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VVV10 Participants

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This is a list of participants at the VVV10 summer school - please add yourself (for inspiration, see VV09/VVV08/VVV07/VVV06).

 For editing, you can ask for your own username/password (email or use the username "vvv10" and password
 "s*str*" with the first star replaced with "e" and the last star
 replaced with "i".

If you would like to, include in your profile a list of possible ideas for collaboration. See also Groups and experiments.

Giorgio Metta

 IIT and Univ. of Genoa, pasa_(at), homepage
 I am senior scientist at the IIT and assistant professor at the University 
 of Genoa where I teach courses on anthropomorphic robotics and intelligent systems 
 for the bioengineering curricula. I hold a MS with honors (in 1994) and PhD (in 2000) 
 in electronic engineering both from the University of Genoa. From 2001 to 2002 I was
 postdoctoral associate at the MIT AI-Lab where I worked on various humanoid robotic 
 platforms. I am assistant professor at the University of Genoa since 2005 and with 
 IIT since 2006. My research activities are in the fields of biologically motivated 
 and humanoid robotics and in particular in developing life-long developing artificial 
 systems that show some of the abilities of natural systems. 

Paul Fitzpatrick

  Irish guy working in Italy while living in the US 
  (prefers not to do any two things in the same country).Website
  Email: paulfitz <at>

Lorenzo Natale

  Robotics Brain and Cognitive Science,
  Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, more info:

Giacomo Spigler

  Interested in Computational Neuroscience and Computer Vision stuff.

Daniel Krieg

  Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS), Germany
  Working in Computational Neuroscience on self-organization and recurrent networks.
  Interested in Computer Vision and robotics.
  Email: krieg <at>

Serena Ivaldi

  Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Italian Institute of Technology.
  Email: serena.ivaldi <at>

Erick Robert Swere

  Erick Swere Picture-small.jpg
  Cognitive Robotics Research Centre, Department of Computing - Newport Business School.
  Email: eswere <at>

Bruno Nery

  ISLab - Intelligent Systems Lab (ISR/IST, TULisbon)
  I'm interested in Cognitive Science and Robotics. My goal at the VVV'10 Summer School is to implement 
  a proof-of-concept for an online event segmentation (and adaptive strong adaptation) framework (for more 
  details click here). The result should be the iCub following a ball (on a series of inclined planes,
  maybe on a pendulum) with its head - do any of you guys have a colored ball?
  Email: bnery <at>

Alexis Maldonado

 I love robots, and during my PhD I have worked together with different ones: 
 started with medium-sized league RoboCup robots, then a big B21 robot with two 
 industry 6-DOF arms (Powercubes from Amtec), and finally have the pleasure of 
 working with the iCub and our self-made platform with Kuka LWR-4 arms and
 4-Fingered hands from the DLR:  TUM-Rosie in action
 I have concentrated in arm/hand movements for grasping. Lately working
 on grasping unmodeled objects, using a Mesa SR4k time of flight camera,
 and finger torque sensors to adjust the grasp.
 This is a video that we submitted to IROS2010 together with a paper:
 [link to youtube]
 Comparison of two approaches for grasp pose selection: kinematic mesh planner vs statistical
 [link to youtube]
 Want to see what our robot 'sees' when he grasps?
 [link to youtube]
 For the summer school, I am interested two-handed manipulation with the iCub. 
 One idea for the demo is to build stacks of Lego pieces. Please let me know if you
 would like to do something in this direction (Manipulation, reaching, tool use).
 maldonad_(at)  Introduction (pdf file) work-homepage 

Federico Ruiz Ugalde

 Ruizf small.png
 Let's do some lego building!!
 A Costa Rican in germany working with robot manipulation. Mechanical models of objects. 
 Prediction of robot actions on objects. In last summer school we manage to put two lego
 pieces together teleoperated. In prior summers schools we implemented a potencial field
 base end-effector arm movement system. It can avoid obstacles and follow goal points and
 orientations. I'm pretty sure this will be a Summer School as "Tuanis!" as the last three.
 email: ruizf<AT>  pdf file
 for instant messaging: memeruiz<at>

