Dr Sylvain Calinon,
Idiap Research Institute,
Centre du Parc, Rue Marconi 19,
CH-1920 Martigny, Switzerland

+41 27 721 77 61
sylvain.calinonidiap.ch

Born in 1980 at Yverdon, Switzerland.
Marital status: Single.   Citizenships: Swiss and French.

Short bio

I am a Senior Research Scientist at the Idiap Research Institute, with research interests covering robot learning, human-robot collaboration, optimal control and model-based optimization. I am also a Lecturer at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

From 2009 to 2014, I was a Team Leader at the Department of Advanced Robotics, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). From 2007 to 2009, I was a Postdoc at the Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory, EPFL. I hold a PhD from EPFL (2007), awarded by the Robotdalen Scientific Award, ABB Award and EPFL-Press Distinction. Other recognitions include Best Paper Award in the journal of Intelligent Service Robotics (ISR, 2017), Best Paper Award at IEEE Ro-Man'2007, Best Poster Award at ICRA'2021 Workshop, Best Presentation Award at CoRL'2019, and Best Paper Award Finalist at IEEE-RAS Humanoids'2009, IEEE/RSJ IROS'2013, ICIRA'2015 and IEEE ICRA'2016. I served as Associate Editor in IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO) and IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), and I currently serve as TC Chair on Model-based optimization for robotics for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS).

The collaborative projects I am or have been involved in include SMART-DISPENSING, INTELLIMAN, SESTOSENSO, SWITCH, CODIMAN, COB'HOOK, LEARN-REAL, HEAP, NATAI, 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, by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, and by the Swiss Innovation Agency.

You can download my research statement as a PDF file.


Research Experience

Jan 2018-curr.
Senior Research Scientist
2014-2017
Research Scientist
2014-2018
External Collaborator
2007-2009
Postdoctoral Researcher
Sep 2003
Visiting Researcher
Humanoid Robotics and Computational Neuroscience department (HRCN) (Prof. Gordon Cheng), Advanced Telecommunication Research Institute (ATR), Kyoto, Japan.

Education

2003-2007
PhD Robotics
Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. Thesis: 'Continuous Extraction of Task Constraints in a Robot Programming by Demonstration Framework'
Advisor:
Prof. Aude Billard, EPFL, Switzerland.
Committee:
Prof. Hannes Bleuler, EPFL, Switzerland,
Prof. Hervé Bourlard, Director of Idiap Research Institute, Switzerland,
Dr Yiannis Demiris, Imperial College London (ICL), UK,
Prof. Stefan Schaal, University of Southern California (USC), USA.
Awards:
Robotdalen Scientific Award,   ABB Award,   EPFL-Press distinction.
Defense:
May 1st, 2007. Public presentation: July 6th, 2007.
2001-2003
MSc Microeng.
Autonomous Systems Laboratory (ASL), EPFL, Switzerland. Thesis: 'PDA Interface for Humanoid Robots using Speech and Vision Processing'
Advisor:
Prof. Aude Billard, EPFL, Switzerland.
Committee:
Defense:
March 1st, 2003.
1998-2001
BSc Microeng.
EPFL, Switzerland.

Awards

Personal prizes

2013
Excellence in Reviewing, Robotics and Autonomous Systems (Elsevier).
  In recognition of an outstanding contribution to the quality of the journal
2008
Robotdalen Scientific Award for Best 2007 PhD Thesis.
  The jury was impressed by the practical and economic importance of the problem, the systematic analysis and innovative layered approach of its implementation, the completeness of the solution, and the open release of source code, demonstrating confidence in the solution independence from specifics of any particular robot hardware or manipulation task.
2008
ABB Award for Best 2007 PhD Thesis.
  For the thorough and exemplary work in his Ph.D. thesis and important scientific contributions resolving two major issues in robot programming by demonstration.
2008
EPFL-Press distinction for Best 2007 PhD Thesis.

Group prizes

2023
Winner of the NeurIPS 2023 Robot Air Hockey Challenge (AiRLIHockey Team, with Julius Jankowski and Ante Marić).
2022
12 Stars of Europe Award by the French Research Minister for the H2020 MEMMO European project coordinated by LAAS.
2022
IEEE RAS TC Award, IEEE RAS Most Active Technical Committee Award with Adrien Escande, Yue Hu, and Patrick Wensing.
2009
PROSE Awards as co-author of a chapter in the Handbook of Robotics (Springer) distinguished by two PROSE Awards.
2008
First prize in the Grand Challenge on Human-Robot Interaction at the IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2008), LASA-EPFL Team.

Prizes awarded to my students

2023
Best Paper Award, Tobias Löw, Idiap Award.
2022
Student Award, Teguh Lembono, Idiap Award.
2021
Best Paper Award, Suhan Shetty, Idiap Award.
2019
Student Award, Noémie Jaquier, Idiap Award.

Bibliometry

h-index: 56,   13'000+ citations*.

The complete list of my publications can be found in the publications section.

