He is Director of Research at Italian National Research Council and Responsible for the Genoa Branch of IEIIT, the Institute of Electronics, Computer and Telecommunication Engineering.
He founded the CNR Robotlab (1990-2003) with the aim to develop experimental robotics. His research interests encompass control system architectures for Internet robotics, human-robot interaction and educational robotics. He led the first Italian underwater robotics campaigns in Antarctica during the Italian expeditions in 1993, 1997 and 2001, and the first Italian underwater robotics campaign in Arctic during 2002.
In 2000 he founded the association “School of Robotics” to promote this new science among young people and the society at large by means of educational robotics.
In 2002 he coined the word and proposed the concept of Roboethics. He was the General Chair of the “First International Symposium on Roboethics” in 2004 and of the “EURON Roboethics Atelier” in 2006, that produced the Roboethics Roadmap.
For twenty years he has engaged in an intensive outreach activity through articles, tv interviews, lectures in schools and in major scientific events.
For his merits in the field of science and society, in 2009 he was awarded the title of Commander of the Order to the Merit of the Italian Republic.