Positioning, Tracking and Navigation in the Industry 4.0 Era


Buffi Alice Buffi

Alice Buffi

University of Pisa, Italy

Santoro Luca Santoro

Luca Santoro

University of Trento, Italy

Fontanelli Daniele Fontanelli

Daniele Fontanelli

University of Trento, Italy


In the Industry 4.0 era and towards the next Industry 5.0 revolution, novel methods are required in industrial scenarios to promote the human works in warehouses, factories, and retails especially in cooperative, high-dynamic scenarios. Accurate positioning, tracking and navigation of all involved actors, e.g. people, assets, robots and vehicles, are key features enabling novel services, enhanced efficiency and improved quality of work and safety. Lots of localization technologies appears in industry panorama, e.g. radio-frequency, vision, ultrasonic, magnetic and laser sensors. Although many are already a reality, challenges are still numerous to deploy accurate positioning systems. Moreover, an accurate characterisation of the localization uncertainty is strictly dependent on the employed technology and the application scenario.


The special session is focused on new positioning, tracking and navigation solutions for Industry 4.0 scenario. The main topics are related to:

  • Innovative localisation methods
  • Vehicle positioning and tracking
  • Robot/Drone navigation
  • People tracking and positioning
  • Human-pose estimation
  • Ultra-Wide-Band localisation
  • Tracking and positioning with Radio Frequency Identification Systems
  • Optical localisation
  • Ultrasonic localisation
  • Laser localisation
  • Magnetic sensors
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth positioning
  • Hybrid positioning methods based on data-fusion algorithms
  • Metrics, algorithms and position measurement uncertainty


Alice Buffi (Senior Member, IEEE) received the B.S. and M.S. (summa cum laude) degrees in Telecommunications Engineering and the Ph.D. degree (Doctor Europaeus) in “Applied electromagnetism in electrical and biomedical engineering, electronics, smart sensors, nanotechnologies”, from the University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, in 2006, 2008 and 2012, respectively. In 2011, she was a Visiting Ph.D. student with the Queen Mary University of London, London, U.K.. Since 2012, she has been with the University of Pisa, where she is currently an Associate Professor with the Department of Energy, Systems, Territory and Construction Engineering. She has co-authored several international journal papers and international conferences contributions, one European patent and one European patent application. Her current research topics include measurement methods to locate static or moving items through radio frequency identification (RFID) systems operating at the ultra-high-frequency (UHF) band in Industry 4.0 scenarios. Besides, she has interests in classification methods for smart gates and smart storage systems and ageing process in battery cells. Dr. Buffi is a member of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society, the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society and of the IEEE Council on RFID. She was a recipient of the Best Paper Award at the IEEE RFID-TA 2019 International Conference and of the Young Scientist Award from the International Union of Radio Science, Commission B, in 2013 and 2016. She serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement and for the IEEE Journal of Radio Frequency Identification. She also serves as Steering Committee Chair of the IEEE Journal of RFID and as Chair of the IEEE CRFID’s Technical Committee on Motion Capture and Localization (IEEE TC-MoCap).

Luca Santoro, a doctoral student at the Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento, Italy, holds a M.S. degree in Electronics and Robotics Engineering. His diverse research portfolio includes a focus on localization algorithms, the development of autonomous UAVs and UGVs, real-time estimation and control, and exploring machine learning functionalities applied to resource-constrained embedded platforms. Notably, Luca Santoro has been awarded a grant from the VRT Foundation for a project addressing the coexistence of wild animals and humans through advancements in location and positioning technologies.

Daniele Fontanelli (Senior Member, IEEE) received the M.S. degree in Information Engineering in 2001, and the Ph.D. degree in Automation, Robotics and Bioengineering in 2006, both from the University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy. He was a Visiting Scientist with the Vision Lab of the University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, US, from 2006 to 2007. From 2007 to 2008, he has been an Associate Researcher with the Interdepartmental Research Center "E. Piaggio", University of Pisa. From 2008 to 2013 he joined as an Associate Researcher the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science and from 2014 the Department of Industrial Engineering, both at the University of Trento, Trento, Italy, where he is now a Full Professor. He has authored and co-authored more than 200 scientific papers in peer-reviewed top journals and conference proceedings. He is currently an Associate Editor in Chief for the IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, an Associate Editor for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters and for the IET Science, Measurement & Technology Journal. From 2022 he is a member of IMEKO Technical Committee 17 on "Measurement for Robotics". His research interests include localisation algorithms, wheeled mobile robot control and service robotics, real-time estimation and control.