iCub is an android robot  built by the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT ) in Genoa. It is 104 cm tall , weighs 22 kg and remember, for aesthetics and functionality, a child of about four years.

iCub has been developed in conjunction with the RobotCub Consortium, a joint venture of some European universities. The major purpose of this platform and hardware is to study cognition through the implementation of algorithms motivated by biology.

The project is open-source both software,  available for free and unencrypted, and hardware, specifically described in its components, with pieces available in the market .


53 degrees of freedom

  • 7 for each robotic arm
  • 9 for each robotic hand (3 for the thumb, 2 for the forefinger, 2 for the middle finger, 1 for couple ringfinge-littlefinge, 1 for the abduction / adduction)
  • 6 for head movements
  • 3 for the chest and spine
  • 6 for each leg robotics


  • Crawl ( crawling ) .
  • Basic functions of visual processing .
  • Low-level sensors for the control of eye movement , inertia and body proprioception .
  • High resolution camera that can retransmit the images.
  • Good ability to right-handed manipulation .
  • ITalk : programs for the progressive learning of the language by the robot, in a random object and situation – related

The humanoid robot is now learning to stand and keep the balance even physical interaction with people. Thanks to the artificial skin that allows it to have 4000 sensitive points on the whole body is capable of measuring at each instant the contacts and the forces that it receives from the outside, responding with appropriate movements to maintain balance.

These new capabilities will be useful when, in the near future, iCub cohabit with humans in domestic environments and will have to move safely for themselves and for others. This result was achieved thanks to the efforts of researchers from IIT and, in particular, the European Project Codyco, coordinated by Francesco Nori, Department of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences of IIT.