Thursday, 24 October 2019 10:34

Giorgio Metta - New speaker

Giorgio Metta is the Scientific Director of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). He holds a MSc cum laude (1994) and PhD (2000) in electronic engineering both from the University of Genoa. From 2001 to 2002, Giorgio was postdoctoral associate at the MIT AI-Lab. He was previously with the University of Genoa and from 2012 to 2019 Professor of Cognitive Robotics at the University of Plymouth (UK). He was member of the board of directors of euRobotics aisbl, the European reference organization for robotics research. Giorgio Metta served as Vice Scientific Director of IIT from 2016 to 2019. He coordinated IIT's participation into two of the Ministry of Economic Development Competence Centers for Industry 4.0 (ARTES4.0, START4.0). He was one of the three Italian representatives at the 2018 G7 forum on Artificial Intelligence and, more recently, one of the authors of the Italian Strategic Agenda on AI. Giorgio coordinated the development of the iCub robot for more than a decade making it de facto the reference platform for research in embodied AI. Presently, there are more than 40 robots reaching laboratories as far as Japan, China, Singapore, Germany, Spain, UK and the United States. Giorgio Metta research activities are in the fields of biologically motivated and humanoid robotics and, in particular, in developing humanoid robots that can adapt and learn from experience. Giorgio Metta is author of more than 300 scientific publications. He has been working as principal investigator and research scientist in about a dozen international research as well as industrial projects.  

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Sunday, 06 October 2019 16:20

Alessandra Sciutti - New speaker

Alessandra Sciutti was born in Genoa (Italy) in 1982. She received her master’s degree in Bioengineering (highest honors) from the University of Genoa in 2006. The same year she graduated at the Institute of advanced studies in information and communication technologies – ISICT ( Alessandra received her Ph.D. in Humanoid Technologies from the University of Genova (Italy) in 2010 with a thesis entitled: “Study of human predictive abilities and their links with action and perception". 

From 2010 to 2014 she has been working as a Post Doc at the RBCS Department of the Italian Institute of Technology, focusing on motor control, sensory- and sensorimotor integration and human robot interaction, in collaboration with a multidisciplinary group (roboticists, psychologists, neuroscientists).

From July 2011 to July 2012 she spent a year at the Robotics Lab of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago ( as a visiting researcher under the supervision of Prof. Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi working on the project “Simultaneity and proprioceptive space”, and she is currently appointed as visiting researcher at Northwestern University to continue the collaboration on the project.

From November 2014 to January 2015 she visited the Emergent Robotics Lab. of the Osaka University for three months in the framework of the CODEFROR European Project (, to investigate cognitive development and human-robot interaction.

From July 2014 to July 2018 she has been Researcher, scientific responsible of the Cognitive Robotics and Interaction Lab at the RBCS Department of the Italian Institute of Technology.

After a period as Assistant Professor in Bioengineering at DIBRIS (Dipartimento di Informatica, Bioingegneria, Robotica e Ingegneria dei Sistemi), University of Genoa, with an affiliation to IIT, she is now working at IIT.

In July 2018 she has been awarded the ERC STARTING GRANT wHiSPER, on the investigation of human shared perception with robots.

Since March 2019 she is Tenure Track Researcher, Principal Investigator of the COgNiTive Architecture for Collaborative Technologies Unit (CONTACT) at IIT.

The scientific aim of her research is to investigate the sensory and motor mechanisms underlying mutual understanding in human-human interaction, with the technological goal of designing robots that can naturally cooperate with people in carrying out everyday tasks. In more detail, the research is aimed at defining which features of human and robot motion allow for natural mutual understanding, with particular reference to low-level kinematics properties (as biological motion) and higher-level, cognitive aspects (as intention reading and goal anticipation). 

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