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VVV11 Participants

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This is a placeholder for a list of participants at the VVV11 summer school. It usually gets filled up at the first day of school, and is strictly voluntary. We're expecting 40-something people this year. Feel free of course to add yourself before arrival at the school. For inspiration, see VVV10/VVV09/VVV08/VVV07/VVV06).

 For editing, you can ask for your own username/password (email to get an account) or use the username "vvv11" and password
 "s*str*" with the first star replaced with "e" and the last star
 replaced with "i".

There are sometimes edits lost with many people editing the same wiki page at once with the same username. Suggestion: add an empty section for yourself first, like this:

 == Your Name ==

Then save, and click the link to edit that specific section.

If you would like to, include in your profile a list of possible ideas for collaboration.


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

Lorenzo Natale

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

Francesco Nori

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

Ugo Pattacini

  Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia 
  Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department

Serena Ivaldi

  Institut des Systemes Intelligents et de Robotique
  Universite' Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris
  Email: serena.ivaldi <at>
  webpage - working in the MACSi group

Marco Randazzo

  Randaz timone small.jpg
  Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia 
  Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department
  Email: marco.randazzo <at>

Francesca Stramandinoli

  I work at the University of Plymouth as a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher
  in the European project RobotDoC that is an Initial Training Network on 
  developmental robotics. My research topic is about the grounding of language 
  in humanoid robots, with particular attention to abstract words.
  Francesca Stramandinoli, MSc   
  Centre of Robotics and Neural Systems 
  School of Computing and Mathematics 
  University of Plymouth, UK 
  Email: francesca.stramandinoli <at>

Mike Ciaraldi

  I am a Professor of Practice in the Computer Science Department of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in
  Worcester, MA USA. I am part of the inter-disciplinary team which created the WPI Robotics Engineering (RBE) program, 
  the first in the US to offer a four-year degree in RBE.
  Some of my projects:
  -- Moonraker: Winner of the NASA Centennial Challenge Lunar Regolith Excavation contest, 2009.
  -- Prometheus: Rookie of the Year, Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, 2010.
  -- Oryx: Winner, NASA RASC-AL sample return competition, 2011.
  Some of my interests:
  -- Human-robot interaction
  -- Remote control over long distances (e.g. Earth-Moon)
  -- Autonomous and semi-autonomous behavior
  I have connections with some of the other participants and the venue:
  -- I met Paul when he visited WPI earlier in 2011, which is when he told me about this summer school.
  -- I met Serena in the waiting room at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. We took the plane together to Genoa and shared a taxi to the train station.
  -- I have not met Francesca yet, but I presented a paper at the International Network Conference in 2004, which was held at the University of Plymouth.
  -- In 1972 I took the Settebello high speed train from Rome to Pisa, then the regular train on to Nice, so I must have passed though Sestri Levante. 
  -- My grandfather emigrated to the US in 1915 from Pontecorvo, about halfway between Rome and Naples.
  Mike Ciaraldi
  WPI Computer Science
  100 Institute Road
  Worcester, MA 01609 USA
  Email: ciaraldi <at>

Jose Nunez-Varela

  Jose nunez.jpg
  I am a third year Ph.D. student at the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham (I am from Mexico!). 
  Last year I started working with the iCub simulator. My research is about the coordination of gaze and actions, so that
  the robot can make decisions about where to look and what to do next. I am really looking forward to finally work with 
  the real robot, and hopefully I might be able to test what I have done so far with the robot. More information about my 
  research can be found here: [1].
  Jose I. Nunez-Varela
  Intelligent Robotics Lab, School of Computer Science
  University of Birmingham, UK
  Email: j.i.nunez <at>

Stéphane Lallée

 INSERM Stem Cell & Brain Research Institute (SBRI)
 Robot Cognition Laboratory
 I am a PHD (writing phase now) student in Human Robot Interaction who worked mainly with iCub and Nao. 
 My main PHD topic is behavior learning & execution through spoken interaction with a human partner.
 My main interest is neural network modelling & multimodal integration.
 You can contact me at stephane.lallee <at>
 Here is a pseudo-website, old and not updated Web Page

Nick Wilkinson

 Dept. of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova
 I'm a PhD student, working on social interaction from a dynamical systems perspective on the iCub. 
 My main topic at the moment is the role of eye contact in establishing and maintaining engagement.
 email: nicholas.wilkinson <at>

Nuno Moutinho

 Instituto de Sistemas e Robótica, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa  
 I am a PhD student working in egomotion estimation and i've been using Chica (iCub's pretty wife) to test 
 my revolutionary ideas.
 My main topic at this moment is called Expected Perception, where I use previous visual information from the 
 cameras and recent information from the inertial sensor and joint motors to predict new visual 
 information. This allows me to detect what changed from one time step to the other (unexpected events).
 email: nmoutinho <at>

