Artificial and augmented sensing for humans and humanoids
18 - 22 July 2022, Genova (Italy)
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OPEN Registration
The number of students is limited to 60

Platinum Sponsors

University of Genova

About The Event

Brief description


The NeuroEngineering School, pioneered by Prof. M. Grattarola in 2000 with the First European School of Neuroengineering, was offered in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2012 and 2018. This edition will focus on perception and on how it influences human movements and robot control. Specifically, the focus will be on how the somatosensory system and its artificial analogues process and integrate movement, force and tactile information.


Objectives


The NeuroEngineering School aims to introduce PhD students and post-docs from different backgrounds (engineering, life sciences, physics) to the basis of human somatosensation and the computational and technological methods to integrate sensing in robots.  The first two days will provide an overview of somatosensory process mechanisms at the physical, behavioural, biomechanical, and neural level, including implications for motor control and learning. 
Then we will provide the basis for understanding the artificial tactile-proprioceptive sensing and feedback.The following three days will develop this topic in three translational fields: (1) neurorehabilitation (2) prosthetics and sensory restoration; (3) robotics: humanoids and robot-assisted surgery. 


Description


The NeuroEngineering School will take place from 18th to 22nd July 2022.  The activities will include plenary lectures by internationally recognized experts operating at the interface between Neuroscience, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Participants will then be divided in focused discussion groups, whose activities will include hands on computational and laboratory activities.

We will organize poster sessions for the PhD students attending the school, during which they will present their research in an interactive form. An award committee will select the best poster based both on the quality of the work and the presentation.
Finally, we will also offer exhibition opportunities for the companies working in these fields, which will present their technologies for all the duration of the school.

Who's Speaking?

Tamar Makin
Tamar MakinCognitive Neuroscience University College Londont.makin(AT)ucl.ac.uk
    Marco Controzzi
    Marco ControzziScuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisamarco.controzzi(AT)santannapisa.it
      Lorenzo Natale
      Lorenzo NataleIIT Humanoid Sensing and Perception - Genovalorenzo.natale(AT)iit.it
        Gordon Cheng
        Gordon Cheng TUM – Technical University of Munichgordon(AT)tum.de
          Alessandro Moscatelli
          Alessandro MoscatelliSanta Lucia Foundation IRCCS, Rome, Italy.alessandro.moscatelli(AT)uniroma2.it
            Antonio Bicchi
            Antonio BicchiResearch Center E. Piaggio (University of Pisa)antonio.bicchi(AT)unipi.it
              Vincent Hayward
              Vincent HaywardInstitut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotiquehayward(AT)isir.upmc.fr
                Giacomo Valle
                Giacomo ValleD. Gesundheitswissenschaften und Technologie giacomo.valle(AT)hest.ethz.ch
                  Francesco Nori
                  Francesco NoriHead of Robotics Lab - DeepMind Google UKfnori(AT)google.com
                    Monica Gori
                    Monica GoriUnit for Visually Impaired People - IITmonica.gori(AT)iit.it
                      Stanisa Raspopovic
                      Stanisa RaspopovicD. Gesundheitswissenschaften und Technologie stanisa.raspopovic(AT)hest.ethz.ch
                        Giorgio Metta
                        Giorgio MettaIstituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)giorgio.metta(AT)iit.it
                          Lorenzo Masia
                          Lorenzo MasiaHeidelberg University/IITlorenzo.masia(AT)ziti.uni-heidelberg.de
                            Pietro Avanzini
                            Pietro AvanziniIstituto di Neuroscienze - CNRpietro.avanzini(AT)cnr.it
                              Stephen Scott
                              Stephen ScottDep. of Biomedical, Molecular Sciences (Queen's University)steve.scott(AT)queensu.ca
                                Alessandra Sciutti
                                Alessandra SciuttiIIT Central Research Labs Genovaalessandra.sciutti(AT)iit.it
                                  Matilde Inglese
                                  Matilde IngleseDINOGMI (University of Genova)m.inglese(AT)unige.it
                                    Anthony Jarc
                                    Anthony JarcIntuitive Anthony.Jarc(AT)intusurg.com