Cem Karaoguz

  Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab), Bielefeld University
  Honda Research Institute Europe
  Email: ckaraogu <at>
  Main research interests: Active vision, active perception, system-wide learning

Onofrio Gigliotta

  University of Naples Federico II and Insitute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies CNR, Rome
  Intrested in embodied cognition and evolutionary robotics. 
  My main interest it's about space and language, in particular in how brain 
  links linguistic labels to peripersonal space.
  Email: onofrio.gigliotta <at>

Paolo Tommasino


I'm studying BioEngineering in Rome. Interested in Rehabilitation Robotics, Sensory motor coordination and Force/Impedance control.

Björn Browatzki

  Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany
  Currently at Italian Institute of Technology working on multimodal object recognition. 
  Interested in Computer Vision and Robotics
  Email: bjoern.browatzki<at>

Salomon Ramirez-Contla

  University of Plymouth, Devon, UK
  I am interested in developing a peripersonal space representation for humanoid robots. iCub will use this
  representation in object manipulation and avoidance of obstacles within the volume around it that is reachable
  with its arms. I am using a bottom-up approach     working with computer vision as well. I am from Mexico and
  look forward to make of this a great summer school.

Francesco Nori

  Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia 
  Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department
  my web page

Francesca Stramandinoli

  I'm working at the University of Plymouth as a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher 
  in the European project RobotDoC, that focuses on the development of cognitive processes
  in robotic platforms. My research topic is about the grounding of language in humanoid robots,
  with particular attention to abstract words.   
  Email: francesca.stramandinoli <at>

Marco Randazzo

  Randaz timone small.jpg
  Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
  Italian Institute of Technology.
  Email: marco.randazzo <at>

Chris Larcombe

  I am currently in the first year of my PhD, working at Plymouth University (on the ITALK project).
  I have a background in Computer Science (B.Sc., Exeter, UK) and Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems (M.Sc., Sussex, UK).
  The latter was primarily focused on 'intelligence' in animals and machines from a dynamical systems perspective.
  Right now I'm researching the issue of scalability in 'teleonomic' (apparently purposeful) adaptive systems,
  in particular how dynamical systems can learn in real-time, with the help of an 'intelligent other' (tutor),
  to synthesise and recombine action primitives in complex ways, in order to solve multiple tasks in complex
  On a more practical level I am teaching the iCub to solve two object manipulation problems: stacking and sorting
  three coloured cubes. I'm interested in applying and further developing cybernetics and neocybernetics work,
  in particular the research of cyberneticist W. Ross Ashby.
  As for the summer school, i'd love to have a go with the force control (torque sensors) as I think this is rather
  useful, and it would be great to play around with some computer vision techniques.
  Perhaps these two (+ something else?) could be integrated to solve a task that requires selection of different learned
  postures (specified by force control) in different environments (determined through computer vision); e.g., reaching
  towards a coloured object in three or four different positions?

  Email: christopher.larcombe <at>

Jesus Conesa

  CAR-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  Working on decision making intelligent systems applied to neutralize intrusion attacks in buildings like airports, or government infrastructures. 
  I'm interested on applying decision making intelligent systems for robots used in agriculture tasks
  Email: jconesa<at>

Mandana Hamidi

  Mandana hamidi.jpg
  I am working at TeleRobotic and Applications Department, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)
  I am working on advanced reasoning system in dynamic environment. 
  It's always been my dream to apply my new algorithm on iCub. 
  I have a background in artificial intelligence 
  Email: mandana.hamidi<at>

Fouzhan Hosseini

  TeleRobotics and Applications Department, Italian Institute of Technology.
  My PhD topic is developing image processing and computer vision algorithms suitable for 
  low-power parallel architectures. 
  I have no experience working with iCub. 
  Email: fouzhan.hosseini <at>