Publications highlights

* Source: Google Scholar, 2024.

Invited Talks

Jul 2024
May 2024
ProxyTouch: Whole-body Proxy-Tactile Architectures for Industrial and Service Applications Workshop, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2024), Yokohama, Japan.
May 2024
Kinematic Aspects of Robotics Workshop, Radon Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics (RICAM), Linz, Austria.
Apr 2024
AI Valais/Wallis Workshop on Human-AI Teaming, Swiss Digital Center, Sierre, Switzerland.
Apr 2024
Seminar at Department of Mechanical Engineering, IISc, Bangalore, India.
Apr 2024
Workshop on Emerging Technologies and challenges for Exoskeleton, Bangalore, India.
Feb 2024
Seminar at the Institute for Cognitive Systems, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany.
Feb 2024
Online lecture on Industrial Robotics and Cobotics, course on Cognitive Ergonomics and Neuroergonomics in HRI, IIT Gandhinagar.



Dec 2023
Swiss Digital Conference, Sierre, Switzerland.
Nov 2023
Colloquium at the Department of Mathematics, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
Nov 2023
Workshop on AI for Robotics, Naver Labs Europe, Grenoble, France.
Nov 2023
3-minute pitch at TEDx Martigny, Switzerland.
Oct 2023
ReconCycle Summer School, Mallorca, Spain.
Oct 2023
6th Workshop on Ergonomic Physical Human-Robot Collaboration: Harnessing Advancements in Robot Learning, IEEE/RSJ Intl Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'2023), Detroit, USA.
Aug 2023
AI Olympics With RealAIGym: Is AI Ready for Athletic Intelligence in the Real World? workshop and competition, 32nd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), 2023, Macao.
Jul 2023
Mechanical and Mechatronics Department Research Seminar, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Jul 2023
AI for Good Global Summit, United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.
Jul 2023
Workshop on Accelerating sustainable manufacturing with AI, United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.
Jul 2023
Geriatronics Summit, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Jun 2023
Nov 2022
Seminar at the University of Bologna, Italy.
Nov 2022
Invited pitch at Prix Suisse 2022 organized by Initiative Switzerland, Bern.
Nov 2022
Invited presentation for Talking Robotics. Link to the recorded talk.
Jun 2022
Seminar series, Department of Computer Science, University of Innsbruck, Austria.
Jun 2022
First International Symposium on Geriatronics, Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence, TUM.
Jan 2022
Dec 2021
Workshop on Design, Learning, and Control for Safe Human-Robot Collaboration, ICAR'2021, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Sep 2021
Workshop on Variable Impedance Robotics skills: Challenges and Opportunities, IROS'2021, Prague, Czech Republic.
Sep 2021
Workshop on Object Recognition and Manipulation, Intl Conf. on Computer Vision Systems (ICVS).
Sep 2021
May 2021
Robotics Seminar, University of Leeds, UK
May 2021
Apr 2021
Robotics Colloquium, University of Washington, USA.
Oct 2020
Jun 2020
Naver Labs Europe, Grenoble, France.
Mar 2020
Workshop on Human-Robot Collaboration & AI for industrial applications, European Robotics Forum (ERF), Malaga, Spain.
Nov 2019
Feb 2019
Nov 2018
The Cyborg Days, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Nov 2018
SolvAxis ProConcept UserDay, Bern, Switzerland.
Oct 2018
Workshop on Variable Impedance Robot Skills: Control & Learning, IROS'2018, Madrid, Spain.
Aug 2018
Idiap Innovation Day, Martigny, Switzerland.
Jul 2018
Jun 2018
Workshop on Learning Applications for Intelligent Autonomous Robots, 15th Intl Conf. on Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS), Baden Baden, Germany.
Jun 2018
Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon.
May 2018
Workshop on Robots in Human Environments, Gipsa Lab, INP Grenoble & Univ. Grenoble-Alpes, France.
Feb 2018
CERN, Geneva, Switzerland.
Oct 2017
Delft Workshop on Robot Learning, TU Delft, The Netherlands.
Sep 2017
Workshop on Synergies Between Learning and Interaction, IEEE/RSJ IROS'2017, Vancouver, Canada.
Sep 2017
Workshop on Human in-the-loop robotic manipulation: on the influence of the human role, IEEE/RSJ IROS'2017, Vancouver, Canada.
Aug 2017
Aug 2017
Intl Conf. on Gesture and Speech in Interaction (INTERSPEECH'2017 satellite event), Poznań, Poland.
Jun 2017
Jun 2017
May 2017
Numerical Analysis Seminar, Mathematics Dept, University of Geneva.
Dec 2016
Neurorobotics Workshop, 30th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS'2016), Barcelona, Spain.
Nov 2016
"AI and Robotics: from technology to the arts" seminar, Mines-ParisTech, France.
Jun 2016
Curzon-Goldsmiths Cinema, Goldsmiths University of London, UK.
Feb 2016
Conference Cerveau & Robot, Sion, Switzerland.
Aug 2015
May 2015
Agile and Dexterous Robotics Lab, ETHZ, Zurich, Switzerland.
Feb 2015
Robotics and Computer Vision Group, ENSTA-ParisTech, France.
Jan 2015
GIPSA-lab, CNRS/University of Grenoble, France.
Nov 2014
PI Symposium (Posthuman and Digital Art), Monthey, Switzerland.
Oct 2014
Nipconf'2014, SwissTech Convention Center, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Sep 2014
Workshop on Compliant Manipulation: Challenges in Learning and Control, Intl Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'2014), Chicago, USA.
Mar 2014
DIBRIS, University of Genova, Italy.
Mar 2014
LIRMM HRP-4 Inaugural Workshop, Montpellier, France.
Jan 2014
RoSEC Winter School, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
Nov 2013
Idiap Research Institute, Martigny, Switzerland.
Oct 2013
Aug 2013
Biorobotics Lab, TU Delft, Netherlands.
Jun 2013
Workshop on Robot Learning, ICML'2013, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Apr 2013
Workshop on haptic collaboration in shared control tasks, IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC’2013), Daejeon, Korea.
Mar 2013
Workshop on Collaborative Robotics in Industry, European Robotics Forum (ERF’2013), Lyon, France.
Jan 2013
RoSEC Winter School, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
Jun 2012
Jan 2012
Jan 2012
RoSEC Winter School, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
Dec 2011
Oct 2011
Computational Learning and Motor Control Lab, University of Southern California (USC), USA.
Jul 2010
Campus Party, Science and Arts City Museum, Valencia, Spain.
(Technology festival since 1997 with renowned invited speakers such as Stephen Hawking, Al Gore, Neil Amstrong, Steve Wozniak, Vint Cerf or Tim Berners-Lee)
Oct 2009
Automatic Control Dept, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain.
2008
HONDA Research Institute Europe, Offenbach, Germany.
2008
Nakamura Laboratory, University of Tokyo, Japan.
2008
Workshop on Grasp and Task Learning by Imitation, IEEE/RSJ IROS)'2008, Nice, France.
2008
Workshop on Interactive Robot Learning, Robotics: Science and Systems (R:SS), Zurich, Switzerland.
2008
2008
2008
Swedish robotics initiative Robotdalen annual event, Volvo Group, Eskilstuna, Sweden.
2007
Workshop on Concept Learning for Embodied Agents, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Roma, Italia.
2006