                                      Partners

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                                      Speakers Lineup

                                      11.00 - 13.30
                                      Lobby

                                      Registration

                                      Registration

                                      13.30 - 14.00
                                      Hall

                                      Opening of the School

                                      Welcome Address - Presentation of the School

                                      14.00 - 14.50
                                      Hall

                                      To be defined

                                      To be defined

                                      Prof. Antonio Bicchi
                                      14.50 - 15.40
                                      Hall

                                      When timing matters: from intracerebral recordings to a 4D-representation of somatosensory processing

                                      A fine-grained description of the spatiotemporal dynamics of human brain activity is a major goal of neuroscientific research. Limitations in spatial and temporal resolution of available non-invasive recording and imaging techniques have hindered so far the acquisition of precise, comprehensive four-dimensional maps of human neural activity. Only recently, the access to intracerebral recordings and the estimation of gamma rhythms’ reactivity opened to the possibility of a four-dimensional mapping of brain activity.

                                      Prof. Pietro Avanzini
                                      15.40 - 16.00
                                      Lobby

                                      Coffee Break

                                      Coffee Break/ Networking

                                      16.30 - 19.00
                                      Hall

                                      Laboratory activities - Data Science for Psychophysical Data with R

                                      Practical activities (1st session)

                                      Psychophysical methods are widely used across different scientific communities to model the relation between a physical property of a stimulus and its perceptual representation provided by the senses. By means of psychophysical experiments it is possible to study basic sensory processes and assess the performance of an observer interacting with technological devices. Such methods can also help establish quantitative criteria for evaluating and designing novel technology. The results of a psychophysical experiment are typically analyzed by fitting a psychometric function to each observer and then performing a second-level model for inferential statistics. Yet recent studies have shown that modeling data at the population level by means of Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMM) also has many advantages, specifically in terms of a better estimation of goodness of fit and of a higher statistical power. In this lecture and in the associated laboratory activity I will show you how to use the open-source statistical software R for processing and analyzing typical psychophysical data, using popular R libraries such as Tidyverse and lme4 together with our package MixedPsy.
                                       
                                      Tentative Schedule
                                      Lecture 16:00 - 17:00
                                      • examples of experimental paradigms
                                      • psychometric functions and GLMM
                                      • Bayesian methods in psychophysics
                                      Lab 17:00 - 18:30
                                      • R, Python, and friends
                                      • Introduction to R packages: Tidyverse, lme4, Mixedpsy
                                      • Data Tidying
                                      • Modelling
                                      • Plotting
                                      • Communicating the results with RMarkdown
                                      • Bonus track: interfacing R and Python with reticulate
                                      Suggested reading
                                      1. Moscatelli, A., Mezzetti, M., & Lacquaniti, F. (2012). Modeling psychophysical data at the population-level: the generalized linear mixed model. Journal of vision, 12(11), 26-26.
                                      2. Rohde, M., van Dam, L. C., & Ernst, M. O. (2016). Statistically optimal multisensory cue integration: a practical tutorial. Multisensory research, 29(4-5), 279-317.
                                      3. Wickham, H., & Grolemund, G. (2016). R for data science: import, tidy, transform, visualize, and model data. "O'Reilly Media, Inc.".

                                      Prof. Alessandro Moscatelli
                                      19.00- 21:00
                                      Lobby

                                      Welcome cocktail

                                      9.00 - 9.50
                                      Hall

                                      To be defined

                                      To be defined

                                      Prof. Stephen Scott
                                      9.50 - 10.40
                                      Hall

                                      To Be defined

                                      To Be defined.