Naveen Kuppuswamy

  During working hours, I pretend to study adaptive sensori-motor control on various kinds of bio-inspired 
  robots, at the Artificial Intelligence lab, University of Zurich. 
  In particular, I would like to study the interaction between adaptive control techniques, strategy generation 
  learning and adaptive models, the exploitation of which can lead to a useful and "simpler" control technique    
  for biologically inspired robots. This could thus lead to a bio-inspired approach to mutual adaptation of control 
  and model learning, enabling the control of highly compliant or large DoF robots. The tools I intend to use so 
  far are that of nonlinear control theory and dynamical systems modeling. I do not want to constraint myself just 
  to humanoids and my primary work so far has been in the context of the EU project [Octopus]
  in developing a control architecture for robotic octopus (not for footbal prediction I'm afraid), focussing on 
  exploiting body properties, and on developing a control and actuation technique for [fin based] locomotion. 
  I probably could explain better in a chat, so do ask me if your interested and you bump into me in the next few 
  Outside work interests include comic art, headbanging to heavy metal and hard rock, cooking, and pretending to be
  a musician. Folks with overlap of mutual interests are welcome to indulge in continous meaningless conversation 
  on these pressing topics \ṃ̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣/ \ṃ̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣̣/
  At VVV'10 in general Id be interested in working with the force control group, working on an unbelievably 
  interesting project tentatively (and poorly) named as "Hand"Some. Outside the Centro Congressi of course, 
  I'm always game to going out, getting drunk and swimming/hiking. Get in touch if interested in either! 

  Homepage :
  Email : naveenoid<at>,<at>

Cristiano Alessandro (ehy guys...the latter is my family name, forget about it ;)

  How does the Central Nervous System control the human body? Well, I do not know...but it is nice to do research on it! 
  At the Artificial Intelligence Lab of the University of Zurich I like to try out theories coming from neuroscience, using 
  anthropomimetic robots. In particular concerning the way the CNS copes with the massive amount of degrees of freedom that our body has.
  Can we reduce the number of dof based on the task that has to be performed? During the summer school then...let's try to couple the two arms
  during a manipulation task! 
  Homepage :
  Email : alessandro<at>

Kiril Kiryazov

 Kiril photo.jpg
 I am a PhD student in Skovde University in Sweden.
 I am working in the ROBOT-DOC project ( with affective robotics. 
 I had some experience with vision and control models in MIND-RACES project –(
 At the SS here I will be glad to try some emotional expressions with the robot. 
 I also could join some group about motor control and active vision.
     skype : cMexypko
     Email : kiryazov AT

Andre Luvizotto

  PhD student at (Barcelona). I'm working with bio-inpsired models for vision. 
  Email: luvizotto 'at'

Zenon Mathews

  4th year PhD student at SPECS lab, UPF, Barcelona
  Interests: Bio-inspired light weight robots (especially for autonomous navigation); 
  sensory data association and attentionally guided goal-oriented  behavior of robots; 
  email: zenon.mathews 'at'

Jason Leake

Jason leake.jpg

I am an MSc student at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. My dissertation, over the summer, is to evaluate a reactive action selection methodology/architecture called BOD on an iCub. My goal is to have the robot picking a ball up from a table. Action selection is only one part of the overall problem; vision and kinematics are others. You can see a bit more detail here.

Gauss Lee

Gauss Lee1.jpg

I am a PhD student studying in Cognitive and Integration Lab of University of Skövde, Sweden. My research interest is embodiment of emotional behaviours and autonomous robot.Meanwhile, I got involved in the EU-funded project, RobotDOC. I am also interested in adaptive controller design using dynamic system theory.I used to work on this in New Zealand as a research assistant:-) I am obsessed with robotics, making strides to be a real roboticist grounding "Matrix" in a robot!

