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The exploitation of contact and dynamics in manipulation opens a path of disruptive innovation for the development of simple and compliant, yet strong, robust and easy-to-program manipulation systems. This workshop explores a new avenue of robotic manipulation in real environments, exploiting the physical constraints imposed by the environment to enable robust grasping and manipulation in dynamic, open, and highly variable contexts. We will focus on manipulation with the environment, as opposed to manipulation of or in the environment. The physical constraints imposed by objects in the environment and the manipulandum itself will not be regarded as obstacles, but rather as opportunities to guide functional hand pre-shaping, adaptive grasping, and affordance-guided manipulation of objects.
The final aim of the workshop is to set the bases for a newcommunity-wide effort to reinvent manipulation. The ambition is to provide the foundations at the levels of hardware design, control, perception and planning for a fundamental shift in the way of robot manipulation. We will discuss whether this shift not only leads to a significant increase in competencies, robustness, versatility, and cost-effectiveness of manipulation systems, but also if the resulting technology will be able to address industrial automation problems beyond the capabilities of existing technologies.

The Hannover Messe (HM; English: Hanover Fair) is the world's biggest industrial fair. It is held on the Hanover fairground in Hanover, Germany. Typically, there are about 6,500 exhibitors and 250,000 visitors.

"Scienza a Km 0" is an italian scientific festival that aims to connect scientists living in the city of "Massa", with the population.

The growing need to automate daily tasks, combined with new robot technologies, is driving the development of human-friendly robots, i.e., safe and dependable machines, operating in the close vicinity to humans or directly interacting with them in a wide range of domains. The technological shift from classical industrial robots, which are safely kept away from humans in cages, to robots, which are used in close collaboration with humans, is facing major challenges that need to be overcome.

The objective of the workshop is to bring together researchers so to share knowledge on design, control, safety and ethical issues, concerning the introduction of robots into everyday life.


IROS 2015 - at the SAPHARI/SOMA booth the VSA and the Pisa-IIT Softhand

Hamburg, Germany, september 28 - October 2, 2015


The SOMA/SAPHARI booth at the International Conference of robots and Systems (IROS2015) hosted the VSA Actuators and the Pisa-IIT Softhand

Robot Walkman and the Pisa-IIT Softhand in Tuscany for Eurathlon and Researchers Night

Walkman, the humanoid robot created by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in collaboration with Centro "E.Piaggio" - Università di Pisa, arrived in Tuscany on September 23rd for a demo in euRathlon, when it demonstrated its ability to operate in a challenge and realistic scenario, performing tasks such as driving a car, open doors using its hands and closing an industrial safety valve. Some of the scenarios the robot has been designed to face include nuclear disaster or earthquake.

On September 25th walkman and the Pisa-IIT Softhand were hosted in Pisa for BRIGHT -  The Researchers Night, at the booth of Centro Piaggio, when people had the possibility to try the Pisa-IIT Softhand for grasping different objects

Walkman ranked 17th place at DARPA Robotics Challenge

Los Angeles, USA, June 5-6, 2015


Walkman, the robot designed by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and Centro "E.Piaggio" ranked in 17th place at the DARPA Robotics Challenge. 


see walkman technical description and the competition at the link:

2nd International Conference on Electrical, Electronic and Computing Engineering IcETRAN 2015


Silver Lake (Srebrno Jezero), Serbia, June 8-11, 2015


Control design for pick-and-place task using robot with intrinsic compliance - QB robot
Kosta Jovanovic, Member, IEEE, Predrag Milosavljevic, and Veljko Potkonjak.


Amazon Picking Challenge - final stage

Seattle, USA, May 24-30, 2015



The Team of Centro "E.Piaggio" of the University of Pisa has been selected to participate to the final stage of the Amazon Picking Challenge, that will be held at ICRA 2015, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s flagship conference. IIT and Centro Piaggio will participate to the competition with the "Pisa-iit Softhand"

ICRA 2015 - Workshops about Natural Motion

Seattle, USA, May 24-30, 2015


  • Planning, Control, and Sensing for Safe Human-Robot Interaction

  • Get in touch! Tactile & Force Sensing for Autonomous, Compliant, Intelligent Robots

  • Compliant and Versatile Robot Control in Human Environments: Bridging the Gap between Learning and Control

  • Soft Robotics: Actuation, Integration, and Applications: Blending Research Perspectives

RSS 2015 - Workshop "Towards a Unifying Framework for Whole-body and Manipulation Control"

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