Michele Focchi

Researcher
Researcher

Contacts

via Morego 30
+39 010 71781 974

About

Michele Focchi was born in Rimini, Italy. He holds a Master of Science in Control System Engineering from Politecnico di Milano in 2007. His final project dealt with dynamic modelling of hydraulic turbines for energy generation carried out at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. After some experience in the industry, in 2009 he joined IIT and developed a prototype of a novel concept of an air-pressure driven micro-turbine for power generation. The Microtubine Project obtained an international patent and several awards is now a spin-off company. During his PhD he started to work with robotics getting involved in the development of the hydraulic quadruped robot HyQ at the Dynamic Legged Systems Laboratory at IIT. Initially he was working on low-level controllers for locomotion purposes. Subsequently he started to develop high-level (whole body) controller to improve locomotion stability.  Currently his research interest is now on dynamic locomotion and trajectory planning for legged robots.

 

Projects

Currently I am deeply involved in the following projects:

Low level control (CTT 2016)

how the range of stable impedance parameters is affected by sampling frequency, inner loop bandwidth and delays, an important topic for real time implementations.

Springer

Arxiv

Chimney climb (AURO 2017)

I have been the first one in the world to realize a "chimney-climb" walk with a 80 kg quadruped robot:

[video chimney climb 2014]

The paper describing the implemented whole body controller (for quasi-static walk with optimization of contact forces) is:

Springer

Whole body controller with joint and torque constraints

paper

Slip recovery for quadruped robots (ISRR 2015)

a simple strategy to online detect, estimate slippage and recover from it, exploiting the optimization capabilities of the whole body framework.

paper

[video on slip recovery (ISRR 2015)]

Step reflex generation for quadruped robots (Clawar 2013)

paper

Selected Publications

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE PAPERS AND WORKSHOPS

Focchi M, Guglielmino E, Semini C, Boaventura T, Yang Y and Caldwell D G (2010). Control of a Hydraulically-Actuated Quadruped Robot Leg, IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

Semini C, Buchli J, Frigerio M, Boaventura T, Focchi M, Guglielmino E, Cannella F, Tsagarakis N G and Caldwell D G (2011). HyQ - A Dynamic Locomotion Research Platform, International Workshop on Bio-Inspired Robotics, Nantes, France.

Focchi M, Persico G, Guglielmino E and Caldwell D G (2011). Novel concept for an air-pressure driven micro-turbine for power generation, ASME Turbo Expo 2011, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

M. Focchi, T. Boaventura, C. Semini, M. Frigerio, J. Buchli, D. G. Caldwell. Torque-control Based Compliant Actuation of a Quadruped Robot, The 12th International Workshop on Advanced Motion Control, March 25-27, 2012, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

C. Semini, N.G. Tsagarakis, E. Guglielmino, M. Focchi, F. Cannella, and D.G. Caldwell. Design of HyQ - a hydraulically and electrically actuated quadruped robot. IMechE Part I: J. of Systems and Control Engineering, 225(6):831–849.

T. Boaventura, C. Semini, J. Buchli, M. Frigerio, M. Focchi, D. G. Caldwell. Dynamic  Locomotion of a Torque-Controlled Quadruped Robot. Dynamic locomotion of a torque-controlled quadruped robot. In Proceedings IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2012.

PATENTS

Focchi M, Guglielmino E, Pane G, Cordasco S, Tacchino C, Caldwell D G (2010). Dispositivo per la generazione di energia elettrica da una sorgente di aria compressa (Device for electric energy generation from a compressed air source). Italian patent number IT TO2010A000578. International patent extension in progress.

 

 

 

IIT Publications

  • 2018
  • Orsolino R.iit, Focchi M.iit, Mastalli C.iit, Dai H., Caldwell D. G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Application of Wrench-Based Feasibility Analysis to the Online Trajectory Optimization of Legged Robots

    IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 3, (no. 4), pp. 3363 - 3370
  • Focchi M.iit, Orsolino R.iit, Camurri M., Barasuol V., Mastalli C., Caldwell Darwin G.iit, Semini C.iit

    Heuristic Planning for Rough Terrain Locomotion in Presence of External Disturbances and Variable Perception Quality

    Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, Publisher: Springer
  • 2017
  • Orsolino R.iit, Focchi M.iit, Caldwell D. G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    A Combined Limit Cycle - Zero Moment Point based Approach for Omni-Directional Quadrupedal Bounding

    International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines
  • Semini C.iit, Barasuol V.iit, Goldsmith J.iit, Frigerio M.iit, Focchi M.iit, Gao Y.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit
    DOI

    Design of the Hydraulically Actuated, Torque-Controlled Quadruped Robot HyQ2Max

    IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 22, (no. 2), pp. 635-646
  • Nobili S., Camurri M.iit, Barasuol V.iit, Focchi M.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit, Semini C.iit, Fallon M.