Workshop on Collaborative Human-Robot Teamwork, IEEE ICRA'2006, Orlando, Florida, USA.


Public outreach and robot demonstrations

2023
Demonstrations of drozBot, the portraitist robot at TEDx Martigny, Switzerland.
2023
Demonstrations of drozBot, the portraitist robot at the AI for Good Global Summit, United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.
2022-2023
2022
Demonstrations of drozBot, the portraitist robot at the Prix Suisse 2022 organized by Initiative Switzerland in Bern.
2021
Demonstrations of FondueBot at the Embassy of Switzerland in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2020
Demonstrations of Roboclette at CES, Las Vegas, NV, USA.
2019
Demonstrations of Roboclette at Foire du Valais, Martigny, Switzerland.
2016
Demonstrations of learning by interaction applications with the Baxter robot, Conference Cerveau & Robot, Sion, Switzerland.
2014
Demonstrations of learning by interaction applications with the Baxter robot, TEDx Martigny.
2010
Futura Campus Party, demonstrations of a chief cook learning robot at the Science & Arts City Museum, Valencia, Spain.
2009
Futura Campus Party, demonstrations of a chief cook learning robot at the Corferias International Exhibition Center, Bogota, Columbia.
2008
Google Zeitgeist Partner Forum, Mountain View, CA, USA, demonstrations of a portraitist humanoid robot.

Projects and Grants

Project Coordinator
2019-2023
LEARN-REAL (Learning Physical Manipulation Skills with Simulators using Realistic Variations)
(CHIST-ERA Collaborative Project, Swiss NSF)
Project Leader for Idiap
2024-2026
KREATIV (Installation at Phänomena: The roles of AI and robotics for creative and artistic applications in both digital and physical worlds)
(Agora grant, Swiss NSF)
2023-2026
SMART-DISPENSING (Programming of a complex deposit task through learning from demonstration)
(Innosuisse)
2022-2026
INTELLIMAN (AI-Powered Manipulation System for Advanced Robotic Service, Manufacturing and Prosthetics)
(HORIZON-CL4-Digital-Emerging Grant 101070136, Horizon Europe, SERI)
2022-2025
SESTOSENSO (Physical Cognition for Intelligent Control and Safe Human-Robot Interaction)
(HORIZON-CL4-Digital-Emerging Grant 101070310, Horizon Europe, SERI)
2021-2024
SWITCH (Learning by Switching Roles in Physical Human-Robot Collaboration)
(Lead Agency programme, Swiss NSF)
2020-2024
CODIMAN (Cobotics, digital skills and the re-humanization of the workplace)
(National Research Programme "Digital Transformation", Swiss NSF)
2019
Roboclette (robots learning to serve raclette cheese)
(State of Valais)
2019-2021
COB'HOOK (Dexterous manipulation for electroplating jig loading in the watchmaking industry)
(Innosuisse)
2018-2022
COLLABORATE (Co-production CeLL performing Human-Robot Collaborative AssEmbly)
(H2020-DT-FoF Grant 820767)
2018-2022
MEMMO (Memory of Motion)
(H2020-ICT Grant 780684)
2016-2020
TACT-HAND (Improving control of prosthetic hands using tactile sensors and realistic machine learning)
(D-A-CH Collaborative Project, Swiss NSF)
2015-2018
DexROV (Effective Dexterous ROV Operations in Presence of Communications Latencies)
(H2020-BG Grant 635491, SERI)
2015-2018
I-DRESS (Assistive Interactive Robotic System for Support in Dressing)
(CHIST-ERA Collaborative Project, Swiss NSF)

