Alessandra Sciutti

Principal Investigator

Alessandra received her Ph.D. in Humanoid Technologies from the University of Genova (Italy) in 2010. After a Post Doc at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) and two research periods in USA and Japan, she became the scientific responsible of the Cognitive Robotics and Interaction Laboratory of the RBCS Dept. at IIT. After being Assistant Professor in Bioengineering at DIBRIS University of Genoa, she is now Tenure-Track Researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology, head of the COgNiTive Architecture for Collaborative Technologies (CONTACT) unit. In 2018 she has been awarded the ERC Starting Grant wHiSPER, focused on the investigation of joint perception between humans and robots. She published more than 60 papers and abstracts and participated in the coordination of the CODEFROR European IRSES project. She is an Associate Editor of Robots and Autonomous Systems, Cognitive Systems Research and the International Journal of Humanoid Robotics and she has served as a member of the Program Committee for the International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction and IEEE International conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics.  The scientific aim of her research is to investigate the sensory and motor mechanisms underlying mutual understanding in human-human and human-robot interaction.

Carlo Mazzola

PhD Student

Ana Tanevska

Post Doc

Fabio Vannucci

Post Doc

Giuseppe Di Cesare

Post Doc

Joshua Zonca

Post Doc

Radoslaw Niewiadomski

Post Doc

Sara Incao

Visiting Scientist

Pablo Vinicius Alves De Barros

Post Doc

Giada Lombardi

Master Student

former members

Alessia Vignolo

Post Doc

Alexander Aroyo

Post Doc


Lab & Robot

The wHiSPER project will make use of different measurement tools. In particular, it will exploit kinematics recording through an Optotrak Certus System. Additionally, eye tracking devices, as the Tobii Glasses will be used to investigate human gaze behavior during interaction. Then, a humanoid robotic platform will be both adopted as a measuring instrument and as a testbed of the derived model of human perception.

In order to study social interaction wHiSPER project uses iCub, a humanoid robot conformed on child shape. It can hear, see and move, it has the sense of touch and proprioception.  wHiSPER project’s iCub belongs to the 2.5 iCub generation.

Video by iCub HumanoidRobot Channel on YouTube


Within wHiSPER project, iCub will be instrumental for two key features. On the one hand, as a robotic tool it will allow a quantitative and repeatable measuring of perception during interaction; indeed, in a social context shared by two people, it is often impossible to reproduce and measure the exact same study case more than once. On the other hand, as a humanoid robot, iCub will represent the second agent in the shared perception. In other words, it will be possible to implement on the robot the same models governing human percepetion enabling it to exhibit adaptive behaviors.


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

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