Prof. Darwin Caldwell is Founding Director of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa, Italy, where he is also the Director of the Dept. of Advanced Robotics. Caldwell pioneered the development of core technologies in compliant actuation, Soft and Human Friendly Robotics and the creation of ‘softer’, safer robots, drawing on developments in materials, mechanisms, sensing, actuation and software. These developments have been fundamental to applications in humanoids, quadrupeds and medical robotics.

Key robots developed in/by his group have included: iCub, a child-sized humanoid robot capable of crawling, grasping objects, and interacting with people; COMAN, a compliant humanoid robot designed to safely interact with people; WALK-MAN, a 1.85m tall, 120kg humanoid that competed in the DARPA Robotics Challenge; the HyQ series (HyQ, HyQ2Max, HyQ-Real) of high performance hydraulic quadrupedal robots; and the Centauro, a “human-robot symbiotic system capable of robust locomotion and dexterous manipulation in the rough terrain and disasters” (e.g. earthquake, nuclear, chemical).

Prof. Caldwell is or has been an Honorary professor at the University of Manchester, University of Sheffield, King’s College London, and the University of Bangor in the UK, and Tianjin University and SAAT in China. He has published over 600 papers, and has received over 50 awards/nominations at international conferences and events. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.