Project Co-Leader for Idiap
2020-2023
NATAI (The Nature of Artificial Intelligence)
(Agora grant, Swiss NSF)
2019-2022
HEAP (Human-Guided Learning and Benchmarking of Robotic Heap Sorting)
(CHIST-ERA Collaborative Project, Swiss NSF)
2018-2022
ROSALIS (robot skills acquisition through active learning and social interaction strategies)
(Swiss NSF)
2016-2017
PLATFORM-MMD (Platform for Reproducible Acquisition, Processing, and Sharing of Dynamic, Multi-Modal Data)
(R'Equip grant, Swiss NSF)

Project Leader for IIT
2012-2015
STIFF-FLOP (STIFFness controllable Flexible and Learn-able Manipulator for surgical OPerations)
(IP FP7-ICT-287728)

Project Co-Leader for IIT
2012-2014
PANDORA (Persistent Autonomy through learNing, aDaptation, Observation and Re-plAnning)
(STREP FP7-ICT-288273)

Project Participant
2013-2017
SMART-E (Sustainable Manufacturing through Advanced Robotics Training)
(ITN FP7/2007-2013/ Marie Curie REA 608022, affiliated with IIT)
2011-2015
SAPHARI (Safe and Autonomous Physical Human-Aware Robot Interaction)
(IP FP7-ICT-287513, affiliated with IIT)
2010-2014
AMARSI (Adaptive Modular Architectures for Rich Motor Skills)
(IP FP7-ICT-248311, affiliated with IIT)
2007-2009
ROBOT@CWE (Advanced robotic systems in future collaborative working environments)
(STREP FP6-34002, affiliated with EPFL)
2006-2010
FEELIX GROWING (Feel, interact, express: a global approach to development with interdisciplinary grounding)
(IP FP6-IST-045169, affiliated with EPFL)
2004-2007
COGNIRON (The Cognitive Robot Companion)
(IP FP6-IST-002020, affiliated with EPFL)

Technology Transfer
2022
Cob'Hook-II (Dexterous manipulation for electroplating jig loading in the watchmaking industry)
(Richemont group)
2015
Baxter, What Else? (Incremental learning of movements for service robots)
(IdeArk, TheArk)
2011

Teaching

2024
Tutorial on Ergodic Control, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2024).
2019-2023
Engineering Master program on Applied Artificial Intelligence, in partnership with Swiss Distance University Institute. Responsible for the course on Robotics.
2018-2023
Post-Master program AI Move (Artificial Intelligence and Movement in Industries and Creation) at Mines-ParisTech. In charge of the courses on Statistical, Geometrical and Dynamical Representations of Movement (Module 2: Motion Capture, Modeling and Gesture Recognition) and on Human-Robot Interaction and Collaborative Robotics (Module 4: Humans, Machines and Connected Objects).
Nov 2022
"Optimization and optimal control" and "Robot learning from demonstration" lectures for the course on Autonomous and Mobile Robotics at the University of Bologna.
Jan 2021
"Robot Learning from Demonstration" lecture for Gesture & AI course at Mines-ParisTech.
Jan 2019
"Memory of Motion" Winter School, Idiap Research Institute, Switzerland. Lectures on movement primitives.

