Beneficiary 1 - Coordinator

Scuola Superiore di studi universitari e di perfezionamento Sant'Anna


Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA) is a public university for research and advanced undergraduate and graduate education in the fields of social and experimental sciences.

The BioRobotics Institute is an integrated system aimed at innovative research, education and technological transfer, and it intends to create new companies in high technology sectors (biomedical engineering, microengineering, robotics, mechatronics), through young, qualified and creative human resources trained in its research laboratories. The Director of the BioRobotics Institute is Paolo Dario and it is composed of about 150 persons (more than 90 are PhD students). The average age is 31.5 years. The foreign students are 10%. The women are 31%.

The Institute of Biorobotics is focused on interdisciplinarity by exploiting knowledge and technologies from various fields of engineering (mechanical, electronic, computer science, chemistry, materials, energy), and also transdisciplinarity, thanks to strong interactions with natural and social sciences.


SSSA coordinates the project and it is mainly responsible for project management (WP1). SSSA is also leader of Surgical Method & System Architecture (WP2) and Interfaces development (WP7). In FUTURA, SSSA will be the academic responsible for the overall robotic platform, including registration and positioning, obstacles perception and avoidance, on-line adjustment of robot position, robot-patient interfaces and Medical Workstation. SSSA will also be strongly involved in dissemination of FUTURA results.


The SSSA Team possesses extensive expertise in surgical robotics thanks to several European and not European funded research projects. SSSA possesses outstanding records of publications, high level research and patents and keeps up with the State of the Art in microrobotics, high performance actuators and so on, to be used for designing surgical robots. SSSA possesses expertise in robotic control The coordination activities of SSSA have always been very smooth and effective. Since the year 2002, SSSA has grown an administrative department specialized in the management of European Project of the 5th, 6th and 7th FPs.


Prof. Arianna Menciassi (Coordinator) received her Degree in Physics (with honors) and the Ph.D. in Bioengineering, respectively in 1995 and 1999. She is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Robotics at SSSA and leads the Surgical Robotics Area at The BioRobotics Institute. Her main research interests are in the fields of biomedical micro and nano-robotics, surgical & diagnostic robotics and mechatronics. She has a wide experience in European projects and international collaborations, acquired both in the FP6 and FP7, as reported in the section above. She serves as Co-Chair of the IEEE RAS Technical Committee of Surgical Robotics. She is author of about 200 publications, more than 100 on ISI Journal papers. She is Co-Editor of one book on nano and active materials for medical applications and authors of 6 book chapters on medical robotics and endoscopic robotic devices. In the field of robotic endoscopic capsules, she has filed about 10 national and PCT patents.

Selene Tognarelli received his Laurea Degree in Biomedical Engineering (with Honors) from the University of Pisa in April 2007. In January 2008 she started his PhD. in Bioengineering at CRIM Lab of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa. Main research interests are in the field of robotic surgery.

Dr. Gastone Ciuti  received the master’s degree (with honours) in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 2008 with a thesis carried on at CRIM Lab of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy, and winning the 8th edition of the Master Thesis Price of the National group of Bioengineering at the summer school in Bressanone, Italy. In the same year he joined the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa as a Ph.D. student and in 2011 he obtained the Ph.D. in Innovative Technologies of Info. & Com. Eng. and Robotics at The BioRobotics Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. Gastone Ciuti is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Surgical Robotics and Allied Technologies group. His current research interests include robot-assisted platforms  for navigation, localization and tracking of smart and innovative devices for focused and targeted minimally invasive surgery and diagnosis.

Antonella Verbeni

Andrea Cafarelli