Dr. Emanuele Secco

Emanuele Lindo Secco, M.S., PhD
Research Associate

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Email: esecco@hope.ac.uk



Emanuele Lindo Secco was born in Bassano del Grappa, Italy, in 1971. He received M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Padova, Italy, in 1998, and PhD degree in Bio-Engineering & Medical Computer Science from University of Pavia, Italy, in 2001. From 2003 to 2004 he was a visiting researcher at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, USA and from 2005 to 2007 at University of Bologna, Dept. of Electronics, Computer Sciences and Systems, Italy. Since 2007 he has been working at the European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering, Pavia, Italy. Recently he joined King’s College London, Department of Informatics, Centre for Robotics Research. His main interests are on robotics, life-like systems & rehabilitation devices, wearable sensors, self-adaptive manufacturing.

Research Interest

Bio-mimetic Systems

My interests regard design, motion planning & control of human-like artificial finger (Bio-mimetic finger: human-like morphology, control and motion planning for intelligent robots & prosthesis) and imposition of  human movement features on artificial limbs, thanks to optimization principles & cost functions, like  minimum jerk principle (Flash, Hogan, 1985). Some of these works have been performed with University of Padova, CISAS, University of Pavia and University of Brescia, Italy.

Robotics & Human Motor Learning

Such bio-mimetic approach can be also extended to the comprehension of human motor learning and, in particular, to the Interaction of visual and proprioceptive feedback during adaptation of human reaching movements, a study work that was performed at Robotic Laboratory of Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (a research & clinical centre of Northwestern Universityc), thanks to an experimental setup based on the interaction of a MIT/Manus haptic interface and human subjects while performing repetitive tasks under  force field disturbance & visual misrepresentation of their arms.

Rehabilitation and Novel Technologies

According to these experiences, I have been working for Starter project (Strategic Network for Assistive Technologies in Rehabilitation) with University of Bologna, Montecatone Rehabilitation Institute, INAIL Prosthetic Centre and CINECA, Italy; we developed a VR-wheel platform, based on Virtual Reality technology, combining cognitive and motor learning tasks: the final platform prototype converts patient device/wheelchair into a rehabilitative instrument, since arm propulsion over wheels are real-time coded into movements inside a VR environment

Hand Prosthesis

Because of this interest on human motor strategies, I proposed a new methodology to enhance hand prosthetics functionality; this technique integrates some concepts extracted from neuroscience background with technology mainly exploited in prosthetic control; it allows controlling multi-d.o.f. hand prostheses by means of few input signals with low dimensionality, thanks to two ingredients: (1) principal component analysis of the human grasping (Santello, Soecthing, 1998) and (2) human capability of remapping hand movements (Mosier, Scheidt, Acosta & Mussa-Ivaldi, 2005). This methodology has been successfully tested with a robotic hand at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy.

Wearable Sensor and Sensor Fusion Algorithms

I have been also working on electronic textile within the ProeTEX project, an European IP project on wearable sensors and electronics for emergency operators. The project developed integrated set of garments for real-time monitoring of physiological, activity-related and environmental parameters of rescuers: in the context of this project, we developed  novel algorithms for classification of subject activities and context awareness; algorithms were based on fusion of accelerometer and heart rate signals. Project prototypes were validated with intensive laboratory tests and in-field trials, performed by professional end-users, like Civil Protection operators and Fire-Fighters. A video overview of the project is available here.

Self-Adaptive Manufacturing

At present I am working on COSMOS project, which aims at the design, development & implementation of control system for factory management with flexible, modular and evolvable automation approach. The project aims at increasing  assembly factory productivity by 20%; it focuses on wind turbine assembly process although the developed solution will be suitable for other industrial sectors. Cost models will be defined to assist in establishing the economically optimum factory’s configuration and automation level.

Emanuele’s research is part of the EU FP7 projects called COSMOS and STIFF-FLOP.

Videos & Links

ProeTEX project

COSMOS project

STIFF-FLOP project



Secco E.L., Magenes G., A Feedforward Neural Network Controlling the Movement of a 3 DOF Finger, IEEE SMC Trans. Part A, ISSN 1083-4427, Vol. 32 (3), pp.437-445, 2002.

Buizza, A., Schmid, M., Secco, E.L., Lombardi, Gandolfi, R., Head and Trunk Movements during upright stance in normals, Gait & Posture, Vol. 16(1): pp. s143-144, 2002.

