Mechatronics and Industrial Robotics Lab


The Mechatronics and Industrial Robotics Lab is mainly dedicated to the design and testing of automatic machines and robots; the concepts of new machines are developed and often brought up to the level of laboratory prototypes; in other cases the same prototypes or industrial mechanical systems are used for the development of advanced or unconventional automated applications. Biomechanics projects have been recently addressed too.

Research activities

The research activity carried out in the Mechatronics and Industrial Robotics Lab has led over the years to the design and construction of several prototype robots for research purposes or for industrial applications. These include I.Ca.Ro., a 3-axis robot with a parallel kinematics characterized by pure translational motions, and Sphe.I.Ro., a 3-axis robot with a parallel kinematics characterized by pure rotation motions. Various 3-axis modular and reconfigurable machines have been designed in such a way as to generate, alternatively, translation or rotation motions. In addition, a mini-platform of orientation has been designed, characterized by two degrees of freedom of rotation and used for the assembly of miniaturized components. In the field of advanced robotics, prototypes of biomorphic submarine robots were developed in cooperation with DII researchers.
Among the applications to industrial processes, it is worth quoting the researches on the use of parallel robots for incremental forming or for friction stir welding. Furthermore, a vision system servoed to a 3-axis robot was developed, aimed at creating a visual control in the operative space, as well as research on impedance controllers and based on neural networks or fractional derivatives.


Drives and motors

  • 3 Phase Motion Control linear induction motors (with digital brushless converter), with a maximum thrust of 184 N at a speed of 6 m/s, with maximum acceleration of 14.3 g.
  • 3 Parvex brushless motors with resolver, which can be driven in velocity or torque mode by Eurotherm converters. Nominal torque of 2 Nm and maximum speed of 2300 rpm (@230 V).
  • 2 DC micromotors Faulhaber (speed 13000 rpm and rated torque 0.7 mNm) with zero backlash gearbox (gear ratio 279:1)

Controllers and acquisition systems

  • DSpace DS1103 controller board with 1 GHz microprocessor, 4 16 bit ADC and DAC channels at ±10V (+ 4 multiplexed channels) and resolver with 24 bit resolution (simulated encoder) with 7 analogue channels, 6 of which at 1.65 MHz and 1 at 600 kHz
  • National Instruments FPGA board on PXI architecture
  • image acquisition and processing system: National Instruments CVS-1456 Compact Vision System and several Basler CCD cameras at high frame-rate (up to 500 fps)

Other harware

  • Piezotronics PCB modal analysis kit, including triaxial accelerometer, instrumented hammer, amplifier and signal conditioner
  • Form2 high-resolution FORMLABS 3D printer for rapid prototyping of components and mechanisms.

Software Instrumentation

  • Adams by MSC: software suite for the simulation of dynamic systems with rigid or deformable bodies.
  • Matlab/Simulink by Mathworks: multi-paradigm numerical computing environment for model development and data processing. The “Realtime Workshop” toolbox allows rapid prototyping of control systems.
  • Labview of the National Instruments: it allows the acquisition of signals and the realization of real time controllers.
  • Ansys (Ansys Inc.): software for modeling and structural analysis of components through the finite element method.

+39 071 220 4977