Groups and experiments

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Tentative group formation

Here's a list of possible topics & groups as formed before the school. If you're interested in any of the topics then please add your name here. We'll be posting and adding material in preparation for meeting in Sestri Levante.

  • The CHRIS project group
  • The force control group
  • The Lego-Builders group
  • Attention & vision: aka eMorph group
  • The ITALK project group
  • New people


This group works on a CHRIS project scenario (TBD).

CHRIS is a FP7 EU project on human-robot safe interaction. The scenario we have already designed involves a learning task where a novel object is presented to iCub which in turn explores it and finally executes some predefined actions (grasp, tap, touch). Here's a video we recorded. To augment the interactivity level and improve safety force control is exploited. We would like possibly to enrich iCub capabilities with some new behaviors such as action recognition, object segmentation based on motion cue (maybe as result of exploration), tactile-based grasp, and whatever helps iCub growing :)

Here's the participants:

  • Ugo Pattacini
  • Lorenzo Natale
  • Andre Luvizotto
  • Zenon Matthews

Force control

This group works on using the iCub f/t sensors to implement joint torque control via remapping and dynamics modeling. Hopefully it will also work on some applocations such as autonumous lego block insertion and/or force controlled crawling.

Peg in the hole demo: the plan is to grasp an object on the table, using force to detect the table and the object. Then to put the object inside the hole. At first we can simply put the object on the target position (hole); then using force we can insert it in the hole. We surely need a contribution from people working in vision to detect object and hole properly. To simplify, the object can be a simple monochromatic ball; the target can be a monochromatic circle at the beginning (I still have to buy the hole thing ^^) We can take inspiration from a similar demo... see a video here.

iDyn: as you probably know, a library for dynamics has been recently developed: iDyn. You can find the documentation here. In iCub repository under main/src/libraries/iDyn/tutorials you can find some examples showing how to use it. I will add more examples as the library is quite big... for any questions ask Serena or Matteo. It is still under development, so if you have remarks or suggestions you are more than invited to tell us!


  • Francesco Nori
  • Matteo Fumagalli
  • Marco Randazzo
  • Juan Victores
  • Serena Ivaldi
  • Cristiano Alessandro
  • Naveen Kuppussuamy


Anyone interested in working with us is
welcomed to join us! We want to have fun making a
cool demo by the end of the school!

This group is working on doing everything necessary :)
to put two pieces of Lego together _autonomously_.

This includes finding the pieces, grasping them,
re-detecting the pieces in the hand, putting the pieces together.

We will collaborate with the force control group,
to put the Lego pieces together correctly (without breaking the arms).

To find the Legos on the table, we are working on a simple
AR-Toolkit based program, and a kinematic model of the lego pieces.
Maybe we should also use the cool fingertip sensors for the final approach?

Last year, we proved that this is possible with tele-operation.
Watch the video in [youtube].

Since we (Federico and Alexis) have come to prior
summer-schools, we are also glad to help or
give guidance to new people. Just come over!


  • Alexis Maldonado
  • Federico Ruiz


We would like to implement impedance behaviours coupling both the hands. We would work under the Force Control group and share tools and code with everyone.

You are more than welcome to hack with Us! :D

Details : We would like to replicate some of the behaviours demonstrated inöckICRA07TwoHanded.pdf this research. For more visual demo check [this video] especially the part from 1:57 into it.

Demo : We believe that the ideal impressive demo should always involve alcochol service, and thus we would like to demonstrate some simple two handed grasp and user directed manipulation of trays with drinks or individual alcohol bottles. Additional tricks can be manipulating objects of various sizes and compliance by playing around with the coupling stiffnes or even adding a cartesian impedance constraint to fit service robot scenarios like serving drinks (keeping bottle upright in cartesian space).

Participants (so far) :

  • Naveen Kuppuswamy
  • Cristiano Alessandro
  • Arne Nordmann

Attention & vision

This group works on rationalizing some of the visual processing and the attention system in logpolar images for the eMorph project.


  • Giorgio Metta
  • Francesco Rea
  • Vadim Tikhanoff
  • Steve Hart
  • Bjorn Browatzki
  • Daniel Krieg


This group works on a scenario from the iTALK EU project (TBD).


  • Francesco Nori
  • all ITALK people (in theory)

New people

All the others who potentially need to train on YARP first.


  • Bruno Nery (some experience with YARP, but not with the iCub)
  • Erick Swere
  • Paolo Tommasino
  • Fouzhan Hosseini
  • Mandana Hamidi
  • Onofrio Gigliotta