In line with the Foundation’s mission, which through the program ‘Challenges’ aims at supporting projects in the field of scientific/technological research and social innovation, ABF will be co-sponsor of the First International Robotics Festival. The event will take place in Pisa from September 7th to 13th.

Italian research in the field of Robotics is at the forefront, and robotics and automation industry are among the first in the world, both in the production of robots and automated machines, as well as in their use. Tuscany is a pole of excellence in robotics. The region boasts a research system in robotics active since the early 1980s, characterized by deep interdisciplinarity, and recognized today as of utmost international value.

Starting from these considerations on the strategic value of robotics and on the presence of a solid reality in Tuscany and in particular in Pisa, there has been conceived a great event whose main element will be an interactive performance of robots in the fields of surgery, of rehabilitation, of assistance to vulnerable elderly people and to disabled people, of bionic prostheses, of physical and emotional interaction between people and robots, of virtual reality, of industrial collaborative robotics, of precision agriculture, of marine robotics, of Drones, of circular economics, and of robotics for art.

Our founder, who is also Honorary Chairman of the Arpa Foundation (among the organizers of the festival together with Normale of Pisa, the Municipality, University of Pisa, Scuola Sant’Anna, Piaggio Research Center, Scuola Normale Superiore, Cnr, Irccs Stella Maris and Endocas Center of Excellence) will be the guest of honor at the event highlighting a rich proposition of collateral cultural and artistic activities. On September 12th at 9:00 pm, at the Verdi Theater, will be held the festival closing gala: the charity concert titled ‘A Breath of Hope: from Stradivarius to Robots’, includes the extraordinary participation of Andrea Bocelli and soprano Maria Luigia Borsi, with the support of a very special podium …


Yumi, a cooperative robot produced by ABB in Zurich, will debut for the occasion as an orchestra conductor. It will be the first robot in the world that, with its two arms, will conduct the Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra in three pieces from the Opera repertoire: the Intermezzo of Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni, the aria “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini and “La donna è mobile” from Verdi’s Rigoletto.

In addition, in the course of the evening will perform also the violinist Brad Repp, (who will play the 1715 Stradivari “Ex-Bazzini” violin), Fabius Constablee, the Celtic Harp Orchestra, Carlo Bernini (who will alternate with “Yumi” as Orchestra Director of Lucca Philharmonic) and Stefano Barandoni, who will direct the choir of Pisa University.


The festival program, shown in detail on the site:, will include round tables and discussions with the participation of personalities from various cultural fields, including sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, economists, jurists, technology ethic scholars, writers, journalists, artists and designers who will discuss the great ethical, social, legal and economic challenges that the technological and scientific advancement of robotics poses.

Ample space will be given to the applications of robotics in the socio-sanitary area (surgery, rehabilitation, domotics, economy, sports and tourism in the sensory and motor handicap), in humanitarian cooperation (in collaboration with the most important national and international organizations operating in the difficult areas of the globe, believing that the good use of technology and therefore also of robotics will contribute to reduce the divide between north and south in the world), in art and sports (including technological applications for handicap) and industry problems.

General Director and President of ABF will also give two lectures on international co-operation activities (September 12th) and robotic scenarios, and perspectives within the Fourth Industrial Revolution (September 11th).