Giulio Sandini

Giulio Sandini
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia | IIT · Department of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences

About

548
Publications
82,663
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15,344
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Introduction
Director of Research at the Italian Institute of Technology and full professor of bioengineering at the University of Genoa. Main research activities are in the fields of computational and cognitive neuroscience and robotics with the objective of understanding the neural mechanisms of human sensory-motor coordination and cognitive development. Bioengineering in Genoa, assistant professor at Scuola Normale in Pisa, visiting scientist Harvard Medical School and Artificial Intelligence Lab of MIT.
Additional affiliations
July 2006 - present
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Position
  • Research Director

Publications

Publications (548)
Article
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This special issue includes state-of-the-art research on emerging topics on development and learning in natural and artificial systems. In addition to new submissions, the special issue includes extensions of the paper awarded the Best Paper Award at ICDL-EpiRob 2020—the 10th Joint IEEE Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics...
Chapter
The current state of the art in cognitive robotics, covering the challenges of building AI-powered intelligent robots inspired by natural cognitive systems. A novel approach to building AI-powered intelligent robots takes inspiration from the way natural cognitive systems—in humans, animals, and biological systems—develop intelligence by exploiting...
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In daily life situations touch and movement cannot be disentangled. Furthermore, the relation between object manipulation as well as performance in haptic tasks and spatial ability is still little understood. In this study, we used iCube, a sensorized cube recording its orientation in space as well as the location of the points of contact on its fa...
Conference Paper
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Social engineering is rising more and more concerns due to its ability to bypass traditional cyber security defense systems. In the last four years, we studied how to develop an intelligent system able to prevent humans' compliance with social engineering threats, based on the real-time assessment of humans' physiological reactions. Moreover, we ex...
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When moving through space, we encode multiple sensory cues that guide our orientation through the environment. The integration between visual and self-motion cues is known to improve navigation. However, spatial navigation may also benefit from multisensory external signals. The present study aimed to investigate whether humans combine auditory and...
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Working memory is a cognitive system devoted to storage and retrieval processing of information. Numerous studies on the development of working memory have investigated the processing of visuo-spatial and verbal non-spatialized information; however, little is known regarding the refinement of acoustic spatial and memory abilities across development...
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Robots destined to tasks like teaching or caregiving have to build a long-lasting social rapport with their human partners. This requires, from the robot side, to be capable of assessing whether the partner is trustworthy. To this aim a robot should be able to assess whether someone is lying or not, while preserving the pleasantness of the social i...
Conference Paper
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To orient and move efficiently in the environment, we need to rely on multiple external and internal cues. Previous studies reported the combined use of spatialized auditory cues and self-motion information in spatial navigation and orientation. In this study, we investigated the feasibility of a setup composed of a motion platform and an acoustic...
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Background In this work, we present a novel sensory substitution system that enables to learn three dimensional digital information via touch when vision is unavailable. The system is based on a mouse-shaped device, designed to jointly perceive, with one finger only, local tactile height and inclination cues of arbitrary scalar fields. The device h...
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Background: In recent years, many studies focused on the use of robotic devices for both the assessment and the neuro-motor reeducation of upper limb in subjects after stroke, spinal cord injuries or affected by neurological disorders. Contrarily, it is still hard to find examples of robot-aided assessment and rehabilitation after traumatic injuri...
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Several studies have shown that impairments in a sensory modality can induce perceptual deficits in tasks involving the remaining senses. For example, people with retinal degenerative diseases like Macular Degeneration (MD) and with central scotoma show biased auditory localization abilities towards the visual field's scotoma area. This result indi...
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Trust is essential in human-robot interactions, and in times where machines are yet to be fully reliable, it is important to study how robotic hardware faults can affect the human counterpart. This experiment builds on a previous research that studied trust changes in a game-like scenario with the humanoid robot iCub. Several robot hardware failure...
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The investigation of emerging adults' expectations of development of the next generation of robots is a fundamental challenge to narrow the gap between expectations and real technological advances, which can potentially impact the effectiveness of future interactions between humans and robots. Furthermore, the literature highlights the important ro...