Committees / Editorships

2021-now
Technical Committee Chair
Model-based optimization for robotics, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS).
2012
Financial Chair
2011
Financial Chair
Associate Editor
2017-2020
Associate Editor
2015-2020
Associate Editor
2015-2020
Associate Editor
2015-2019
Associate Editor
Guest Editor
2017
Guest Editor
Organizing Committees
2024
Organizing Committee
Tutorial on Ergodic Control, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2024), Yokohama, Japan.
2024
Organizing Committee
Workshop Bi-manual Manipulation: on Kitchen Challenge, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2024), Yokohama, Japan.
2023
Organizing Committee
Workshop on Geriatronics: AI and Robotics for Health and Well-Being in Older Age, IEEE/RSJ Intl Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'2023), Detroit, USA.
2023
Organizing Committee
Workshop on Geometric Representations: The Roles of Modern Screw Theory, Lie algebra, and Geometric Algebra in Robotics, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2023), London, UK.
2022
Organizing Committee
Workshop on Bimanual Manipulation: Addressing Real-World Challenges (second edition), IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2022), Philadelphia, USA.
2021
Organizing Committee
Workshop on Bimanual Manipulation: Learning, Planning and Control, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2021), Xi'an, China.
2020
Organizing Committee
Workshop on Interactive Robot Learning, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2020), Paris, France.
2020
Organizing Committee
Workshop on Robustness in robot manipulation: how do we scale to 99.xxx%?, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2020), Paris, France.
2019
Organizing Committee
2019
Organizing Committee
Workshop on Learning for Industry 4.0: Feasibility and Challenges, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2019), Montreal, Canada.
2018
Organizing Committee
Workshop on AI for rehabilitation and prosthetics, HES-SO, Sierre, Switzerland.
2018
Organizing Committee
Tutorial From Least Squares Regression to High-dimensional Motion Primitives, IEEE/RSJ Intl Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'2018), Madrid, Spain.
2018
Organizing Committee
Workshop on Robots for Assisted Living, IEEE/RSJ Intl Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'2018).
Program Committees
2015-2016
Program Committee
2010
Coordinator

Robotics Area for Campus Party Europe, represented by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation, Madrid, Spain.

Examiner
2024
Examiner
Carlo Rizzardo's PhD Thesis, IIT, Italy.
2024
Examiner
Eleftherios Triantafyllidis's PhD Thesis, University of Edinbugh, Scotland.
2023
Examiner
Yoann Fleytoux's PhD Thesis, Inria, France.
2023
Examiner
Quantao Yang's PhD Thesis, Orebro University, Sweden.
2023
Examiner
Davide Carminati's PhD Thesis, Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy.
2023
Examiner
Mihael Simonič's PhD Thesis, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2023
Examiner
Kelly Merckaert's PhD Thesis, VUB, Brussels, Belgium.
2023
Examiner
Marios Kiatos's PhD Thesis, Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki, Greece.
2022
Examiner
Jason Chemin's PhD Thesis, LAAS, Toulouse, France.
2021
Examiner
Vladimir Joukov's PhD Thesis, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
2021
Examiner
Amaury Depierre's PhD Thesis, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France.
2019
Examiner
Omar Mohammed's PhD Thesis, CNRS, Grenoble-Alps Univ. & INP Grenoble, France.
2019
Examiner
Amor Ben Tanfous's PhD Thesis, CRIStAL UMR - CNRS & IMT Lille-Douai, France.
2018
Examiner
Philipp Schlehuber-Caissier's PhD Thesis, UPMC, Paris, France.
2018
Examiner
Hang Yin's PhD Thesis, IST (Portugal) and EPFL (Switzerland).
2017
Examiner
Yiming Yang's PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, UK.
2017
Examiner
Adrià Colomé's PhD Thesis, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain.
2017
Examiner
Alexandros Paraschos' PhD Thesis, TU Darmstadt, Germany.
2017
Examiner
Gennaro Raiola's PhD Thesis, ENSTA-ParisTech, France.
2016
Examiner
Eva Coupeté's PhD Thesis, Mines-ParisTech, France.
2014
Examiner
Miguel González-Fierro Palacios' PhD Thesis, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), Spain.
2013
Examiner
Leonel Rozo's PhD Thesis, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain.
2009
Examiner
Diego Pardo's PhD Thesis, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain.

Supervision

Postdoctoral Researchers
2020-2022
Dr Mattia Racca, Idiap Research Institute, co-supervised with Jean-Marc Odobez. (next: Research Scientist at NAVER LABS Europe)
2019-2022
Dr Marco Ewerton, Idiap Research Institute, co-supervised with Jean-Marc Odobez. (next: Robotics Research Engineer at Ocado Technology)
2019-2022
Dr João Silvério, Idiap Research Institute. (next: Group Leader of the Interactive Skill Learning group at the German Aerospace Center (DLR))
2018-2019
Dr Antonio Paolillo, Idiap Research Institute. (next: Researcher at IDSIA)
2017-2018
Dr Andras Kupcsik, Idiap Research Institute (next: Research Scientist at Bosch Center for AI)
2015-2017
Dr Ioannis Havoutis, Idiap Research Institute (next: Lecturer at the University of Oxford).
2012-2015
Dr Leonel Rozo, IIT (next: Research Scientist at Bosch Center for AI)
2012-2015
Dr Danilo Bruno, IIT (next: Software Analyst at CAMELOT biomedical systems S.r.l.).
2009-2011

Dr Petar Kormushev, IIT (next: Lecturer at Imperial College London).