Maxime Petit

 INSERM Stem Cell & Brain Research Institute (SBRI)
 Robot Cognition Laboratory - from the INSERM (National Institute of  Sciences and Medical Research...yeah lots of biologists in the lab)
 I am a PHD (first year) student in Human Robot Interaction. I am  using the iCub and the Nao platform (for Robocup@Home competition) : 
 let's go Pedro Cabeza Caliente, let's go Radical Dudes!
 My main focus is about learning by interaction with human,  especially through oral interaction. I am also interested in the  reasoning and planning part. 
 I am funded by the Experimental and Functional Android Assistant  (EFAA) european project, so for this summer school, the plan is to  build a 
 demonstrator, basically a DJ Jam session, involving the iCub  and a human. Let's dance \o/ My mail is maxpetit <at>

Uriel Martinez-Hernandez

  Hello! I am a first year PhD student in Automatic Control at the University of Sheffield, UK, also I am part of the
  Psychology department as part of the EFAA project. My research is about active touch sensing and object recognition, at the moment
  I have just worked with the iCub simulator and is fantastic! now I want to try with the real iCub as well as combining vision and
  touch sensing.
  Uriel Martinez-Hernandez
  Automatic Control and Systems Engineering department (sometimes in Psychology department)
  University of Sheffield, UK,

Gauss Lee

 Gauss Lee1.jpg

A funny PhD student in Cognition and Interaction Lab of University of Skövde. My research interest is about locomotion modelling and emotion behaviors. I am planning to start with infant behaviors firstly (crawlers, toddlers...). IS THE ROBOT ABLE TO BE EMOTIONALLY MAD? The answer is "positive". :-)


Patrick Holthaus

   I am a PhD student and member of the Applied Informatics
   group and CRC 673 Alignment in Communication at Bielefeld University,
   Germany. My current research interest is focussed to Human Robot Interaction and
   particularly social communication signs in the spatial dimension.
   Please feel free to contact me at patrick.holthaus <at> or
   via my homepage.

Anna-Lisa Vollmer

   I am working at the Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics
   in the Applied Informatics Group at Bielefeld University in Germany
   and I am almost finished with my PhD.
   I am interested in analyzing and measuring adult-child and human-robot interaction.

Nikolas Hemion

   I am a PhD student at the Cognition and Robotics Lab, Bielefeld University, 
   Germany, and I am interested in dynamic systems approaches to cognitive 
   modeling. My current research is concerned with the learning of sensorimotor 
   mappings and "self-detection".

Andrea Del Prete

 Dept. of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova
 I'm a second year PhD student, whose work revolves around the tactile sensor system of iCub. 
 During the summer school I plan to work on force control, using tactile information to localize the contact points on the robot body.
 email: andrea.delprete <at>

Andrea Tacchetti

 Center for Biological and Computational Learning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
 I am a Master student at the University of Genova and I am currently a visiting student 
 (a rather long visit...) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
 My current research is on computer vision and machine learning. 
 In particular I am interested in understanding how we learn invariance and in learning predictive functions from huge datasets.
 All the above occupies my spare time, when I am not busy rowing or cycling.
 email: atacchet <at> mit <dot> edu

Aurelien Ibanez

 Institut des Systemes Intelligents et de Robotique
 I am an internship fellow, focusing of activity planning and aiming at a reactive, previewed, multi-objective control architecture.
 email: ibanez.aurelien <at>

Dalia De Santis

I graduated in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano and I am currently working at the
Italian Insitute of Technology (website: as an internship fellow. I am part 
of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences Laboratory (RBCS) in the field of cognitive robotics 
and I am joining the FP7 DARWIN project (Dexterous Assembler Robot Working with embodied Intelligence,
website: My research is focused on action generation, learning 
and reasoning using the iCub robotic platform.
Email: dalia.desantis<at>

Duarte Aragão

 VisLab - Computer Vision Lab of the Instituto de Sistemas e Robótica (
 I have finished my master studies in computer engineering a few weeks ago.
 My thesis focused on developing novel ways to interact with the iCub using the Wii remote control 
 and xBox360 Kinect sensor.
 Some of the results of the work can be seen in this small video.
 I am interested in developing more Human-Robot interaction projects and hope to be able to learn
 how to develop good yarp devices during the summer school.
 email: daragao <at>

Miguel Sarabia

 BioART Lab, EEE, Imperial College London
 I am a first year PhD student working on lifelong* Human Robot Interaction.
 I'd like to model user abilities using HAMMER (Hierarchical Attentive Multiple
 Models for Execution and Recognition) and use this information to deliver
 richer interactions. I've been known to work with Naos but now I'm porting my
 work to the iCub.
 NB: In this context "lifelong" = >15 min :-)