                                      Prof. Lorenzo Masia
                                      10.40 - 11.10
                                      Lobby

                                      Coffee Break

                                      Coffee Break/Networking

                                      11.10 - 12.00
                                      Hall

                                      Innovative methods for measuring the neural correlates of proprioception in multiple sclerosis

                                      Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory/demyelinating neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that affects young adults and that leads to the degradation of myelin and neuronal loss with consequent irreversible disability. Proprioception is the individual’s ability to integrate multiple sensory signals from mechanoreceptors in the periphery to determine body segment positions and movements in space. Deficits of proprioception occur in the early stages of MS and are quite frequent. However, objectively quantifying proprioceptive deficits is challenging and further complicated when attempting to identify neural correlates with neuroimaging techniques.
                                      This limitation makes it difficult to identify crucial neural markers that can be used to assess the efficacy of interventions aimed at improving proprioception in people with MS. Therefore, there is a need for innovative ways of assessing the neural correlates of proprioception to understand how the pathological processes underlying MS affects these neural processes.
                                      Sensorimotor tasks, such as the joint position matching task, rely on intricate communication between multiple areas of the CNS. To perform these movements effectively, sensory afferents must be relayed to various areas of the brain to generate appropriate neural and behavioral responses
                                      Our group and others have shown the importance of the link between cognitive and motor processes in many sensorimotor tasks as well as the importance of microstructural integrity of the corpus callosum in bipedal and bimanual tasks. A better understanding of how the functional and neural components of proprioception are affected by chronic neurodegenerative disease like MS is needed to better inform rehabilitative practices, which may ultimately lead to the improvement of mobility outcomes and quality of life in patients with MS.

                                      Prof. Matilde Inglese
                                      12.00 - 13.00
                                      Hall

                                      Poster section

                                      Poster section/Networking

                                      13.00 - 14.00
                                      Hall /Lobby

                                      Poster section/Lunch Networking

                                      Poster section/Lunch 

                                      14.00-14.50

                                      The sensorimotor bases of interaction with the world and with others

                                      Human understanding of the world is deeply rooted in our ability to act. The shape of our body and the possibilities of action it affords influence how we make sense of objects’ properties and other people’s actions.

                                      In the context of object perception, this becomes particularly evident in the domain of haptic exploration, where action and perception are tightly coupled. The investigation of how manipulation is optimally planned to infer the relevant features of an object leads to interesting questions on the relative role played by different senses and on the mutual adaptation of the sensory and motor components of the plan. Studying how this process develops during childhood and how it changes during an interaction or in the presence of a sensory deficit can also provide novel insights potentially useful for robot manipulation.

                                      Furthermore, the way we plan our actions has a crucial impact on understanding the properties of movements performed by others. We differently move when we are aggressive or kind, and our brain detects the same modulations in someone else, making us sensitive to the “style” of an action. Interestingly, this happens both when the interaction is mediated by vision and performed through a physical exchange of forces. By intuitively sensing the regularities of action “style”, we modify our anticipation skills, e.g., when predicting action timing and our behavior, which automatically aligns with the partner in human-human and human-robot interactions.

                                      Understanding the sensorimotor bases of human ability to interact is a crucial step toward developing cognitive robots, able to perceive the world “through the eyes (and hands) of a human” and hence better at establishing mutual understanding and effective collaboration.

                                      Prof. Alessandra Sciutti
                                      14.50 - 15.40
                                      Hall

                                      Multisensory development and sensory rehabilitation devices based on haptic, visual, and audio signals.

                                      In every interaction with the environment, our brain integrates sensory information from the outside. Recent studies have shown that multisensory integration improves estimation accuracy by fostering perception and interaction with the environment. In this presentation, I will show i) the methods to study multisensory processing and the models to predict outcomes ii) how to use these scientific findings to design new technologies for rehabilitation, learning and game. I will focus on audio, visual and tactile processing and the sensory-motor interactions considering children and adults with and without sensory impairment. In particular, I will give you an overview of the main results from recent studies investigating tactile and visual-tactile audio perception abilities in children and adults with and without visual disabilities and the benefit provided by sensory-motor feedback at the behavioral and cortical level on sensory impaired individuals. 

                                      Prof. Monica Gori
                                      15.40 - 19.00
                                      Hall

                                      Practical activities (2st session)

                                      To be defined

                                      16.30 - 17.00
                                      Lobby

                                      Coffee Break

                                      Coffee Break/Networking

                                      9.00 - 9.50
                                      Hall

                                      Peripheral aspects of somatosensation

                                      Our understanding of the early stages of the transformation of the physics of contact into neural messages is incredibly incomplete. In this lecture we will discuss this question from the viewpoint of the tactile mechanics and the organisation of the early stages of the somatosensory pathway in mammals.

