an open source cognitive humanoid robotic platform

download iCub's brochure

The iCub can be obtained from the Italian Institute of Technology for a fee (indicative prices are shown). We do not make a profit from this activity but nonetheless we strive to provide the best possible quality and first class support to all iCub owners. We need you for doing this even better!

For more information or for a formal quotation please contact Giorgio Metta at:

iCub HEAD iCub Force/Torque sensors iCub PC104 iCub legs & torso iCub arm & hand iCub CONTROLLERS refresh the image

iCub controllers

The iCub controllers are small microcontroller boards based on the Freescale 56F807 chip. Each card can connect via CAN bus to the host CPU (the PC104 card). They are of two different type controlling 4 brushed-dc motors (0.5A each) or 2 brushless-dc motors (48V, 6A continuous, 20A peak). The brushed version is complemented by a small power supply; the brushless version is made of two parts (one for the logic and the other for the amplifier).

iCub head 1.1

The iCub head has 6 degrees of freedom and sports two cameras (Dragonfly2), two microphones (with special pinnae), gyros and accelerometers (Mtx). It also mounts a PC104 dual core machine with enough ports to control the entire robot, read data and send them out via a Gbit/s Ethernet port.

iCub 6-axial force/torque sensor

iCub mounts four 6-axial force/torque sensors in the upper arms and legs. They have been designed to be compatible (in size) with the ATI Mini-45 sensors. The electronics have been miniaturized to fit inside the sensor which provides digital (CAN) output directly.

CFW-2, 10 port CAN bus PC104 card

This is a multi-port PC104+ card that hosts 10 CAN bus ports (managed by two microcontrollers), two Firewire ports and audio pre-amplifier. A large buffer (2Mbyte) is available for storing CAN messages and a DMA interface on the PCI bus is also provided.

iCub legs and torso

The iCub legs and torso are jointly 15 degrees of freedom. They were designed mainly for crawling on all fours but tests have shown that bipedal walking is possible. Force/torque sensors are mounted in the upper part of each leg.

iCub arm and hand

The iCub arm and hand are anthropomorphic jointly sporting 16 degrees of freedom. 7 for the arm (including the wrist) and 9 in the hand. 8 degrees of freedom are allocated to the thumb, index and middle fingers thus enabling a fairly large degree of dexterity. The hand can be integrated with 108 tactile sensors in the fingertips and palm.

The full iCub 1.1

This is the iCub as seen on video: 53 motors, 9 degrees of freedom in each hand, full sensorization, force/torque sensing, full body covers, complete interface, power supply, a laptop with the latest software (YARP), and shipping & handling.

iCub skin and fingertips

The iCub can mount a capacitive skin system in two forms: fingertips and generic body skin. The skin is based on a modular triangular structure and with minimal external wiring. Each taxel can be sampled at 50Hz (8bits) and read via CAN bus.


This is a holonomic mobile base for the iCub which mounts six Swedish wheels, a high perf i7-CPU, it sports wireless connection and high perf Li-ion batteries. The iCub can stand on top of it and control the base using a standard interface.

iCub 2.0

iCub 2.0 is our experimental (work in progress) new iCub. The iCub has been upgraded with respect to the torque measurement (joint level), tension sensors (for tendons), full body skin, fingertips, new head, additional high-resolution encoder on all brushless motors, many small improvements in the mechanics and wiring and new foot design (for bipedal locomotion).

iCub head 2.0

The new head (tentatively called 2.0) is at an advanced stage of design and prototypation. The neck has been redesigned for more torque and the eyes will mount zero-backlash harmonic drive gears. Further small modifications have been implemented especially to support accurate camera calibration.

iCub versions

  • 1.0: (unavailable)
  • 1.1: (unavailable) full iCub with 53 dof, complete body cover, facial expressions, cameras, microphones, inertial sensors, encoders on all joints, force/torque sensors
  • 1.2: (unavailable) as 1.1 with the addition of the sensorized fingetips and palms (108 taxels in total)
  • 1.3: (unavailable) as 1.2 with the addition of sensorized forearm covers
  • 1.4: (upgrade only) as 1.3 with upper body skin
  • 1.5: (upgrade only) as 1.4 with additional series elastic actuators in the legs
  • 1.5.1: (upgrade only) as 1.5 with the head of iCub 2.0
  • 2.0: full iCub with joint level torque control and complete skin, neck redesign, several mechanical upgrades, backward compatible (in full) with the the 1.1 iCub
  • 2.5: as 2.0 with the series elastic actuators in the legs is Open Source and distributed according to the GPL v2.0 © 2004- the RobotCub Consortium