The Robotics group of DIAG (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica, Automatica e Gestionale) and the associated Robotics Laboratory were established at Sapienza University of Rome in the late 1980s with a mission to develop innovative methods for modeling, planning and control of industrial and service robots.
Over the years, research results were obtained on a variety of subjects: nonlinear control of robots; iterative learning of repetitive motion; hybrid force/velocity control of manipulators interacting with the environment; optimization schemes in kinematically redundant robots; motion planning and control of wheeled mobile robots and other nonholonomic mechanical systems; stabilization of underactuated robots; robot actuator fault detection and isolation; safe control of physical human-robot interaction; control of manipulators with flexible joints/links; control of locomotion platforms for VR immersion; image-based visual servoing; sensor-based navigation and exploration in unknown environments; motion planning for high-dimensional systems; multi-robot coordination and mutual localization.
In addition to further development in the above mentioned areas, recent activities include control and visual servoing for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), control-based motion planning for mobile manipulators, motion planning and control of locomotion in humanoid robots, and sensory supervision of human-robot interaction.
The Robotics Laboratory is currently equipped with two articulated manipulators by KUKA (a KR 5 Sixx and an LWR 4+), an underactuated arm (Pendubot) and several mobile robots, including both wheeled (an iRobot MagellanPro plus a team of five K-Team Kheperas III) and legged (two Aldebaran NAO humanoid robot and two quadruped Sony AIBOs) platforms. Finally, two quadrotor UAVs by AscTec (a Hummingbird and a Pelican) are available. All these robots are equipped with sensing devices of various complexity, going from ultrasonic/laser range finders to cameras, Kinect depth sensors and stereo vision systems. In the past, we have also designed and built a two-link flexible manipulator (FlexArm) and a differentially-driven wheeled mobile robot (SuperMARIO).