                                      Prof. Vincent Hayward
                                      9.50 - 10.40
                                      Hall

                                      To be defined

                                      To be defined

                                      Prof. Anthony Jarc
                                      10.40 - 11.10
                                      Lobby

                                      Coffee Break

                                      Coffee Break Networking

                                      11.10 - 12.00
                                      Hall

                                      To be defined

                                      To be defined

                                      Prof. Tamar Makin
                                      12.00 - 13.0'
                                      Hall

                                      Poster session

                                      Poster sessionNetworking

                                      Lunch/Networking
                                      13.00 - 14.00
                                      Lobby/Hall

                                      Lunch / Poster session

                                      Lunch / Poster session

                                      14.00 - 14.50

                                      To be defined

                                      To be defined

                                      Prof. Giacomo Valle
                                      14.50 - 15.40
                                      Hallo

                                      To be defined

                                      To be defined

                                      Prof. Marco Controzzi
                                      16.00 - 19.00

                                      Social event

                                      To be defined

                                      21.00

                                      School dinner

                                      School dinner

                                      9.00 - 9.50
                                      Hall

                                      The iCub project

                                      The iCub is a humanoid robot designed to support research in embodied AI. At 104 cm tall, the iCub has the size of a five year old child. It can crawl on all fours, walk and sit up to manipulate objects. Its hands have been designed to support sophisticate manipulation skills. The iCub is distributed as Open Source following the GPL licenses and can now count on a worldwide community of enthusiastic developers. The entire design is available for download from the project’s repositories (http://www.iCub.org). More than 50 robots have been built so far. They are available in laboratories across Europe, US, Korea, Singapore, and Japan. The iCub is one of the few platforms in the world with a sensitive full-body skin to deal with the physical interaction with the environment including, possibly, people. I will present the iCub project showing how it is evolving towards fulfilling the dream of a personal humanoid in every home.

                                      Prof. Giorgio Metta
                                      9.50 - 10.40
                                      Hall

                                      From sensing to actuation: End-to-End Research in Robotics at Deepmind.

                                      DeepMind is working on some of the world’s most complex and interesting research challenges, with the ultimate goal of solving artificial general intelligence (AGI). Within this challenge, it's fundamental to understand the role of sensorimotor loops in both biological and artificial systems. We ultimately want to develop an AGI capable of dealing with a variety of environments through robust representation of sensor information for effective motor control. A truly general AGI needs to be able to act on the real world and to learn tasks on real robots. Robotics at DeepMind aims at endowing robots with the ability to learn how to perform complex manipulation and locomotion tasks. This talk will give an introduction to DeepMind with specific focus on robotics, control or reinforcement learning.

                                      Prof. Lorenzo Nori
                                      10.40 - 11.10
                                      Lobby

                                      Coffee Break

                                      Coffee Break/ Networking

                                      11.10 - 12.00
                                      Hall

                                      Seeing and touching objects: experiments with the iCub humanoid robot

                                      Robots can actively interact with the environment and humans using their sensory system to learn about objects and their properties. To extract structured information, however, the robot needs to be endowed with appropriate sensors, fast learning algorithms, and exploratory behavior that guide the interaction with the world.

                                      In this talk I will introduce the sensory system we developed for the iCub humanoid robot, and in particular technologies for tactile sensing. I will then revise past work in which we studied how to use visual and tactile feedback to explore unknown objects and control the interaction between the hand and the objecst for shape modelling, object discrimination and tracking. Finally, I will present recent work in which we developed fast learning algorithms for object segementation and active learning.