PhD Students
2023-now
Ante Marić, "Constrained and guided learning of manipulation skills". PhD Thesis proposal, Idiap/EPFL.
2022-now
Yan Zhang, "Learning Dual-arm Manipulation Primitives for Long-horizon Contact-rich Manipulation Tasks". PhD Thesis proposal, Idiap/EPFL.
2022-now
Yiming Li, "Implicit Representations for Robot Motion Planning and Manipulation". PhD Thesis proposal, Idiap/EPFL.
2022-now
Cem Bilaloglu, "Constrained Exploration for Active Learning of Robot Manipulation Behaviors". PhD Thesis proposal, Idiap/EPFL.
2021-now
Teng Xue, "Demonstration-guided optimal control for contact-aware manipulation". PhD Thesis proposal, Idiap/EPFL.
2021-now
Tobias Löw, "Exploiting Geometric and Structural Representations for Robot Motion Planning and Exploration". PhD Thesis proposal, Idiap/EPFL.
2021-now
Amirreza Razmjoo, "Robot learning and optimal control for physical assistance of humans in sit-to-stand tasks". PhD Thesis proposal, Idiap/EPFL.
2020-now
Julius Jankowski, "Interactive Teaching of Reactive and Adaptive Skills for Robotic Manipulators". PhD Thesis proposal, Idiap/EPFL.
2019-now
Suhan Shetty, "Low-Rank Approximation Techniques for Robot Learning". PhD Thesis proposal, Idiap/EPFL.
2018-2023
Hakan Girgin, "Learning and Optimization of Anticipatory Feedback Controllers for Robot Manipulation". PhD Thesis, Idiap/EPFL.
2018-2022
Teguh Lembono, "Building Memory of Motion to Warm-start Trajectory Optimization". PhD Thesis, Idiap/EPFL.
(next: Applied Scientist in Robotics AI, AMAZON, Berlin, Germany)
2017-2021
Thibaut Kulak, "Robot skills acquisition through active learning and social interaction strategies". PhD Thesis, Idiap/EPFL.
(next: Machine Learning Researcher at NEOINSTINCT, Lausanne, Switzerland)
2016-2020
Emmanuel Pignat, "Product of Experts for Robot Learning from Demonstration". PhD Thesis, Idiap/EPFL.
(next: Founder of ARventure startup)
2016-2020
Noémie Jaquier, "Robot skills learning with Riemannian manifolds: Leveraging geometry-awareness in robot learning, optimization and control". PhD Thesis, Idiap/EPFL.
(next: Postdoc at KIT, Germany)
2015-2018
Ajay Kumar Tanwani, "Probabilistic learning models for skill acquisition in teleoperated robots". PhD Thesis, Idiap/EPFL.
(next: Postdoc at UC Berkeley, USA)
2014-2018
Martijn Zeestraten, "Programming by demonstration on Riemannian manifolds". PhD Thesis, IIT/UniGenova.
(next: R&D Engineer in Madern Group)
2014-2017
João Silvério, "Human-robot collaborative manipulation and coordination in bimanual tasks". PhD Thesis, IIT/UniGenova.
(next: Postdoc at IIT, Genova, Italy)
2012-2015
Milad Malekzadeh, "Machine Learning for a Soft Robotic Arm Assisting in Minimally Invasive Surgery". PhD Thesis, IIT/UniGenova.
(next: Postdoc at CoR-Lab, University of Bielefeld)
2011-2014
Tohid Alizadeh, "Modulation and Statistical Modeling of Human Movements Through Demonstrations". PhD Thesis, IIT/UniGenova.
(next: Lecturer at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan)
2011-2014
Davide De Tommaso, "Active Vision and Projections as User Interface in Robot Learning from Demonstration". PhD Thesis, IIT/UniGenova.
(next: Software Engineer at IIT, Genova, Italy)
2010-2013
Antonio Pistillo, "Approaches To Open And Closed-Loop Probabilistic Model Learning In Programming By Demonstration". PhD Thesis, IIT/UniGenova.
(next: Data Scientist at Accenture)
Research and Development Engineers
2024
Maximilien Dufau, R&D Research Assistant.
2019-now
Jérémy Maceiras, Research and Development group at Idiap, supervised by Olivier Bornet.
2019-now
Guillaume Clivaz, Research and Development group at Idiap, supervised by Olivier Bornet.
2018-now
Philip Abbet, Research and Development group at Idiap, supervised by Olivier Bornet.
Visiting Researchers
2024
Pragna Das, Keonn Technologies S.L., Barcelona, Spain.
2023
Riccardo Zanella, University of Bologna.
Visiting PhD Students
2023
Giovanni Braglia, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, supervised by Prof. Luigi Biagiotti.
2022-2024
Xuemin Chi, Zhejiang University, supervised by Prof. Zhitao Liu and Prof. Hongye Su.
2022-2023
Zhenwei Niu, Khalifa University, supervised by Prof. Irfan Hussain.
2022
Mehrdad Tavassoli, University of Pisa and Italian Institute of Technology, supervised by Prof. Domenico Prattichizzo.
2021-2022
Davide Carminati, Polytechnic University of Turin, supervised by Prof. Elisa Capello.
2021-2022
Boyang Ti, Harbin Institute of Technology, supervised by Prof. Yongsheng Gao and Prof. Jie Zhao.
2019-2020
Xiao Gao, Wuhan University, supervised by Prof. Miao Li.
2019
Jarosław Łokietko, Goldsmiths University of London, supervised by Prof. Frederic Fol Leymarie.
2018
Markku Suomalainen, Aalto University, supervised by Prof. Ville Kyrki.
