The Past, Present, and Future of Robotics
Francesco Ferro, PAL Robotics

Francesco Ferro is the CEO of PAL Robotics . Passionate about the development and commercialization of humanoid robots, he oversaw production of the first fully autonomous biped robot in Europe. PAL Robotics is involved in a wide range of European research projects and collaborations that aim to improve our everyday lives.

Francesco earned an MsC in telecommunications engineering from the Politecnico di Torino, and an MBA from the University of Barcelona. His interest in stereo vision algorithms and autonomous robot navigation led him to found PAL Robotics in 2004, where he became CEO in 2011.

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Learn about Francesco Ferro's path to becoming CEO of PAL Robotics and the team accomplishments. Gain insights into current and trending developments in the field:

1. Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be involved in robotics?

I blame the Japanese cartoons I watched about robots when I was young! I’ve always been fascinated by how things work, so studying electronics at university was an obvious choice. Working in software, it’s easy to get bogged down in lines and lines of code and I wanted a more tangible, physical outcome, so I began to specialise in computer vision.

I left my PhD in 2004 to found PAL Robotics, and was responsible for the software in REEM-A: the first autonomous humanoid biped robot in Europe. As head of PAL Robotics’ software department, I worked on everything from image processing and embedded software to sensor connections. I became CEO in 2011, so now I spend less time working on the physical build and more time setting the company’s strategy, but my passion for software and electronics hasn’t diminished.

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