Robotics Lab

Welcome to the Robotics Lab of the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica, Automatica e Gestionale (DIAG), Sapienza University of Rome.

Fabrizio Flacco

Message sent on September 19, 2016 by Alessandro De Luca to share with friends and colleagues the tragic news of the death of Fabrizio Flacco.

For those who want to leave a message or memories, Antonio Franchi has created a web page for Fabrizio:

Dear friends and colleagues

It is with my deepest sorrow that I am sharing with you the tragic news of the death of Fabrizio Flacco. Some of you may already know that he suddenly passed away yesterday in Montpellier, due to a heart attack while jogging with a friend. We don't really know yet what was the exact cause.

Fabrizio Flacco has been a student of Antonio Bicchi in Pisa until 2007. He moved then to Sapienza where he took his PhD at the end of 2011, with a thesis on "Modeling and Control of Robots with Compliant Actuation". In between, he spent an eight-month research period at the AI Lab in Stanford with Oussama Khatib. He was then a post-doc at our DIAG department, working actively for the FP7 SAPHARI and then for the H2020 COMANOID european projects. In December 2015, he became Chargé de Recherche (CR2) of the CNRS at LIRMM in Montpellier where he moved with his family: his wife Floriana and their two 4- and 3-year old daughters Flavia and Francesca.

I have been working with Fabrizio for about eight years and I have always appreciated his technical expertise, innovative thinking, availability and reliability, joined with a reserved, but very easy character. You can find a short scientific CV of him at

Out of his contributions, I just want to remember the work that led to the Best Conference Paper Award that he received at the 4th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and BioMechatronics in 2012. That work provided an important control framework for safety, coexistence, and collaboration in physical human-robot interaction. You can see Fabrizio illustrating the stand of these results in 2013 in a video available on YouTube:

I mention also his work on kinematic control of redundant robots under hard motion constraints, which appeared as a regular paper in the IEEE Transactions on Robotics in June 2015 (coauthored with Oussama and me).  For this paper, Fabrizio has just received the IEEE RAS Italian Chapter Young Author Best Paper Award 2016 (see In fact, he was not yet 35 years old. He came to Rome to receive this national award at the yearly meeting of the chapter at the beginning of September. This was also the last time I have met him.

The funerals will take place in his home region Abruzzi by the end of this week, depending also on the legal procedures for bringing him back to Italy. Please contact me by email or cell phone if you wish more information.


Contact: oriolo [at] dis [dot] uniroma1 [dot] it