Preprint
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In this chapter we describe the history and evolution of the iCub humanoid platform. We start by describing the first version as it was designed during the RobotCub EU project and illustrate how it evolved to become the platform that is adopted by more than 30 laboratories world wide. We complete the chapter by illustrating some of the research act...
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In the past years, the field of collaborative robots has been developing fast, with applications ranging from health care to search and rescue, construction, entertainment, sports, and many others. However, current social robotics is still far from the general abilities we expect in a robot collaborator. This limitation is more evident when robots...
Preprint
The ability to recognize human partners is an important social skill to build personalized and long-term human-robot interactions, especially in scenarios like education, care-giving, and rehabilitation. Faces and voices constitute two important sources of information to enable artificial systems to reliably recognize individuals. Deep learning net...
Conference Paper
Games are often used to foster human partners’ engagement and natural behavior, even when they are played with or against robots. Therefore, beyond their entertainment value, games represent ideal interaction paradigms where to investigate natural human-robot interaction and to foster robots’ diffusion in the society. However, most of the state-of-...
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Proprioceptive training is a neurorehabilitation approach known to improve proprioceptive acuity and motor performance of a joint/limb system. Here, we examined if such learning transfers to the contralateral joints. Using a robotic exoskeleton, 15 healthy, right-handed adults (18–35 years) trained a visuomotor task that required making increasingl...
Chapter
This collection of works is a contribution to the current debates on the mind-body-problem. It discusses how mind and body make contact in sense-making processes from the point of view of enactive cognitive science and 4E approaches to cognition. It also offers a critical view on non-representational approaches to cognition. The book covers sociolo...
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Recognizing objects through touch is a complex task based on integrating information coming from multiple senses and motor commands guiding the exploratory motions. To gain insight into the development of exploratory strategies in children, in this study we addressed the question: how does exploration change when the stimulus becomes freely movable...
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In our everyday lives we regularly engage in complex, personalized, and adaptive interactions with our peers. To recreate the same kind of rich, human-like interactions, a social robot should be aware of our needs and affective states and continuously adapt its behavior to them. Our proposed solution is to have the robot learn how to select the beh...
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Abstract During interpersonal interactions, people perform actions with different forms of vitality, communicating their positive or negative attitude toward others. For example, a handshake can be “soft” or “vigorous”, a caress can be ‘kind’ or ‘rushed’. While previous studies have shown that the dorso-central insula is a key area for the processi...
Preprint
Understanding which features humans rely on -- in visually recognizing action similarity is a crucial step towards a clearer picture of human action perception from a learning and developmental perspective. In the present work, we investigate to which extent a computational model based on kinematics can determine action similarity and how its perfo...
Conference Paper
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Robotic failures are an inevitable occurrence. This study tries to shed light on how people perceived failures and how much they affect the interaction. Continuing the work on a previous reliable study, this research gathers information on how people perceive a failure in an online validation study. After the failures have been selected, they were...
Conference Paper
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In collaborative tasks, human partners and robots need to coordinate in shared environment. One of the fundamental prerequisites for effective collaborations is sharing an attentional focus on the same perceptual events. Joint attention has been widely studied through the investigation of its psychological, cognitive and social defining elements. A...
Conference Paper
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Vestibular perception is useful to maintain heading direction and successful spatial navigation. In this study, we present a novel equipment capable of delivering both rotational and translational movements, namely the RT-Chair. The system comprises two motors and it is controlled by the user via MATLAB. To validate the measurability of vestibular...
Preprint
In our everyday lives we are accustomed to partake in complex, personalized, adaptive interactions with our peers. For a social robot to be able to recreate this same kind of rich, human-like interaction, it should be aware of our needs and affective states and be capable of continuously adapting its behavior to them. One proposed solution to this...
Conference Paper
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Detecting lies in a real-world scenario is an important skill for a humanoid robot that aims to act as a teacher, a therapist, or a caregiver. In these contexts, it is essential to detect lies while preserving the pleasantness of the social interaction and the informality of the relation. This study investigates whether pupil dilation related to an...
Conference Paper
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For most people magicians seem to surpass human abilities, combining skills and deception to perform mesmerizing tricks. Robots performing magic tricks could similarly fascinate and engage the audience, potentially establishing a novel rapport with human partners. However, magician robots are usually done by Wizard of Oz. This study presents an aut...
Article
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Humans are excellent at perceiving different features of the actions performed by others. For instance, by viewing someone else manipulating an unknown object, one can infer its weight–an intrinsic feature otherwise not directly accessible through vision. How such perceptual skill develops during childhood remains unclear. To confront this gap, the...
Article
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In social interactions, human movement is a rich source of information for all those who take part in the collaboration. In fact, a variety of intuitive messages are communicated through motion and continuously inform the partners about the future unfolding of the actions. A similar exchange of implicit information could support movement coordinati...
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Blindness is an ideal condition to study the role of visual input on the development of spatial representation. Studies have shown how audio space representation reorganizes in blindness. However, how spatial reorganization works is still unclear. A limit of the study on blindness is that it is a “stable” system and it does not allow studying the m...
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Deception is a complex social skill present in human interactions. Many social professions such as teachers, therapists and law enforcement officers leverage on deception detection techniques to support their work activities. Robots with the ability to autonomously detect deception could provide an important aid to human-human and human-robot inter...
Conference Paper
The aim of this work is to present a novel robot-based method to assess the sources of a lack of functionality in patients with recent traumatic wrist injuries. Post-traumatic patients experience limited range of motion as well as strength and proprioceptive deficits. These dysfunctions are related to different complications that usually follow the...
Article
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When faced with a novel object, we explore it to understand its shape. This way we combine information coming from different senses, as touch, proprioception and vision, together with the motor information embedded in our motor execution plan. The exploration process provides a structure and constrains this rich flow of inputs, supporting the forma...
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It has been previously shown that the interaction between vision and audition involves early sensory cortices. However, the functional role of these interactions and their modulation due to sensory impairment is not yet understood. To shed light on the impact of vision on auditory spatial processing, we recorded ERPs and collected psychophysical re...
Chapter
In this work we describe a novel method to enable robots to adapt their action timing to the concurrent actions of a human partner in a repetitive joint task. We propose to exploit purely motion-based information to detect view-invariant dynamic instants of observed actions, i.e. moments in which the action dynamic is subject to a severe change. We...
Conference Paper
The style of an action, i.e. the way it is performed, has a strong influence on interaction between humans. The same gesture has different consequences when it is performed aggressively or kindly, and humans are very sensitive to these subtle differences in others' behaviors. In this work we investigated how to endow a humanoid robot with behaviors...
Conference Paper
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Lie detection is a necessary skill for a variety of social professions, including teachers, reporters, therapists, and law enforcement officers. Autonomous system and robots should acquire such skill to support professionals in numerous working contexts. Inspired by literature on human-human interaction, this work investigates whether the behaviora...
Article
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Robots such as information security and overtrust in them are gaining increasing relevance. This research aims at giving an insight into how trust toward robots could be exploited for the purpose of social engineering. Drawing on Mitnick's model, a well-known social engineering framework, an interactive scenario with the humanoid robot iCub was des...
Article
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The next generation of robot companions or robot working partners will need to satisfy social requirements somehow similar to the famous laws of robotics envisaged by Isaac Asimov time ago (Asimov, 1942). The necessary technology has almost reached the required level, including sensors and actuators, but the cognitive organization is still in its i...
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In conjunction with what is often called the industry 4.0, the new machine age, or the rise of the robots, the authors of this paper have each experienced the following phenomenon. At public events and roundtable discussions, among our circles of friends, or during interviews with the media, we are asked on a surprisingly regular basis: "How must h...
Conference Paper
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Robots involved in HRI should be able to adapt to their partners by learning to select autonomously the behaviors that maximize the pleasantness of the interaction for them. To this aim, affect could play two important roles: serve as perceptual input to infer the emotional status and reactions of the human partner; and act as internal motivation s...