    Heterogeneous sensor fusion for accurate state estimation of dynamic legged robots

    Robotics: Science and Systems, vol. 13
  • Focchi M.iit, del Prete A., Havoutis I., Featherstone R.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    High-slope terrain locomotion for torque-controlled quadruped robots

    Autonomous Robots, vol. 41, (no. 1), pp. 259-272
  • Tournois G.iit, Focchi M.iit, Del Prete A., Orsolino R.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Online payload identification for quadruped robots

    IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, vol. 2017-September, pp. 4889-4896
  • Aceituno-Cabezas B., Mastalli C.iit, Dai H., Focchi M.iit, Radulescu A.iit, Caldwell D. G.iit, Cappelletto J., Grieco J. C., Fernandez-Lopez G., Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Simultaneous Contact, Gait and Motion Planning for Robust Multi-Legged Locomotion via Mixed-Integer Convex Optimization

    IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 3, (no. 3), pp. 2531 - 2538
  • Mastalli C.iit, Focchi M.iit, Havoutis I., Radulescu A.iit, Calinon S., Buchli J., Caldwell D.G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Trajectory and foothold optimization using low-dimensional models for rough terrain locomotion

    Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 1096-1103
  • Mastalli C., Focchi M.iit, Havoutis I., Radulescu A.iit, Calinon S., Buchli J., Caldwell D.iit, Semini C.

    Trajectory and Foothold Optimization using Low-Dimensional Models for Rough Terrain Locomotion

    IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - 1989
  • Frigerio M.iit, Barasuol V.iit, Focchi M.iit, Caldwell D. G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Validation of Computer Simulations of the HyQ Robot

    International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines
  • Focchi M.iit, Featherstone R.iit, Orsolino R.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Viscosity-based height reflex for workspace augmentation for quadrupedal locomotion on rough terrain

    IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, vol. 2017-September, pp. 5353-5360
  • 2016
  • Kuwahara H., Terai F., Focchi M.iit, Medrano-Cerda G.A.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    A design method of a robust controller for hydraulic actuation with disturbance observers

    2016 IEEE 14th International Workshop on Advanced Motion Control, AMC 2016, pp. 289-296
  • Mastalli C.iit, Havoutis I., Focchi M.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Hierarchical planning of dynamic movements without scheduled contact sequences

    Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, vol. 2016-June, pp. 4636-4641
  • Focchi M.iit, Medrano-Cerda G.A.iit, Boaventura T., Frigerio M.iit, Semini C.iit, Buchli J., Caldwell D.G.iit
    DOI

    Robot impedance control and passivity analysis with inner torque and velocity feedback loops

    Control Theory and Technology, vol. 14, (no. 2), pp. 97-112
  • Rehman B.U.iit, Focchi M.iit, Lee J.iit, Dallali H.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Towards a multi-legged mobile manipulator

    Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, vol. 2016-June, pp. 3618-3624
  • 2015
  • Rehman B.U.iit, Focchi M.iit, Frigerio M.iit, Goldsmith J.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit, Semini C.iit

    Design of a hydraulically actuated arm for a quadruped robot

    Assistive Robotics: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines, CLAWAR 2015, pp. 283-290
  • Semini C.iit, Goldsmith J.iit, Ur Rehman B.iit, Frigerio M.iit, Barasuol V.iit, Focchi M.iit, Caldwell D. G.iit

    Design overview of the hydraulic quadruped robots HyQ2Max and HyQ2Centaur

    14th Scandinavian International Conference on Fluid Power
  • Dallali H.iit, Medrano-Cerda G.A.iit, Focchi M.iit, Boaventura T., Frigerio M.iit, Semini C.iit, Buchli J., Caldwell D.G.iit
    DOI

    On the use of positive feedback for improved torque control

    Control Theory and Technology, vol. 13, (no. 3), pp. 266-285
  • Winkler A.W.iit, Mastalli C.iit, Havoutis I.iit, Focchi M.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Planning and execution of dynamic whole-body locomotion for a hydraulic quadruped on challenging terrain

    Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, vol. 2015-June, (no. June), pp. 5148-5154
  • Focchi M.iit, Barasuol V.iit, Frigerio M.iit, Caldwell D. G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Slip Detection and Recovery for Quadruped Robots

