Cecilia Laschi

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This paper presents the concept design, the fabrication and the experimental characterization of a unit of a modular manipulator for minimal access surgery. Traditional surgical manipulators are usually based on metallic steerable needles, tendon driven mechanisms or articulated motorized links. In this work the main idea is to combine flexible fluidic(More)
We designed an fMRI experiment comparing perception of human faces and robotic faces producing emotional expressions. The purpose of our experiment was to investigate engagement of different parts of the social brain by viewing these animate and inanimate agents. Both human and robotic face expressions evoked activity in face-responsive regions in the(More)
Animals exploit soft structures to move effectively in complex natural environments. These capabilities have inspired robotic engineers to incorporate soft technologies into their designs. The goal is to endow robots with new, bioinspired capabilities that permit adaptive, flexible interactions with unpredictable environments. Here, we review emerging(More)
Human–robot interaction represents a critical factor in the design of personal robots as well as in the implementation of robot behavior and control. This work investigates and proposes solutions to the problem of controlling an anthropomorphic robot arm for personal assistance, by dealing with the peculiarities of its design, i.e. the mechanics of its(More)
The capability of grasping and lifting an object in a suitable, stable and controlled way is an outstanding feature for a robot, and thus far, one of the major problems to be solved in robotics. No robotic tools able to perform an advanced control of the grasp as, for instance, the human hand does, have been demonstrated to date. Due to its capital(More)
This paper reports the rationale and design of a robotic arm, as inspired by an octopus arm. The octopus arm shows peculiar features, such as the ability to bend in all directions, to produce fast elongations, and to vary its stiffness. The octopus achieves these unique motor skills, thanks to its peculiar muscular structure, named muscular hydrostat.(More)
The field of humanoids robotics is widely recognized as the current challenge for robotics research. Developing humanoids poses fascinating problems in the realization of manipulation capability, which is still one of most complex problem in robotics. The paper, starting from an overview of current activities in the development of humanoid robots, with(More)
The paper presents a biologically-inspired perception-action scheme for robots interacting with real-world environments, grounded in the broad hypothesis that, like in humans, perception and action are improved in speed and accuracy by expectation mechanisms: perception crucially involves comparison processes between incoming stimuli and expected(More)
There has been an increasing interest in the use of unconventional materials and morphologies in robotic systems because the nderlying mechanical properties (such as body shapes, elasticity, viscosity, softness, density and stickiness) are crucial research opics for our in-depth understanding of embodied intelligence. The detailed investigations of physical(More)
The octopus is a marine animal whose body has no rigid structures. It has eight arms composed of a peculiar muscular structure, named a muscular hydrostat. The octopus arms provide it with both locomotion and grasping capabilities, thanks to the fact that their stiffness can change over a wide range and can be controlled through combined contractions of the(More)