Secco E.L., Visioli A., Magenes G., Minimum Jerk Motion Planning for a Prosthetic Finger, Journal of Robotic Systems, 21(7): 361-368, 2004.

Scheidt R. A., Conditt M. A., Secco E.L., Mussa-Ivaldi F. A., Interaction of Visual and Proprioceptive Feedback During Adaptation of Human Reaching Movements, Journal of Neurophysiology, 93: 3200-3213, 2005.

Secco E.L., Valandro L., Caimmi R., Magenes G., Salvato B., Optimization of Two-Joint Arm Movements: A Model Technique or a Result of Natural Selection ?, Biological Cybernetics, 93(4): 288-306, 2005.

Secco E.L., Magenes G., Bio-mimetic Finger – Human like morphology, control & motion planning for intelligent robot & prosthesis, Mobile Robotics, Moving Intelligence, 2006.

Valandro L., Colombo L., Cao H., Recknagel, F., Dun S., Secco E.L., The Relationship between Ball Speed and Anthropometrical Characteristics among Professional Baseball Pitchers: a Hybrid Evolutionary Algorithm Approach, International Journal of Computer Science in Sport, 1, 34-46, 2006.

Magenes G., Curone D., Secco, E.L., Bonfiglio A., Sistemi Indossabili per il monitoraggio degli operatori di soccorso: il progetto ProeTEX, in Sistemi Indossabili per la Salute e la Protezione dell’Uomo, pp. 385-411, Patron Editore, 2008.

Curone D., Bertolotti G., Cristiani A., Secco E.L., Magenes G., A Real-Time and Self-Calibrating Algorithm Based on Tri-Axial Accelerometer signals for the Detection of Human Posture and Activity, IEEE Trans on Information Technology in Biomedicine, Vol. 14 (4), pp. 1098-1105, 2010.

Curone D., Secco E.L., Tognetti A., Loriga G., Dudnik G., Risatti M., Waite R., Bonfiglio A., Magenes G., Smart Garments for Emergency Operators: the ProeTEX Project, IEEE Trans on Information Technology in Biomedicine, Vol. 14 (3), pp. 694-701, 2010.

Curone D., Tognetti A., Secco E.L., Anania G., Carbonaro N., De Rossi D., Magenes G., Heart rate and Accelerometer Data Fusion for Activity Assessment of Rescuers during Emergency Interventions, IEEE Trans on Information Technology in Biomedicine, Vol. 14 (3), pp. 702-710, 2010.

Matrone G., Cipriani C., Secco E.L., Magenes G., Carrozza M.C., Principal Components Analysis based control of a multi-DoF underactuated prosthetic hand, Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 7:16, 2010.

Bonfiglio A., Curone D., Secco E.L., Magenes G., Tognetti A., De Rossi D., Emergency and work, in Wearable Monitoring Systems, Springer, pp. 205-221, 2011.

Lanati M., Curone D., Secco E.L., Magenes G., Gamba P., (2011), An autonomous long range monitoring system for emergency operators, International Journal of Wireless & Mobile Networks, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 10-23, 2011.

Curone D., Secco E.L., Caldani L., Lanatà A., Paradiso R., Tognetti A., Magenes G., Assessment of Sensing Fire Fighters Uniforms for Physiological parameter Measurement in Harsh Environment, IEEE Trans on Information Technology in Biomedicine, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 501-511, 2012.

Secco E.L., Curone D., Tognetti A., Bonfiglio A., Magenes G., Validation of Smart Garments for Physiological and Activity-Related Monitoring of Humans in Harsh Environment, American Journal of Biomedical Engineering, 2012.

Lam H.K., Li H., Deters C., Secco E.L., Würdemann H.A., Althoefer K., Control Design for Interval Type-2 Fuzzy Systems Under Imperfect Premise Matching, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, vol. 61(2), pp. 956-968, 2013.

D. Curone, E.L. Secco, A. Tognetti, G. Magenes, An Activity Classifier based on Heart Rate and Accelerometer Data Fusion, International Journal of Bioelectromagnetism, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 7-12, 2013.

C. Deters, H.K. Lam, E.L. Secco, H.A. Würdemann, L.D. Seneviratne, K. Althoefer, Accurate Bolt Tightening using Model-Free Fuzzy Control for Wind Turbine Hub Bearing Assembly, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, Volume: PP ,  Issue: 99, 2014


Secco E.L., Magenes G., “A Feedforward Neural Network Controlling a 3 DOF Finger”, Proc. Fifth International Conference on Cognitive and Neural Systems (ICCNS), 2001 [Winner of federal fellowship].

