D.Fontanelli, L. Greco, L. Palopoli, and A. Bicchi;

2009 General Chairs’ Recognition Award for Interactive Papers for the paper “On the Security of Linear Distributed Iterations”, by F. Pasqualetti, A. Bicchi, and F. Bullo, IEEE Intl. Conf. on Decision and Control;

2009 AAP Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences and Mathematics, for Springer Handbook of Robotics, Springer Science and Business Media, Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division, Association of American Publishers, Inc.;

2008 KUKA Service Robotics Best Paper Award, IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation, ICRA’08, Pasadena, USA;

2007 Author of the entry for “Controllo, Teoria del” (“Control Theory”) for the Enciclopedia Italiana “Treccani”, the most prestigious encyclopaedia in Italy;

2005 IEEE Fellow “for contributions to automatic control of mechanisms and robots; ” 2005 Best Manipulation Paper Award, IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation, ICRA’05, Barcelona, Es.;


IIT's website uses the following types of cookies: browsing/session, analytics, functional and third party cookies. Users can choose whether or not to accept the use of cookies and access the website. By clicking on "Further Information", the full information notice on the types of cookies will be displayed and you will be able to choose whether or not to accept them whilst browsing on the website
Further Information
Accept and close