2015
Daniel Berio, Goldsmiths University of London, supervised by Prof. Frederic Fol Leymarie.
2011
Leonel Rozo, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, supervised by Prof. Carme Torras.
Internships
2024
Timothé Schlüssel, Research Intern at Idiap.
2024
Jiacheng Qiu, Research Intern at Idiap.
2022
Xiaowen Jiang, Research Intern at Idiap.
2022
Yifei Dong, Research Intern at Idiap.
2022
Stephen Monnet, Research Intern at Idiap.
2021-2022
Louis Gevers, Research Intern at Idiap, co-supervised with Jean-Marc Odobez.
2021
Nadia Hadjmbarek, Research Intern at Idiap.
2021
Lara Brudermüller, Research Intern at Idiap.
2021
Mahdi Nobar, Research Intern at Idiap.
2021
Yong-Joon Thoo, Research Intern at Idiap.
2019-2020
Clément Vaes, MSc Student at Université Catholique de Louvain, supervised by Estelle Massart and Prof. Pierre-Antoine Absil, co-supervised by Noémie Jaquier at Idiap.
2018
Hakan Girgin, MSc Student at Bogazici University, supervised by Prof. Emre Ugur.
2017
Olivier Baseggio, "Case studies for the application of robot learning techniques in industrial applications". Internship, Idiap.
MSc Theses
2023-2024
Alice Guntli, "Planning with optimal control: Application to robot manipulation with a mobile bimanual platform". MSc Thesis, EPFL and ABB.
2023
Jean Lesur, "Trajectory optimization for a painting robot by using vision feedback". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2023
Tobias Michel, "An active perception approach for automated robotic bin picking". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2023
Victor Dramé, "Active perception for localization and manipulation of fruits in bulk". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2022
Cédric Mariéthoz, "Robot skills acquisition with tensor train decomposition". MSc Thesis, UniDistance.
2022
Mickael Gindroz, "Tensor-variate dictionary learning of movement primitives". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2021
Adi Niederberger, "Robot learning from human demonstrations". Master in Artificial Intelligence, UniDistance.
2021
Valentin Honorez, "Multilinear Models for the Manipulation of Objects by Robots". Faculté Polytechnique de Mons (UMONS), Belgium.
2019-2020
Jérémy Maceiras, "Planning of robot manipulation tasks". Master in Artificial Intelligence, UniDistance.
2017
Yanick Bertrand, "Synthesis of exaggerated movements to facilitate robot skill acquisition". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2016-2017
Fabien Crépon, "Robot-Assisted Learning for Object Recognition". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2016
Noémie Jaquier, "Robot drawing skills acquisition with vision feedback". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2015-2016
Emmanuel Pignat, "Online learning of task-parameterized models". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2012-2013
Martijn Zeestraten, "Robot Learning using Tree-Based Policy Representation". MSc Thesis magna cum laude, IIT/Delft University (Erasmus exchange program).
2012
Sunniva van Ipenburg, "Learning of a table skittle game with reinforcement learning and parametric Gaussian mixture model". MSc Thesis, IIT/Delft University (Erasmus exchange program).
2012
Affan Pervez, "Movement skill acquisition with imitation and reinforcement learning". MSc Thesis, IIT/KTH (Erasmus exchange program).
2008
Florent D'halluin, "Robust learning and reproduction of gestures from human demonstrations". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2007
Murielle Richard, "Implementation of a learning-by-imitation algorithm on the Katana robot". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2005
Frederic Magnard, "Object tracking for a camera designed to be worn by children". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2004
Adrien Brossard, "Control of the humanoid robot HOAP-2". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2004
Andre Maurer, "Artificial Neural Network (ANN) - Hidden Markov Model (HMM) Comparison for a gesture recognition application". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
2003
Marc Kunze, "Person recognition for the humanoid robot Robota". MSc Thesis, EPFL.
MSc/BSc Projects
2024
Theo Maetz, "Manipulation with a torque-controlled quadruped robot". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2024
Jehan Piaget, "A robot manipulator writing texts using a pen". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2024
Vincent Flattot, "A robot manipulator writing texts using a pen". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2023-2024
Bastien Marconato, "Multi-resolution Encoding with Basis Functions for Applications in Robotics". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.



