Robot-Era Robot-Era Duration: 01.01.2012 > 31.12.2015
The Robot-Era Project has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement num. 288899
FP7 - ICT - Challenge 5: ICT for Health, Ageing Well, Inclusion and Governance

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01 Coordinator - Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA), Pisa, Italy


Logo SSSAThe Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA, is a public University with a special status admitting excellent students at graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral level in the sectors of engineering, medicine, agriculture, economics, law and political science. The mission of SSSA is to perform excellent research through a number of highly qualified research laboratories. Most of them are located at the “Polo Sant'Anna Valdera”, in Pontedera. A research park specifically created to better house the research activities of SSSA and to favour technology transfer, with a surface of 6,300quare metres and important facilities for design and (micro)fabrication, as well as for educational activities. The Biorobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna was founded in January 2011 by Prof. Paolo Dario with the mission of performing research in the field of advanced robotics. The Biorobotics Institute conducts theoretical and experimental research in biorobotics, a discipline characterized by a high degree of interdisciplinarity. For this reason it has a strong tendency toward integrating heterogeneous bodies of knowledge, of both scientific and humanistic nature, in order to study the theoretical and practical problems associated with the development of advanced robotic systems. Before 2011, the Biorobotics Institute was the ARTS Lab, that over the course of its 20-year history has built and consolidated a vast wealth of knowledge and expertise in the fields of Service Robotics, Humanoid Robotics, Neurorobotics, Bionics, Neural Interfaces, Assistive Robotics, Robotics for Neurorehabilitation, Gerontechnologies, Biomimetic Robotics. Several robotic platforms have been developed in the framework of national and international projects, as for example humanoid robots, platforms for experiments on learning and sensory-motor coordination, cybernetic and prosthetic hands, wearable devices for biomechanical motion analysis, robotic systems for functional support and rehabilitation of human limbs, humanoid robotic hands (that are currently integrated on humanoid platforms in Italy and Japan) and systems for personal assistance of disable and elderly people. At present the Biorobotics Institute includes over 60 people, including two Full Professors, two Associate Professors, many Post-Doc researchers, and 40 PhD students. Furthermore the Institute of Management of SSSA will take part to the project. Through a scientific method and with a strong interdisciplinary approach, the Institute analyzes the relevant topics in: (i) the innovation process, the evaluation, adoption, and diffusion of medical/technological innovations; (ii) the organization and management of very complex health care and long-term care programmes and procedures; and (iii) the financing of health care and long-term care programs. The presence in the Institute of scholars with different backgrounds allows addressing, from a systemic point of view, all the implications associated with the above-mentioned topics. Specific attention is devoted to the evaluation and assessment (cost efficacy, effectiveness and safety) of novel technologies and procedures relevant to rehabilitation, surgery, minimally invasive therapy and transplantation procedures, in a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) perspective.



SSSA will be the coordinator of the project and will firstly ensure the correct execution of the entire project. It will provide competencies in the user - and town centred design and in the rules and certifications definition of robotic services. It will also provide expertise in mobile robotics technologies (e.g. navigation, human robot interaction, sensor perception, etc.).



The peculiarity of the ARTS Lab is the capability to perform excellent research according to the standards of the scientific communities of robotics and biomedical engineering (i.e. publications) and at the same time fostering the application and the exploitation of the research results, to the benefit of the local area and of European citizens at large. In the ARTS Lab model, research should lead to publications, but there should also be a further step towards the application of the results. This is the case of the know-how in humanoid robotics, which led to the RoboTech spin-off company developing a robotic product sold in more the 100,000 items, of the experience in assistive technologies, which also led to a product distributed by a spinoff company, as well as in other sectors of robotics and biomedical engineering. The ARTS Lab has been collaborating with the Municipality of Peccioli since 1995, on the topics of services to the elderly citizens. Among the initiatives carried out in Peccioli with the scientific and technical support of the ARTS Lab are the design of service centres for the elderly, the set-up of a domotic apartment for experimental research, the validation of assistive technologies and gerontechnologies, the experimental application of rehabilitation technologies. The profile and model of the ARTS Lab make it deeply, and uniquely, suitable to pursue a large-scale initiative at the border of research and application, like Robot-Era.



Paolo Dario
Professor of Biomedical Robotics
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
The Biorobotics Institute
Viale Rinaldo Piaggio, 34
56025 Pontedera (Pisa) - Italy
Tel. +39 050.883420/102
Fax +39 050.883497



Prof. Paolo DarioProf. Paolo Dario received his Dr. Eng. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1977. He is currently a Professor of Biomedical Robotics at SSSA in Pisa. He is and has been Visiting Professor at prestigious universities in Italy and abroad, like Brown University, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Waseda University, University of Tokyo, College de France, Zheijang University. He was the founder and is currently the Co-ordinator of the ARTS Lab and of the CRIM Lab of SSSA, where he supervises a team of about 120 researchers and Ph.D. students. He is the Director of Polo Sant’Anna Valdera, the research park of SSSA. Since September 2009 he is also Director of the Center for Micro-BioRobotics IIT@SSSA of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). His main research interests are in the fields of biorobotics, medical robotics, micro/nanoengineering. He is the coordinator of many national and European projects, the editor of special issues and books on the subject of biorobotics, and the author of more than 200 scientific papers (75 on ISI journals).