                                      Prof, Lorenzo Natale
                                      12.00 - 13.00
                                      Hall

                                      Poster session

                                      Poster session / Networking

                                      Lunch / Networking
                                      13.00 - 14.00
                                      Lobby / Hall

                                      Lunch/Poster session

                                      Lunch/Poster session

                                      14.00 - 14.50
                                      Hall

                                      To be defined

                                      To be defined

                                      Prof. Gordon Cheng
                                      14.50 - 16.30
                                      Hall

                                      Practical activities (3rd session)

                                      To be defined

                                      16.30 - 17.00
                                      Lobby

                                      Coffee break

                                      Coffee break

                                      17.00 - 19.00
                                      Hall

                                      Practical activities (3rd session)

                                      To be defined

                                      9.00 - 9.50
                                      Hall

                                      To be defined

                                      To be defined

                                      Prof. Stanisa Raspopovic
                                      9.50 - 10.40
                                      Hall

                                      Student presentation

                                      Student presentation

                                      10.40 - 11.10
                                      Lawn

                                      Coffee Break

                                      Coffee Break / Networking

                                      11.10 - 12.00
                                      Hall

                                      Discussion

                                      Discussion

                                      12.00 - 13.00
                                      Hall

                                      Award and closure ceremonies

                                      Award and closure ceremonies

                                      Pricing & Registration

                                      Do you have any special needs, disabilities, and/or dietary restrictions that we may address to make your participation more enjoyable?
                                      Do not hesitate to contact us info@neuroengineering.unige.net
                                      For further information concerning your registration, please, contact only info@neuroengineering.unige.net
                                      With the UNIGE credentials you can access restricted areas of the school website (will be activated as soon as possible) for additional materials.

                                      Organizers

                                      Gabriele Arnulfo
                                      Gabriele ArnulfoUniversity of Genova (Dibris)
                                        Fulvio Mastrogiovanni
                                        Fulvio MastrogiovanniUniversity of Genova (Dibris)
                                          Camilla Pierella
                                          Camilla PierellaUniversity of Genova (Dibris)
                                          Maura Casadio
                                          Maura CasadioUniversity of Genova (Dibris)
                                            Andrea Canessa
                                            Andrea CanessaUniversity of Genova (Dibris)
                                              Marco Fato
                                              Marco FatoUniversity of Genova (Dibris)
                                                Matteo Bianchi
                                                Matteo BianchiUniversity of Pisa
                                                  Ilana Nisky
                                                  Ilana NiskyBen-Gurion university
                                                    Francesco Nori
                                                    Francesco NoriHead of Robotics Lab - DeepMind Google UK

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                                                      Contact

                                                      Our Address

                                                      DIBRIS
                                                      Department of Informatics, Bioengineering,
                                                      Robotics and Systems Engineering
                                                      Viale Causa 13 A - 16145 Genova GE

                                                      Location

                                                      Villa Cambiaso (Scuola Politecnica)
                                                      Via Montallegro 1

                                                      The summer school will be held 18 to 22 July 2022 at Villa Cambiaso, based of the Presidency of the Scuola Politecnica of the University of Genova, located in the district of Albaro, in Montallegro Street 1. Villa Giustiniani Cambiaso, designed by Galeazzo Alessi and built starting in 1548, is an architectural example of the "Genovese Villas" of the 16th and 17th centuries.


                                                      How to reach us

                                                      By Plane : VOLABUS is the AMT shuttle bus service departing from Cristoforo Colombo airport to Brignole and Principe Train Stations, crossing the city centre. In 30 minutes you can get the arrival terminal or the city centre by a coach fully equipped with any comfort and a big luggage van.
                                                      VOLABUS is a direct daily, comfortable service running 7 days a week, stopping at few pick up points (to airport only pick up, from airport only drop off). Alternatively, a taxi ride between the airport and the city centre costs approximately € 30-20.

                                                      By Train : The nearest train station to the Villa Cambiano is Genova Brignole. There are numerous Intercity trains from Milan Central to Genova Principe (some of them continue to Brignole), approximately one every hour. There are also Eurostar, Intercity, Frecciarossa trains from RomaTermini and Turin.

                                                      Trasportation within the city : To access Villa Cambiaso there are regular buses with stops located near the Genova Brignole Train Station. The bus stop (15 or 43) is located in Corso Buenos Aires. You need to get off at the fifth bus stop (Via Albaro), next t o the main entrance of Villa Cambiaso, in via Montallegro.In front Genova Principe Train Station, you can take any bus to the center city and, subsequently, the bus n. 15 or 43; alternatively, from Principe Train Station you can go to Genova Brignole in 5 minutes by local trains o metro.