Research Area

The wHiSPER project comes from the idea of Alessandra Sciutti to study the development of perception during social interaction within the COgNitive Architecture for Collaborative Technologies (CONTACT) Unit of IIT.

The approach of the unit is human-centric, trying to study both Human-Human and Human-Robot Interaction also from an interdisciplinary point of view. In this respect, implementing robots is not the only aim of the unit: they are both used as tools for quantitative analysis of human interaction and to increase the readiness and effectiveness of human-robot collaboration. A better understaning of the bases of interaction and the realization of more intuitive and adaptive robots will facilitate the adoption of collaborative technologies, in particular by the weak components of our society who might benefit more of their use.


Currently the ideas behind the project have been presented in the following talks:

  • Invited talk at Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Formal DCC Lecture - Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 26 March 2019. Title: “Cognitive Robotics and Interaction”

  • Keynote at the AIR project kick-out meeting - Skӧvde, Sweden, 19-20 March 2019. Title: “Robot & Humans: from mutual understanding to interaction and trust”

  • Keynote at the Cognitive Science Arena 2019 - Bressanone, Italy, 15-16 February 2019. Title: “Future challenges in cognitive science: The new frontier of human robot interaction”

  • Invited talk at The 1st International Symposium on Symbiotic Intelligent Ststems (SISReC) - Osaka, Japan, 25 January 2019. Title:"Intutitive understanding between humans and robots".

  • Invited talk at the series of events "Disegni, Invenzioni e Macchine"  ("Drawings, Inventions and Machines") at Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, Italy, 16th January 2019. Title: "Robots that help understand themselves" (Robot che aiutano… a comprendere l'uomo, in Italian).

  • Presentation "wHiSPER - Investigating Human Shared Perception with Robots" to the ISCIT (Istituto Superiore di Studi in Tecnologie dell'Informazione e della Comunicazione) students, Genoa, Italy, December 7, 2018.

  • Invited talk at the Festival Dell’Eccellenza al Femminile – Genoa, Italy, 20 November 2018. Title: “Communication in the robot era” (“Comunicazione al tempo dei robot”, in Italian).

  • Invited talk at the SICSA Workshop on Cyber Physical Systems – Edinburgh, UK, 16 November 2018. Title: “Mutual understanding for better human-robot interaction”.

  • Keynote at the World Usability Day – Turin, Italy, 8 November 2018. Title: “More Humane Robots” (“Robot piu’ umani”, in Italian).

  • Invited Talk at Skövde University, Skövde, Sweden - October 23, 2018. Title: “Action and Perception in HRI”.

  • Keynote at the workshop BODIS: The utility of body, interaction and self learning at IROS 2018 - Madrid, Spain, October 2018.


 You are curious... but at this stage it's too early (work in progress!)

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

ERC Starting Grant
Principal Investigator: Alessandra Sciutti
Period: 3/2019- 2/2024. G.A: 804388

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