Alain Droniou

 I'm currently an internship fellow at the Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique (Paris).
 I'm working on action/affordance learning and classification, in the MACSi project.
 Email : alain _dot_ droniou _at_ gmail _dot_ com

Ingo Keller

 I working as a software architect at the Media Design Center of the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. 
 Currently I am looking for a PhD position to carry on my work on automatically created ontologies that are based on environment features. 
 As a part of my master thesis I developed such a tool (Palamedes) for the visualization of games from the General Game Playing area. 
 Since the game environment is quite restricted the next logical step is to apply the idea to a more complex area that I hope to find in the field of robotics.
 Ongoing side project: 
   - Assembling one of these RepRap - 3D Printer for Rapid Prototyping to print my own iCub ;-)
 email: ingo.keller<at>

Ashwini Shukla

  Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory (LASA)
  Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)
I am a second year PhD student working on dynamical systems and learning grasping motions under the Programming by
Demonstration framework. Since my work involves reaching at specific points on objects, I would like to work on 
cartesian control of the fingertips. This may also involve estimating finger DH parameters which are not as yet officially   
available in the repository (if they are, please let me know :) ).

email: ashwini.shukla(at)

Andre Luvizotto

I'm a PhD student at SPECS lab in University Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona). In my PhD I've been investigating biologically plausible models for object recognition. email: luvizotto 'at' gmail.

Alex Escuredo

I am electronics and mechatronics engineer working in the area of robotics in 'Specs' Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. alexescuredo(at)

Marti Sanchez-Fibla

Imagen 001.jpg
I'm a postdoc @ SPECS at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona. 
My background is on Artifical Intelligence, Optimization, Learning and recently I'm working
on an EU project about extending the concept of SensoriMotor Contingencies, take a look:
I'm planning to extend some robot experiments that i did with mobile robots to the iCub,
learning object affordances through taping object trials. For another eu project EFAA ( we are planning then to use these learned internal representations to make the iCub DJ and
play music with reactable.
you can reache me at :

Dev Chandan Behera

I am a Research Engineer at Institute of High Performance Computing, A*STAR, Singapore. I graduated with B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from National University of Singapore. I am working under a project to improve Human-Robot Interaction on Social scale. Currently I am focusing on mobile robot to study navigation patterns and use them to predict a social behavior. email:

Seungsu Kim

  I'm a Phd Student of LASA (Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory), EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne).
  I'm studying about how to teach a robot to catch a moving object in the air. 
  You can reach me through : _at_

Rizki Mardian


  Indonesian student who is currently studying in Dept. of Micro-Nano Systems Eng., Nagoya University, Japan for Master Program. I am interested on social robot, distributed robotics, etc. For my thesis project I am working on Molecular Robotics by DNA Computing.
  In my free time, I love to do photography and play some music instruments.
  You can find me on mrdn dot rizki at gmail dot com or on facebook as well

Rujiao Yan


I'm a Phd Student of CoR-Lab(Cognition and Robotics Lab), Bielefeld University in Germany. I am interested in audiovisual scene analysis with focus on dialog. If a robot talks with multiple people, the robot should learn to know the position and number of the people, who is the current speaker, and so on. Email: ryan <at>

Kiril Kiryazov

Kiril skovde.jpg

I am a PhD student in ROBOT-DOC project ( together with Francesca, Gauss and Nick.

My interests are in affective mechanisms and their application in autonomous robotics.

Skype = cMexypko; mail = kiryazov at gmail dot com

Katrin Solveig Lohan

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

Fabien Benureau

PhD student in Flowers team, INRIA Bordeaux. Focuses on intrinsic motivation in learning. Member of MACSi.

Natalia Lyubova

PhD student at ENSTA ParisTech,
Member of MACSi project. 
The research topic is the perception for humanoid robots.

Agostino Gibaldi

  I' am a PostDoc at the University of Genova, in PSPC Lab ( My research topics are neural models for depth perception and vergence eye movements, and how they can be learned from sensory representation.

mail = agostino dot gibaldi at unige dot it

Hagen Lehmann

Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire
Research Interests: HRI, Social Cognition

Umar Shoaib

I am a PhD Student at Politecnico di Torino.My Research Interests include the Software Engineering applied to HMI,Humanoid Robotics and Robotic Interfaces,Study of Humanoid Robotics for enhancing accessibility. I am also working on ATLAS for Text to Italian Sign Language conversion . Currently our main focus is to generate signs on the weather forecast. you can contact me on (

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