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PanelPicker idea, Technology Innovation Through the Lens of Design.

How do you create cutting-edge robotics paired with minimalist design that taps into the human desire for a more autonomous lifestyle? How do you carve out a brand new category of robotics: technology that aims to support and enhance human experiences? How do you develop a robot based on the understanding of human behavior and how humans move? At Piaggio Fast Forward we’re approaching technology innovation through human-centered design. Design is problem solving, reframing the question to focus on the key aspects that are most important, and using research to find thoughtful and elegant solutions. Our first product, the following robot gita®, enhances the walkability of all lifestyles, eliminating trips in single-occupancy vehicles, and adding fulfilling and interactive experiences.

The talk will focus on the importance of integrating design into the innovation process when inventing new products; using research as a problem solving tool that creates creative connections between seemingly unrelated topics; and how to develop technology for humans, understanding both the users and observers, to reach the human desire to experience and be seen experiencing.


piaggio Fast Forward

Founded and leading the Smart Behaviors Group, a multidisciplinary team of designers and engineers that developed PFF’s human-robot interaction design methodology, a unique method for design of robotic behaviors. The team focuses on research, data analysis, design, and development of robotic behaviors and interactions with humans. Currently focusing on PFF’s first product, the following robot gita®. This works is part of PFF’s core IP and sets the values for current and future pipeline products.

Joined PFF in 2015 when the company was founded, and am part of the original design team that invented gita®. Contributed to the product development of gita® from initial concept sketches, through multiple iterations of prototypes, to design for manufacturing. Before starting the Smart Behaviors Group, I had a lead role in designing the exterior features of gita® by integrating cameras, sensors, UI, and other touchpoints, a role which interfaced between design, mechanical, electrical, and software engineering.


Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Earned a Masters in Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. During my academic career, I investigated design through robotics, researching how the building process can be automated with the use of robotic fabrication. I worked with a team at Harvard to develop the Robotic Roller which won the Reshape Digital Craft competition. The project was exhibited at Reshape Studios in Milan, Italy, the Harvard Ceramics Gallery in Cambridge, MA, and at the Cevisama Exhibition in Valencia, Spain.

Check out my architectural work as well.


ETH Zürich

Selected to attend the GSD-ETH exchange program at ETH-Zürich in Switzerland, where I conducted research on complex timber structures with the pioneering robotic fabrication architects Gramazio & Kohler.

The research began as a seminar analysing contemporary and traditional timber systems. We defined node typologies suitable for the digital fabrication process, which involved designing, programming and building wooden structure. The digital fabrication process was first tested using a UR5 robot arm during the seminar and continues into summer research with an industrial ABB IRB 4600 robot arm.