The main focus of the research area is the system-level engineering of smart, innovative, intelligent mechanical systems, that is systems that possess the characteristic of being both “physical” and “smart”.

Emphasis is on integration and functions. For this, a strict multi-disciplinary approach is adopted and, in fact, the area is a synergic blend of different disciplines: from mechanical system engineering to manufacturing engineering, from methods for sensing and data fusion to mathematical methods for dynamic systems modelling. The successful tight integration of several disciplines (not granted a priori) is a distinguishing element of this area.

According to the tradition of mechanical engineering, a model- based approach is used to model physical systems whenever possible.

In the area, industrial systems play a major role. On the basis of the modern “concurrent engineering” approach, both “products” and “manufacturing systems” are considered here, whose study means the modelling of either the product dynamics or the manufacturing process. As an example, intelligent vehicles call for the modelling of their dynamic behaviour and interactions with the driver, whereas intelligent manufacturing systems call for the modelling of the underlying manufacturing process and machine tool functions.

The interest of the area extends also beyond industrial systems, wherever smart physical systems are involved. Two examples are given here: a) space exploration and space mission call for the design of smart systems with unprecedented and demanding requirements; b) the domain of accessibility and assistance for independent living (which is a European priority) call for the study of virtual human beings and for the design of devices for assistance, observation and monitoring.

Robotics is another field of interest, which owes both industrial and the non-industrial facets.

The area carries out the research mostly within projects, where different aspects are tackled by the different disciplines that form the area and in cooperation with several other partner research groups. We participate both in international projects (e.g., Collaborative Projects of the European Framework Programmes, ESA projects, EUROSTARS projects, etc.), and in national projects (e.g., Industria2015, MURST Grants, etc.) and also in bilateral research contracts with industries (see below). A driver of our activity is the impact of the research, which is evaluated against criteria and guidelines put forward by the European Union (society needs) and by the national and international priorities. The management of intellectual property rights is also considered.

Research topics

  • Manufacturing Systems and Industrial Automation
  • Mechanical Measurements and Sensor Data Fusion
  • Intelligent Systems (Vehicles and Robotics)
  • Space Techonolgies
  • Accessibility and Assistance Living


  • Enrico Bertolazzi
  • Enrico Biral
  • Daniele Bortoluzzi
  • Paolo Bosetti
  • Davide Brunelli
  • Antonello Cherubini
  • Mauro Da Lio
  • Mariolino De Cecco
  • Andrea Del Prete
  • Daniele Fontanelli
  • Giulia Giordano
  • Giacomo Moretti
  • Paolo Rech
  • Gastone Pietro Rosati Papini
  • Matteo Saveriano
  • Elisabetta Tedeschi
  • Luca Zaccarian

Laboratories and heads

MECHATRONICS AREA laboratories Head Email
CONTROL SYSTEMS Matteo Saveriano matteo.saveriano [at]
MACHINE TOOLS AND PROTOTYPING Paolo Bosetti paolo.bosetti [at]

MECHATRONIC SYSTEMS Francesco Biral francesco.biral [at]

SIMULATORS AND VIRTUAL REALITY Francesco Biral francesco.biral [at]

GARMENT BASED MOTION CAPTURE SYSTEM Mariolino De Cecco mariolino.dececco [at]

MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTATION AND ROBOTICS Mariolino De Cecco mariolino.dececco [at]

METROLOGY Cristofolini Ilaria ilaria.cristofolini [at]

SPACE APPLICATIONS Bortoluzzi Daniele daniele.bortoluzzi [at]