Secco E.L., Visioli A., Magenes G., “A Minimum Jerk Approach for the Motion Planning of a Prosthetic Finger”, Proc. International Society of Biomechanics (ISB 2001), 2001.

Secco E.L., Magenes G., “Control of a 3 dof Artificial Finger by a Multi-Layer Perceptron”, IFMBE Proc. (MEDICON 2001), pp. 927-930, 2001.

Magenes G., Ramat S., Secco E. L., “Life-like Sensorimotor Control: from Biological Systems to Artifacts”, 3rd Conference on Sensorimotor Controls in Men and Machines, 2001.

Magenes G., Ramat, S., Secco E.L., “Life-like Sensorimotor Control: from Biological Systems to Artifacts”, Current Psychology of Cognition, Vol. 21(4-5), pp. 565-596, 2002.

Secco E.L., Magenes G., “A Life-Like Control Algorithm for the Natural Movement of a 3 DOF Finger”, Proc. Int. Joint Conf. BMES EMBS, Houston, pp. 2375-2376, 2002.

Buizza A., Schmid M., Secco E.L., Lombardi R., Gandolfi R., “La coordinazione intersegmentaria in posturografia”, Workshop Posturografia Clinica e Controllo Posturale, Arenzano, Italy, 2002.

Magenes G., Secco E. L., “Teaching a robot with human natural movements”, XI Winter Universiads – Conf. on Biomechanics and Sports, Udine, 2003.

Secco E.L., Scheidt R., Patton J., Mussa-Ivaldi F.A., “Miserepresentation of limb dynamics induced by the suppression of visual errors”, Centers for Advanced Research on Neurorehabilitation, CARN – R24 Conf , Lake Bluff, IL, 2003.

Secco E.L., Scheidt R., Patton J., Mussa-Ivaldi F. A., “Miserepresentation of limb dynamics induced by the suppression of visual errors’, Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA, 2003.

Caimmi R., Secco E.L., Valandro L., Magenes G., Salvato B., Potenza Cinematica dell’Arto Superiore, BIOSYS 2005, 2005.

Valandro L., Caimmi R., Drusini A., Glazier, P., Henneberg M., Salvato B., Secco E.L., “Kinanthropometry and biomechanics applied to talent identification of bowlers in cricket, Sport”, Kinetics 2005, Rimini, Italy, 2005.

Secco E.L., Chiari L., Sabbioni A., Magenes G., Davalli A., Bernini M., Vichi N., Morreale A., “VR-Wheel for Motor and Cognitive Recovery”, Proceedings of Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Fall Meeting – 2006 BMES, 11-14 Oct, Chicago, USA, 2006.

Secco E.L., Chiari L., Cappello A., Davalli A., “VR-Prosthesis Trainer for Synergic Strategy”, Proceedings of Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Fall Meeting – 2006 BMES, Chicago, USA, 2006.

Secco E.L., Magenes G., “Proprioception does not necessarily drift during visual occlusion & drift does not effect movement direction”, Neuroscience, 14-18 Oct, Atlanta, USA, 2006.

Secco E.L., Sottile R., Davalli A., Cappello A., Chiari L., “VR-Wheel: a Rehabilitation Platform for Motor Recovery”, IEEE-IWVR, pp. 39-43, 27-29 Sept, Venice, Italy, 2007.

Curone D., Bertolotti, G.M., Cristiani A., Secco E. L., Magenes G., “A Real-Time and Self-Calibrating Algorithm for Human Posture and Activity Assessment”, Primo Congresso Nazionale di Bioingegneria, pp. 265-266, GNB 2008.

Curone D., Dudnik G., Loriga G., Magenes G., Secco E. L., Tognetti A., Bonfiglio A., “Smart Garments for Emergency Operators: Results on Laboratory and Field Tests”, 30th Annual Int Conf of the IEEE Eng in Medicine and Biology Society – EMBC, pp. 494-497, 2008.

Magenes G., Passaglia F., Secco E.L., “A new approach of multi-d.o.f. prosthetic control” , 30th Annual Int Conf of the IEEE Eng in Medicine and Biology Society – EMBC, pp. 3443-3446, 2008.