Prof. Giuseppe Turchetti received his Laurea Degree in Economics and Management from the University of Pisa. He received his PhD in Economics and Management from the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, where he is associate professor of Economics and Management.
He spent several years for research in USA as Visiting Scholar at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and at the Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago). He is Co-Founder the Research Laboratory on Management and Innovation (MAIN Lab) of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa. His main research interests are in the fields of the organisation, financing and evaluation of healthcare services and health technologies. He is working on several national and international projects in the area of healthcare technologies and management. He is author/editor of twelve books and of almost one hundred scholarly papers and book chapters, and he is member of the international board of the Health Care Technology Management Association.

Dr. Filippo Cavallo received the Master Degree in Electronic Engineering (University Of Pisa) in 2003, and defended his PhD degree in bioengineering (CRIM Lab, SSSA) in 2007.
During PhD he joined the EndoCAS Centre working on Computer Assisted Surgery and in 2007 he visited the ROBO-Casa Lab at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. Since 2008 he has been Post Doctoral Researcher at ARTS Lab. His fields of research are focused on assistive robotics, ambient assisted living, biomechanical analysis, wearable sensor systems, sensor networking, localization and navigation system, biomedical signal and event processing, home automation, tele-care. He participate in various National and European projects and is author of various papers on conferences and ISI journals.

Michela AquilanoDr. Michela Aquilano received the Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering (University "Campus Bio-Medico" of Rome) in 2004, and defended her PhD degree in Biorobotics Science and Engineering (IMT Institute for Advanced Studies and SSSA) in 2008. During her PhD she joined the ARTS Lab working on Assistive Technology and Rehabilitation; between 2007 and 2008 she attended the tHRIL Lab at University of Reading (Reading, United Kingdom) as visiting researcher. From the end of 2008 she has been Post Doctoral Researcher at ARTS Lab.
Her research interests are in Assistive Robotics and Ambient Assisted Living, working in particular on sensing, human machine interfacing and on validation of systems to evaluate their acceptability by end-users.

Manuele Bonaccorsi graduated in Biomedical Engeneering in 2010 at University of Pisa with a thesis on indoor localization. Currently he is working for Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in the field of the Ambient Assisted Living, Wireless Sensor Networks and indoor localization.

Alessandro Manzi received the Laurea degree (M.S.) in Computer Science from the University of Pisa (Italy) in 2007. From 2007 to 2009, he worked as a Computer Scientist in the ARTS Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA) in Pontedera (Italy), for the European Project DustBot (, in which a net of autonomous robots for urban hygiene was developed. From 2010 to 2012, he was involved in the European Project Hydronet ( at SSSA Laboratory of Marine Robotics, Livorno, Italy. The project aimed at developing a network of floating sensorised robots for water monitoring.
Currently, he is working as a Computer Scientist in Robot-Era.
His research interests include computer vision, path-planning in dynamical environments and heterogeneous robotic network issues.

Francesca PierottiDott.ssa Francesca Pierotti is a statistician, she has a Degree in Statistics with dissertation in Econometrics from the University of Florence. She is part of the European Transplantation Management Centre (ETXMAN Centre) and she currently works at the Management & Innovation (MAIN) Laboratory of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa in the Insurance and Health research group directed by Prof. Giuseppe Turchetti. She has been involved in research projects managed by Laboratory of Innovation of SSSA in collaboration with the Institute of Informatics and Telematics of National Research Council (CNR) of Pisa in the area of Network technologies diffusion, modelling and empirical evaluation. She has many years experience in healthcare data management and in development of data mining systems concerning the definition of ad hoc syntaxes and algorithms for longitudinal and panel data analysis. Her research interest is in the models for the economic evaluation of healthcare system in a Health Technology Assessment perspective.

Francesca died in a car accident on August 2014. She was a brilliant and dedicated researcher, her death is a big loss for all of us.

Ilaria PallaDott.ssa Ilaria Palla received her Laurea Degree in Philosophy from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1997. She received her MS Degree in Healthcare Management from the Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, in 2005. She currently works at the European Transplantation Management Centre (ETXMAN Centre) and at the Management & Innovation (MAIN) Laboratory of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa in the Insurance and Healthcare research group directed by Prof. Giuseppe Turchetti. Her main interests are in the fields of the organisation, financing and evaluation of healthcare international projects in the area of healthcare technologies and management.

Dr. Leopoldo Trieste received a degree in Discipline Economiche e Sociali (Economics) from Bocconi University and his Master in Innovation Management and PhD in Management from the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa (Italy) where he is research fellow since 2010. He co-authored papers on drug markets, the economic burden of specific diseases and the impact of diagnostic technology on clinical decision making.
His fields of interest are health economics, HTA, diffusion of innovation in healthcare and decision theory.

Page updated on 29/08/2014 by Administrator


Implementation and integration of advanced Robotic systems and intelligent Environments in real scenarios for the ageing population