Current projects
  • Regenerative Robots: Robotic Implant for Tissue Repair

    In this project, we develop a robotic implant that sustains the growth of esophageal tissues to reconstruct the gastro-intestinal tract. The application has direct impact on long-gap esophageal atresia. The sensorimotor capabilities of the robot allows adaptive control of tissue growth while maintaining patient comfort. The robotic implant enables new approaches to tissue engineering and is a precursor to a clinical device (D.D.Damian et al.,2014, D.D.Damian et al., 2018).                                                                  
(courtesy of Boston Globe 2013)

Regenerative Robots

                        (courtesy of Science, 2018)

  • Ingestible robots for gastrointestinal wounds treatment 
Developing miniature robots that can carry out versatile clinical procedures inside the body under the remote instructions of medical professionals has been a long time challenge. We are carrying out research and development of biocompatible capsule-size reconfigurable robots that can be ingested into the stomach, locomote to a desired location, and perform surgical tasks, such as patch a wound, remove a foreign body, deliver drugs, and then biodegrade (Miyashita et al., 2016 [pdf]). 

  • Dynamical Coupling in Motor-Sensory Function Substitution

    In a prosthetic hand system, this research is about seeking efficient methods to send sensory information back to the body.  Our endeavors consist in developing tactile sensing and display systems which exploit morphology as a mean to encode exteroceptive and proprioceptive stimuli, and relay enriched information to users of prosthetic hands.
    Artificial ridged skin for sensing slip occurrence, slip speed and grip force (D.D. Damian et al., 2010; D.D. Damian et al., 2015).
    Haptic device to relay slip speed and grip force (D.D. Damian et al., 2012).


  • Soft highly-stretchable sensors 

    Soft-matter sensors and electronics have the potential to revolutionize medical robotics, wearable computing, and other application domains that require safe human-machine interaction or mechanical compatibility with natural human tissue and motion. An example of this technology is a capacitive liquid-based (eutectic gallium indium) conductive elastomer that senses pressure and shear.
Soft-matter capacitive sensor for measuring shear and pressure deformation (D.D. Damian, P. Roberts, et al., 2013)

  • Elastic Actuators
Soft robotics has advanced the field of biomedical engineering by creating safer technologies for    interfacing with the human body. One of the challenges in this field is the realization of modular soft basic constituents and accessible assembly methods to increase the versatility of soft robots in medicine. We developed a soft pneumatic actuator composed of two elastomeric strands that assemble as a helical structure and provide axial and radial expansion to apply 2D mechanical stimulation to tubular gastro-intestinal tissues.        

Axially and Radially Expandable Modular Helical Soft Actuator for Robotic Implantables

                   Axially and Radially Expandable Modular Helical Soft Actuator for Robotic Implantables 
(E. R. Perez-Guagnelli et al., 2018)

Past projects
  • Cyborg plant

    Under biologically environmental stress conditions, a robotic device contributes to restoring a healthy stable state of an avocado plant by reading biological and morphological cues from the plant and subsequently compensating with the missing resource (D. Cadosch et al., 2011).      
 (courtesy of UniMagazin, issue Nr 3, 19 Jahrgang, September 2010). Youtube