Matrone G., Cipriani C., Secco E.L., Carrozza M.C., Magenes G., “Bio-Inspired Controller for a Dexterous Prosthetic Hand Based on Principal Component Analysis”, 31th Annual Int Conf of the IEEE Eng in Medicine and Biology Society – EMBC, pp. 5022-5025, 2009.

Magenes G., Curone D., Lanati M., Secco E.L., “Long-Distance Monitoring of Physiological and Environmental Parameters for Emergency Operators”, 31th Annual Int Conf of the IEEE Eng in Medicine and Biology Society – EMBC, pp. 5159-5162, 2009.

Matrone G., Cipriani C., Secco E.L., Carrozza M.C., Magenes G., “A biomimetic approach based on principal components analysis for multi-dof prosthetic hand control”, Workshop CORNER Genova, IIT, 14-15 December 2009.

Matrone G., Cipriani C., Secco E.L., Carrozza M.C., Magenes G., “A dimensionality reduction strategy for dexterous prosthetic hand control”, GNB 2010, Torino, 2010.

Magenes G., Curone D., Caldani L., Secco E.L., “Fire Fighters and Rescuers Monitoring through Wearable Sensors: the ProeTEX Project”, 32th Annual Int Conf of the IEEE Eng in Medicine and Biology Society – EMBC, pp. 3594-3597, 2010.

Magenes G., Curone D., Secco E.L., Bonfiglio A., “Biosensing and Environmental Sensing for Emergency and Protection E-Textiles”, 33rd Annual Int Conf of the IEEE Eng in Medicine and Biology Society – EMBC, pp. 8365-8368, 2011 [invited paper]

Magenes G., Curone D., Secco E.L., Bonfiglio A., (2011), “The ProeTEX prototype: a wearable integrated system for physiological & environmental monitoring of emergency operators”, 1st IEEE EMBS Unconference on Wearable & Ubiquitous Technology for Health & Wellness, Boston, 2011 [Winner of 500 $ award]

Curone D., Secco E.L., Tognetti A., Magenes G., “An Activity Classifier based on Heart rate and Accelerometer Data Fusion”, 7th International Workshop on Biosignal Interpretation, July 2-4, Como, Italy, 2012.

Deters C., Secco E.L., Würdemann H.A., Lam H.K., Seneviratne L.D., Althoefer K., “Model-free Fuzzy Tightening Control for Bolt/Nut Joint Connections of Wind Turbine Hubs”, IEEE International Conference  on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2013.

Würdemann H.A., Secco E.L., Nanayakkara T., Althoefer K., Lis K., Mucha L., Rohr K., Nawrat Z., “Mapping Tactile Information of a Soft Manipulator to a Haptic Sleeve in RMIS”, 3rd Joint Workshop on New Technologies for Computer/Robot Assisted  Surgery (CRAS 2013), Verona, 11-13 September, 2013.

Jiang A., Secco E.L., Würdemann H.A., Nanayakkara T., Althoefer K., Dasgupta P., “Stiffness-controllable octopus-like robot arm for minimally invasive surgery”, 3rd Joint Workshop on New Technologies for Computer/Robot Assisted  Surgery  (CRAS 2013), Verona, 11-13 September, 2013.

Wanninayake I.B., Secco E.L., Seneviratne L.D., Althoefer K., “A Novel Probe Designed to Estimate Soft Tissue Stiffness in MIS, Workshop on Cognitive Surgical Robotics”, International Conference on Intelligent  Robots and Systems (IROS), 2013. [runner-up for the best poster award]

Y. Noh, S. Sareh, J. Back, H. Würdemann, T. Ranzani, E.L. Secco, A. Faragasso, H. Liu, K. Althoefer (2014), A Three-Axial Body Force Sensor for Flexible Manipulators, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2014)

Y. Noh, E.L. Secco, S. Sareh, H.A. Würdemann, A. Faragasso, J. Back, H. Liu, E. Sklar, K. Althoefer, A Continuum Body Force Sensor Designed for Flexible Surgical Robotic Devices, International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2014

E.L. Secco, Y. Noh, S. Sareh, H.A. Wurdemann, H. Liu, K. Althoefer, Modular integration of a 3 DoF F/T sensor for robotic manipulators, 4th Joint Workshop on Computer/Robot Assisted Surgery, Genova, October 14-16, Italy, pp. 125-126, 2014