I am a Senior Researcher at the Idiap Research Institute, with research interests covering robot learning and human-robot interaction. I am also a lecturer at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The collaborative projects I am or have been involved in include SWITCH, CODIMAN, COB'HOOK, LEARN-REAL, HEAP, COLLABORATE, 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, by the Swiss National Science Foundation, and by the Swiss Innovation Agency.

My work focuses on human-centered 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 the development of intuitive active learning interfaces to acquire meaningful demonstrations, the development of models that can exploit the structure and geometry of the acquired data in an efficient way, and 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 (e.g., assistive robots in I-DRESS), part of us (e.g., prosthetic hands in TACT-HAND), or far away from us (e.g., manipulation skills in deep water with DexROV).

Upcoming or recent invited talks

Oct 22, 2020
Jun 18, 2020
Naver Labs Europe, Grenoble, France.
Mar 4, 2020
Workshop on Human-Robot Collaboration & AI for industrial applications, European Robotics Forum (ERF), Malaga, Spain.
Nov 15, 2019
Feb 21, 2019
Jan 28, 2019
"Memory of Motion" Winter School, Idiap Research Institute, Switerland. Lectures on movement primitives.

Latest news and updates

Aug 18, 2020
An udpated list of projects for EPFL students (Bachelor and Master) is available here.
Dec 21, 2019
New PhD position in robot learning from demonstration open in the Robot Learning & Interaction Group at Idiap/EPFL.
Dec 07, 2019
New website for the Roboclette project: http://roboclette.ch.
Nov 01, 2019
Noémie Jaquier won the Best Presentation Award of the Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL'2019) for the paper "Bayesian Optimization Meets Riemannian Manifolds in Robot Learning". Congratulations Noémie!
Jan 17, 2019
I'm co-organizing a Minisymposium on Algebraic geometry for kinematics and dynamics in robotics with Noémie Jaquier at the SIAM Conference on Applied Algebraic Geometry 2019 in Bern, Switzerland, and a Workshop on Learning for Industry 4.0: Feasibility and Challenges at the IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2019), Montreal, Canada.