2022
Francesco Nonis, "Motion optimization with a legibility perspective". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2022
Vincent Nguyen, "Smartphone interface for a portraitist robot". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2022
Filipe Ferreira Lopes, "Exploitation of a small 6D force-torque sensor in dexterous robot manipulation skills". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2022
Maxime Pillet, "6D object pose estimation for robot manipulation applications". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2022
Alice Guntli, "Orientation and force control of a robot holding a paint brush". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2022
Léane Donzé, "Path planning for a mobile robot using a handheld augmented reality interface". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2021
Nadia Hadjmbarek, "Control primitives learning for the torque-controlled SOLO quadruped robot". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2021
Johnny Borkhoche, "Learning of non-photorealistic renderings for a caricaturist robot". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2021
Cédric Fontaine, "Subspace learning for robot control applications". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2021
Jean Lesur, "GrowbotHub: harvesting and pollination with 7-axis robot manipulator". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2021
Alexandre Marguet, "GrowbotHub: harvesting and pollination with 7-axis robot manipulator". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2021
Constantin Decaux, "Smartphone interface using augmented reality". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2021
Samuel Bétrisey, "Smartphone interface using augmented reality". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2020-2021
Luis Carvalho, "GUI for robot visual simulation". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2020
Philipp Schuler, "ROS interfacing on Kuka SunriseOS". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2020
Thibault Niederhauser, "Visual perception for autonomous harvesting of root vegetables growing in aeroponics". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2020
Victoria Letertre, "Pick-and-place for the Carousel System". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2020
Jules Pochon, "Hand Detection and Tracking". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2020
Lucas Surmely, "Robot movements interface using augmented reality". BSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2019
Gauthier Mueller, "Convolutional Neural Networks and Tensor Methods". BSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2019
Hedi Fendri, "Dictionary learning of movement primitives". BSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2019
Christine Whiteley, "Interactive visualization of trajectories on a smartphone for a robot learning from demonstration application". BSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2017-2018
Dylan Bourgeois, "Pose sketching interface to control a humanoid robot". MSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2017-2018
Laila El Hamamsy, "Streamline extraction from images for a robotic light painting application". BSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2017-2018
Frederick Gusset, "Body-aware assistance for the execution of human-robot collaborative tasks". BSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2017-2018
Florian Standaert, "Mobile interface for the generation of movements with variations in robots". BSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2017
Robin Wütschert, "Smartphone interface for the Baxter robot". BSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2017
Yuxiang Li, "Robot experiential learning of movement primitives". BSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2016
Yuxiang Li, "Extracting low-level motion primitives and high-level macro actions". BSc Project, Idiap/EPFL.
2016
Nikol Guljelmovic, "Incremental learning of movement with Trajectory-HMM". Internship, Delft University.
2015-2016
Christian Abbet, "Surface extraction and interactive anamorphic image rendering for a robotized projector". Internship, Idiap/EPFL.
2015-2016
Dominique Tao, "Robot drawing skills acquisition". Internship, Idiap/EPFL.
2008
Adrian Bodenmann, "Hierarchical learning of a movement through Hidden Markov Model". BSc Project, EPFL.
2008
Florent D'halluin, "Incremental learning of gestures through the support of a human teacher". BSc Project, EPFL.
2007
Caroline Nadeau, "Vocal analysis to teach a humanoid robot manipulation skills". BSc Project, EPFL.
2007
Manon Pulvin, "Imitation of legs motion by a humanoid robot through the use of motion sensors". BSc Project, EPFL.
2006
Adrien Hitz, "Locomotion control module for the HOAP3 robot". BSc Project, EPFL.
2005
Julien Epiney, "A Humanoid Robot that can paint". BSc Project, EPFL.
2005
Patrick Schoeneich, "Gaze direction detection using inertial sensors". BSc Project, EPFL.
2004
Jean-Joel Borter, "Motion data representation using motion sensors". BSc Project, EPFL.
2004
Christophe Dubach, "Recognition of trajectories using a stereoscopic vision system". BSc Project, EPFL.
2004
Vincent Hentsch, "Gestures analysis using gyroscopic sensors". BSc Project, EPFL.
2003
Andre Noth, "Development of an auditory systems running on a Pocket-PC". BSc Project, EPFL.
2003
Yves Linder, "Robust visual arms and head tracking running on a Pocket-PC". BSc Project, EPFL.
2003
Cecile Grivaz, "Interactive game of a pair of mini-humanoid robot Robota". BSc Project, EPFL.

Other skills

Languages
French (native),   English (fluent),   German (good command),   Italian (basic communication skills).
Robots
Panda (Franka Emika), Baxter (Rethink Robotics), WAM (Barrett Technology Inc.),   LightWeight Arm (Kuka, DLR),   COMAN humanoid robot (IIT),   iCub humanoid robot (IIT),   HOAP-2, HOAP-3 (Fujitsu),   Katana (Neuronics),   DB (Sarcos),   HRP-2 (Kawada Ind., General Robotix),   Robota (Didel).
Coding

I maintain Robotics codes from scratch (RCFS), a collection of source codes to study and test learning and optimization problems in robotics through simple 2D examples, and PbDlib, a collection of source codes for robot programming by demonstration including various functionalities at the crossroad of statistical learning, dynamical systems, optimal control and Riemannian geometry.