University of Verona (UNIVR) was founded 30 years ago, giving autonomy to a spin- off of the University of Padua. Being at the center of a large agricultural basin, the University of Verona has focused from the beginning to issues related to agriculture, economy and humanities. The Faculty of Medicine has reached a significant level of quality and innovation, and it fostered the establishment of the Faculty of Sciences in 1995. Within the Faculty of Sciences, the Department of Computer Science was started in 2001, which now counts about 50 Faculty members, and a thousand students. It offers degrees in theoretical computer science, in multi-media, in embedded systems and in bio and medical informatics.
The Department of Computer Science of the University of Verona is a rather young institution, being founded in 2001, as part of the Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences of the University. Within the Department, the research described in this proposal will be carried out at the Robotics Laboratory ALTAIR (http://metropolis.sci.univr.it), which has a decade long history of research on autonomous and tele-operated systems for service and bio-inspired robotic systems. The ALTAIR laboratory employs a staff of about 20 people, including two professors, 4 post-doc, 4 PhD students, 5 research associates and several students carrying out their BS or MS theses. In the past several years, the research in ALTAIR has focused on robotic surgery addressing the specific areas of organ modelling and fast computational algorithms for haptics, high performance software architectures and control algorithms for tele-surgery, and advanced simulation environments for robotic surgery planning and training. Of particular interest are the aspects of patient safety and system modularity in which ALTAIR is coordinating two European projects. The new area of security in service robotics is stemming from the collaboration between several groups in the Department of Computer Science.