Well, I was back in Italy and I was enthusiastic: I was going to create an Italian team of RoboCup that would be just mine. Looking behind my shoulders, I wonder why I was SO sure that I could made it.
After all, it would be bloody difficult to find money, people and time to do it all... but I have never doubted about myself.
I started hanging posters at the faculty with the phrase: "do you want to participate to the robotics soccer world championship? Join our team and build a humanoid robot".
(I am not sure it was written EXACTLY with these words, but it was something like that).
I received a dozen of "CV" and one day I had a meeting with the people that answered my call to explain them what RoboCup is and which was the "plan".
Then, I selected 5 of them... the core that few weeks later become the ISAAC TEAM (the name "Isaac" comes, of course, from Isaac Asimov).
Then, one of trickiest parts of my project: to find money and support from my University (that is not famous for funding bold projects...).
I decided to go to the department of Robotic and Automation, but at the beginning I have found just a lot of professors looking at me like I was drunk.... "nice idea, but... try to knock to the next door".
So I did: I knocked to all the doors, until I get to professor Giuseppe Menga.
Our chat it is still indelibly written in my memory, and it was more or less like this:
Me:" I would like to build a humanoid robot to participate to the world robotic championship and I need the support of Polytechnic."
Prof.: "Hummm... look, I am doing a little project to build a small Segway using Lego, why don't you give me an hand with that?"
Me: "No, I guess I didn't explain myself very well. I want to build a humanoid robot. You know, with legs, arms, torso..."
Prof.: "That is far too hard, it will need at least 10 motors".
Me: "Well, actually we must use 12 motors just on the legs..."
Prof.: "you will need 2 more people helping you."
Me: " Actually I have planned to have a team of 6 people, and I have already found most of them."
Few seconds of silence...
Prof.: "You are not able to do it!"
Me: "I am!!!"
Prof.: "You will not find the money."
Me: " may be you are right just on this point."
He took some seconds to reflect, then he told me: "Ok, I will help you".
And that was the really beginning of the Isaac Project.