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Michele Focchi is currently a Researcher at Università di Trento at the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science (DISI), and a visiting scientist at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. He is Associate Editor for RA-L. He received both the Bsc. and the Msc. in Control System Engineering from Politecnico di Milano. After gaining some R&D experience in the industry, in 2009 he joined IIT where he developed a micro-turbine for which he obtained an international patent. In 2013, he got a PhD in robotics, getting involved in the Hydraulically Actuated Quadruped Robot project. He initially was developing torque controllers for locomotion purposes, subsequently he moved to higher level (whole-body) controllers and model identification. He was also investigating locomotion strategies that are robust to uncertainties and work reliably on real platforms. Currently his research interests are focused on pushing the performances of quadruped robots in traversing unstructured environments, by using optimization-based planning strategies to perform dynamic motion planning. On 2022 he joined University of Trento where he teaches courses on Robotics. He published more than 44 papers in international journals and conferences and supervised several master and PhD thesis.

Previous research works (in chronological order):

  • Design of a micro-turbine for power generation

  • Design of passive feet

  • Design and control Magneto-rheological dampers

  • Design of foot sensor

  • Torque control on electric motors and hyqdraulics

  • Whole-body control

  • Slip recovery

  • Model identification

  • Development of reactive modules for locomotion (e.g. step reflex, height reflex)

  • Heuristic planning on rough terrain

  • Dynamic planning for aerial motions

  • Model predictive control applied to locomotion of legged robots

  • Space exploration with legged robots

  • Climbing robots

  • Digital agriculture

    You can check more about these in my Youtube Research playlist

Projects I was involved:

  • ANT - AUTONOMOUS NON-WHEELED ALL-TERRAIN ROVER - for the European Space Agency: Navigation system for legged robots for traversing unconsolidated, inclined, and rugged terrain.
  • INAIL Teleop (ongoing since 2017): applications of a centaur-like machine to search & rescue
  • ECHORD++ HyQREal, www.hyq-real.eu: development of a rugged (dust-proof, water-proof) autonomous quadruped robot, for harsh environments
  • Vodafone (ongoing since 2018), www.vodafone5g.it: implementing the next generation of telecommunication standards on out robots.
  • UniCatt (ongoing since 2017), vinum-robot.eu: application of legged robots to agricultural tasks
  • HyQ (ongoing since 2007): development of a versatile platform to study locomotion