Paolo Dario is one of the leading European researcher in bio-robotics and a prominent ambassador of the Future and Emergent Technologies (FET) programme. He has contributed to some of the most outstanding achievements in this field as for instance the development of neuro-controlled upper limb prosthesis for amputees.

As if we were modern Leonardo Da Vinci we studied how many organisms work. We didn’t copy them but drew inspiration to create new engineering principles, new design principles, new mechanisms and new materials.

Visionary and clear-eyed at the same time, Paolo Dario is a mechanical engineer and lecturer in biomedical robotics at Sant’Anna School of advanced studies of Pisa. His work has focused on both biorobotics and artificial hands/prostheses, building on a 40 years old research driven by questions that may sound almost like science fiction as: can the brain control a body other than its own?

Dr. P.Dario is founder and director of the BioRobotics Institute, established in 2011, which has also coordinated until 2017 the FET Proactive project NEBIAS, a consortium of six European partners from biomedical neurotechology to neuroscience that have successfully developed neuro-controlled upper limb prosthesis for amputees.

The results achieved in this field of soft robotics is a tangible footprint of what grants to ambitious and disruptive technology can produce. As he explains in this video interview, the approach of exploring the unexpected should be more and more part of the European DNA, as FET programmes already did and will keep doing under the new Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC).