I am a permanent researcher at the Idiap Research Institute since May 2014, with research interests covering robot learning and human-robot interaction. I am also a lecturer at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and an external collaborator at the Department of Advanced Robotics (ADVR), Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). Collaborative projects I am or have been involved in include MEMMO, ROSALIS, DexROV, I-DRESS, TACT-HAND, PLATFORM-MMD, STIFF-FLOP, PANDORA, SMART-E, SAPHARI, AMARSI, ROBOT@CWE, FEELIX GROWING and COGNIRON, supported by the European Commission and by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

My work focuses on human-centric robotic applications in which the robots can learn new skills by interacting with the end-users. From a machine learning perspective, the challenge is to acquire skills from only few demonstrations and interactions, with strong generalization demands. It requires: 1) the development of intuitive active learning interfaces to acquire meaningful demonstrations; 2) the development of models that can exploit the structure and geometry of the acquired data in an efficient way; 3) the development of adaptive control techniques that can exploit the learned task variations and coordination patterns.

The developed models must serve several purposes (recognition, prediction, online synthesis), and be compatible with different learning strategies (imitation, emulation, incremental refinement or exploration). For the reproduction of skills, these models need to be enriched with force and impedance information to enable human-robot collaboration and to generate safe and natural movements.

These models and algorithms can be applied to a wide range of robotic applications, with robots that are either close to us (assistive robots in I-DRESS), parts of us (prosthetic hands in TACT-HAND), or far away from us (manipulation skills in deep water with DexROV).

Upcoming or recent invited talks

Oct 02, 2017
Delft Workshop on Robot Learning, TU Delft, The Netherlands.
Sep 28, 2017
Workshop on Synergies Between Learning and Interaction, IROS'2017, Vancouver, Canada.
Sep 24, 2017
Aug 31, 2017
Aug 26, 2017
Intl Conf. on Gesture and Speech in Interaction (INTERSPEECH'2017 satellite event), Poznań, Poland.
Jun 26, 2017
Jun 9, 2017
Gesture & Artificial Intelligence in Industry & Arts Think-Tank, Thessaloniki, Greece.
May 23, 2017
Numerical Analysis Seminar, Mathematics Dept, University of Geneva.

Latest news and updates

Sep 26, 2017
1 Postdoc position in robot learning and adaptive control is open at Idiap/EPFL (Switzerland), within the new ICT-H2020 MEMMO (Memory of Motion) project.
Sep 26, 2017
1 PhD position in robot learning and adaptive control is open at Idiap/EPFL (Switzerland), within the new ICT-H2020 MEMMO (Memory of Motion) project.
Jul 28, 2017
3 PhD positions in perception, robot skill learning and HRI are open at Idiap/EPFL (Switzerland), within the new SNSF ROSALIS project.
Jul 03, 2017
Jul 03, 2017
I'm a new member of the Editorial Board of IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO).
Jul 03, 2017
4 papers accepted at IROS'2017 added to the publications section.
Apr 16, 2017
Our Workshop proposal at IROS'2017 on Micro-Data: the new frontier of robot learning? has been accepted.
Apr 16, 2017