Ugo Pattacini

  Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia 
  Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department

Damien Jade Duff

  Djd tn.jpg
 At the University of Birmingham. PhD thesis on understanding physical motion from vision (to improve tracking and motion estimation). 
 A background also in psychology.
 Am interested, however, in learning about motion, with a focus on development, re-use. 
 Also, frameworks that cross-over typical modular boundaries.
 One idea I might like to explore (but is rather vague, and I am not terribly attached to it), is re-using
 effective motor programs to make gestures to communicate intention (gestures can range from purely conventional,
 even language, to ones generated adhoc). This is a very small sub-part of general
 idea that humans do re-use a lot, for instance, in analogical thinking, 
 metaphor (e.g. "opening" and "closing" bank-accounts). 
 Alternatively, exploiting a motion program that does a gesture in order to recognize that same gesture - 
 this problem has the valuable element of existing across both motor and vision domains. i.e. Gesture
 recognition is widely approached but I'd like to exploit the representation already available in the motor
 Email me at DamienJadeDuff at gmail.

Juan G Victores

I'm working with assistive robots @ RoboticsLab @ Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
I'm interested in software, control and low-level stuff, so force/torque is a nice area for me!
Email: jcgvicto at gmail

Tomassino Ferrauto

  Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies - CNR (Rome) and University of Plymouth
  Main interests: evolutionary robotics, embodied cognition
  I'm a PhD student at the University of Plymouth, but I'm currently working in Rome. I'm in the ITALK
  project and within the project I'm working on language and action compositionality.
  Email: tomassino.ferrauto (at)

Vikram Narayan

  Vikram narayan.jpg
  Bielefeld University 
  Applied Informatics Group /CoR Lab
  Would want to work on Bottom up Saliency Maps during the summer school. 
  1st Year PhD student in the RobotDoc Marie Curie ITN
  Email: tnvikram(AT)gmail[DOT]com

Katrin Solveig Lohan

  Bielefeld University
  Applied Informatics Group
  Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics - CoR-Lab
  ITALK project

Arne Nordmann

  Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab), Bielefeld University
  Software Architecture and Development in the AMARSi-Project
  I am interested in the RobotCub Software Development, the iCub Controlling and the upcoming
  compliance features of the iCub. Status: Yarp N00b
  Part of the "Hand"Some gang

Matteo Fumagalli

  Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
  Italian Institute of Technology.
  Email: matteo.fumagalli <at>

Jiuguang Wang

  JW card.png

Robert Lowe

 Cognition & Interaction Lab.,
 University of Skovde, Sweden.
 Email: robert.lowe <at>
 My general research interest concerns the study of affective processes. 
 This includes: autonomous behaviour (including 'energy autonomy'), motivation and emotions, 
 their relation to cognition and their incorporation in robots. I am investigating embodiment 
 from the perspective of both sensorimotor and metabolic grounding of affective states. 
 I am also looking at models of sequence learning from a dynamic systems - reward prediction 
 learning perspective and with regard to infant and human benchmark tasks.

Joseph Salini

  Salini icub.jpg
  Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique, UPMC, Paris
  I'm working on task/posture coordination with optimization programs.
  Email: salini <at>

Stéphane Lallée

 GermanOpens small.jpg
 Stem Cell & Brain Research Institute, INSERM, Bron, France
 I am a PHD student working on human robot cooperation and from time to time on a neural network model of multi-modal fusion.
 I'm part of the CHRIS project (see the associated workgroup here in the summer school) and I'm working on action recognition.
 My blog 
 Email: stephane.lallee <at>

Stephen Hart

 Robotics, Brain, & Cognitive Sciences Department 
 Italian Institute of Technology. Genova, Italy
 I'm a Post-Doc working with the iCub at IIT.  I am interested in developmental robotics, intrinsically motivated and 
 cumulative learning, and long-term (robot) knowledge acquisition.  I am working on the eMorph project and 
 my webpage
 Email: stephen.hart <at>
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