    International Symposium on Robotics Research
  • Semini C.iit, Barasuol V.iit, Boaventura T., Frigerio M.iit, Focchi M.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit, Buchli J.
    DOI

    Towards versatile legged robots through active impedance control

    International Journal of Robotics Research, vol. 34, (no. 7), pp. 1003-1020
  • 2014
  • Kostamo E., Focchi M.iit, Guglielmino E.iit, Kostamo J., Semini C.iit, Buchli J., Pietola M., Caldwell D.iit
    DOI

    Magnetorheologically damped compliant foot for legged robotic application

    Journal of Mechanical Design - Transactions of the ASME, vol. 136, (no. 2)
  • Winkler A.iit, Havoutis I.iit, Bazeille S.iit, Ortiz J.iit, Focchi M.iit, Dillmann R.iit, Caldwell D.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Path planning with force-based foothold adaptation and virtual model control for torque controlled quadruped robots

    Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 6476-6482
  • Bazeille S.iit, Barasuol V.iit, Focchi M.iit, Havoutis I.iit, Frigerio M.iit, Buchli J., Caldwell D.G.iit, Semini C.iit
    DOI

    Quadruped robot trotting over irregular terrain assisted by stereo-vision

    Intelligent Service Robotics, vol. 7, (no. 2), pp. 67-77
  • 2013
  • Focchi M.iit, Barasuol V., Havoutis I.iit, Buchli J., Semini C.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit
    DOI

    Local reflex generation for obstacle negotiation in quadrupedal locomotion

    Nature-Inspired Mobile Robotics, pp. 443-450, Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Co.
  • Bazeille S.iit, Barasuol V., Focchi M.iit, Havoutis I.iit, Frigerio M.iit, Buchli J., Semini C.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit
    DOI

    Vision enhanced reactive locomotion control for trotting on rough terrain

    IEEE Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications, TePRA
  • 2012
  • Semini C.iit, Khan H.iit, Frigerio M.iit, Boaventura T.iit, Focchi M.iit, Buchli J.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit

    Design and scaling of versatile quadruped robots

    Adaptive Mobile Robotics - Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines, CLAWAR 2012, pp. 273-280
  • Boaventura T.iit, Semini C.iit, Buchli J.iit, Frigerio M.iit, Focchi M.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit
    DOI

    Dynamic torque control of a hydraulic quadruped robot

    Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 1889-1894
  • Boaventura T.iit, Focchi M.iit, Frigerio M.iit, Buchli J.iit, Semini C.iit, Medrano-Cerda G.A.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit
    DOI

    On the role of load motion compensation in high-performance force control

    IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 4066-4071
  • Focchi M.iit, Boaventura T.iit, Semini C.iit, Frigerio M.iit, Buchli J.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit
    DOI

    Torque-control based compliant actuation of a quadruped robot

    International Workshop on Advanced Motion Control, AMC
  • 2011
  • Semini C.iit, Tsagarakis N.G.iit, Guglielmino E.iit, Focchi M.iit, Cannella F.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit
    DOI

    Design of HyQ -A hydraulically and electrically actuated quadruped robot

    Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part I: Journal of Systems and Control Engineering, vol. 225, (no. 6), pp. 831-849
  • Semini C.iit, Buchli J.iit, Frigerio M.iit, Boaventura-Cunha T., Focchi M.iit, Guglielmino E.iit, Cannella F.iit, Tsagarakis N. G.iit, Caldwell D. G.iit

    HyQ - a dynamic locomotion research platform

    International Workshop on Bio-Inspired Robots
  • Focchi M.iit, Persico G., Guglielmino E.iit, Caldwell D.iit
    DOI

    Novel concept for an air-pressure driven micro-turbine for power generation

    Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, vol. 3, pp. 811-822
  • 2010
  • Focchi M.iit, Guglielmino E.iit, Semini C.iit, Boaventura T.iit, Yang Y.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit
    DOI

    Control of a hydraulically-actuated quadruped robot leg

    Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 4182-4188
  • Focchi M.iit, Guglielmino E.iit, Semini C.iit, Parmiggiani A.iit, Tsagarakis N.iit, Vanderborght B.iit, Caldwell D.G.iit
    DOI

    Water/air performance analysis of a fluidic muscle

    IEEE/RSJ 2010 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2010 - Conference Proceedings, pp. 2194-2199

Awards

 

  • 1st  prize ''Premio Nazionale Innovazione'', Bari, 2013 (25keuro)
  • 1st prize ''StartCup il sole 24 ore'', Genova, 2012
  • 1st prize ''ItaliaCamp'', Verona, 2012