Dr. Federico Renda

Dr. Federico Renda

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Address: P.O.Box 127788, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Telephone: +971-2-401 8082

Email: federico.renda@ku.ac.ae


Prof. Federico Renda received his BSc and MSc degrees in Biomedical Engineering in 2007 and 2009, respectively, from the University of Pisa. He completed his PhD in Robotics in 2014 from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, and joined the IRCCyN Lab at the Ecole des Mines de Nantes in 2013 as visiting PhD student.

Before joining Khalifa University, he has been appointed as Post-Doctoral Fellow at the BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, where he developed geometrically exact models of beam-like and shell-like underwater soft robots. Since 2015, he has been a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Khalifa University Robotics Institute (KURI) at Khalifa University, where he presently serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. In 2018 and 2019 respectively, Dr. Renda joined the LS2N lab at IMT Atlantique and the DEFROST Lab at INRIA as Visiting Professor.

His research interests include dynamic modeling and control of soft and underwater robots using principles of geometric mechanics. Dr. Renda is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Advisor to the following students & staffs:

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

  • Costanza Armanini
  • PhD, Robotics, Scuola Supriore Sant’Anna (2014)
  • MSc, Biomedical Engineering, University of Pisa (2009)
  • BSc, Biomedical Engineering, University of Pisa (2007)
  • AERO/CIVE/MEEN 201 Engineeering Dynamics
  • MECH350 – System Dynamics and Vibrations
  • MECH384 – Control of Mechanical Systems
  • AERO401 – UAV Modeling and Control
  • MATH211 – Differential Equations and Linear Algebra

Research Topics:

  • Soft Robotics
  • Underwater Robotics
  • Geometric Mechanics

Recent Research Projects

  • “Reconfigurable Soft Robotics for Underwater Locomotion and Manipulation” (Sponsor: Khalifa University FSU-2018-08, Principal Investigator: Federico Renda, 2018-2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tGjIFriZd0):

Underwater soft robotics is receiving growing popularity within the scientific community, thanks to its prospective capability of tackling challenges that are hardly dealt with by traditional rigid technologies. In this project, we propose a multi-functional multi-module underwater robotic system with deformable appendages for grasping and propulsion, inspired by bacteria morphology.

  • “A Standard Framework for Soft Robotics Modeling and Control: Filling the Gap with Traditional Robotics” (Sponsor: ADEK AARE18-05, Principal Investigator: Federico Renda, 2019-2020)

To date, it does not exist a unified way to mathematically represent a soft robot. In this project, we will develop a unified modeling framework capable of modeling soft and rigid robots within the same formulation, creating a standard for the modeling and control of soft robots.

  • “Force and Stiffness Control for Continuum Robots in Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery” (Sponsor: Khalifa University, part of HEIC center, Principal Investigator: Federico Renda, 2018-2021)

In recent years, catheter- based cardiac surgery is enabling minimally invasive surgery in the heart through small incisions. In this project we aim at developing concentric-tube continuum robots equipped with specifically designed microstructures to achieve operational force/stiffness control and intrinsic contact and load sensing.

  1. Anwar, T. Al Khawli, I. Hussain, D. Gan, F. Renda, “Modeling and prototyping of a soft closed-chain modular gripper”, Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-09-2018-0180, 2019.
  2. G. Thuruthel, E. Falotico, F. Renda and C. Laschi, “Model-Based Reinforcement Learning for Closed-Loop Dynamic Control of Soft Robotic Manipulators,” in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 124-134, Feb. 2019.
  3. Renda, F. Boyer, J. Dias and L. Seneviratne, “Discrete Cosserat Approach for Multisection Soft Manipulator Dynamics,” in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 1518-1533, Dec. 2018.
  4. Hussain, F. Renda, Z. Iqbal, M. Malvezzi, G. Salvietti, L. Seneviratne, D. Gan and D. Prattichizzo “Modeling and Prototyping of an Underactuated Gripper Exploiting Joint Compliance and Modularity,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 2854-2861, 2018.
  5. Hussien, A. Al khoori, A. Alzaabi, C. Stefanini, F. Renda, S. Jaffar, I. Gunduz, K. Polychronopoulou, C. Rebholz and C. Doumanidis “Underwater Robotic Welding of Lap Joints with Sandwiched Reactive Multilayers: Thermal, Mechanical and Material Analysis” MRS Advances, 3(17), 911-920, 2018.
  6. Renda, F. Giorgio-Serchi, F. Boyer, C. Laschi, J. Dias and L. Seneviratne “A Unified Multi-Soft-Body Dynamic Model for Underwater Soft Robots” The International Journal of Robotics Research, 37(6):648–666, 2018.
  7. G. Thuruthel and E. Falotico and F. Renda and C. Laschi “Learning dynamic models for open loop predictive control of soft robotic manipulators” Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 2017, DOI:10.1088/1748-3190/aa839f.
  8. Renda, M. Cianchetti, H. Abidi, J. Dias, L. Seneviratne “Screw-Based Modeling of Soft Manipulators With Tendon and Fluidic Actuation” ASME. J. Mechanisms Robotics, 2017;9(4):041012-041012-8.
  9. Hussien, A. S. Alzaabi, A. K. Baswaid, M. A. Al Mulla, N. Al Ammari, A. Al Jarwan, S. M. Jaffar, C. Stefanini, F. Renda, C. Rebholz, H. Doumanidis “Nanoheater underwater robotic welding for marine construction and manufacturing” International Journal of Technology and Engineering Studies, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 184-196, 2017.
  10. Boyer, F. Renda “Poincaré’s equations for Cosserat media: application to shells” Journal of Nonlinear Science, 10.1007/s00332-016-9324-7, 2016.
  11. Cacucciolo, F. Renda, E. Poccia, C. Laschi, M. Cianchetti “Modelling the Nonlinear Response of Fibre-reinforced Bending Fluidic Actuators” Smart Materials and Structures, 25:10, 2016.
  12. Renda, F Giorgio-Serchi, F. Boyer and C. Laschi “Modeling Cephalopod-inspired Pulsed-jet Locomotion for Underwater Soft Robots” Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 10:5, 055005, 2015.
  13. Giorelli, F. Renda, M. Calisti, A. Arienti, G. Ferri, C. Laschi “Neural Network and Jacobian Method for Solving the Inverse Statics of a Cable-Driven Soft Arm With Nonconstant Curvature” in Robotics, IEEE Transactions on, vol.31, no.4, pp.823-834, Aug. 2015.
  14. Renda, F. Giorgio Serchi, F. Boyer and C. Laschi. “Structural Dynamics of a Pulsed-Jet Propulsion System for Underwater Soft Robots” Int J Adv Robot Syst, 2015, 12:68.
  15. Giorelli, F. Renda, M. Calisti, A. Arienti, G. Ferri and C. Laschi “Learning the Inverse Kinetics of an Octopus-like manipulator in Three-Dimensional Space” Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, vol. 10, no 3, 035006, May 2015.
  16. Renda, M. Giorelli, M. Calisti, M. Cianchetti and C. Laschi “Dynamic Model of a Multibending Soft Robot Arm Driven by Cables,” Robotics, IEEE Transactions on, vol.30, no.5, pp.1109,1122, Oct. 2014.
  17. F. Renda, M. Cianchetti, M. Giorelli, A. Arienti and C. Laschi “A 3D Steady State Model of a Tendon-Driven Continuum Soft Manipulator Inspired by Octopus Arm” Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 7 (2012), 025006.