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Andrea Brogni


Former colleague


Via Morego, 30


Andrea Brogni graduated in 1998 as Electronic Engineer in Microelectronics, at the University of Pisa, Italy, with a thesis in Virtual Reality applied to Cultural Heritage. He received his european doctoral degree cum laude in computer science from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, in Barcelona, Spain. He worked in the Engineering and Computer Science field, as Research Fellow at Scuola Superiore S. Anna, in Pisa, Italy, at the University College London, in London, UK, and at the Virtual Reality Center of the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, in Barcelona, Spain. He's honorary Research Fellow at UCL in London.
He is currently Team Leader at the Advanced Robotics lab at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genova, Italy. He's leading the Virtual Reality group that includes post-doc, PhDs and master students. He has been involved as consultant on large variety of European projects, doing research in robotics, 3D graphics, Virtual Reality systems and Interaction.
His major research interests are the human reactions and interactions in Virtual Environments, including vision, touch and audio-visual arts. He's also interested in technology transfer to industry.


I'm Team Leader of the Virtual Reality and Interaction Group and at the moment I'm working on different studies:
  • Haptic Illusion: Top down perceptual processing implies that much of what we perceive is based on prior knowledge and expectation. It has been argued that such processing is why Virtual Reality works at all - the brain filling in missing information based on expectation. We investigated this with respect to touch. Participants were asked to touch different geometrical objects seen in a Virtual Reality system. Although no haptic feedback was provided, the result gives an indication on how the brain could be able to deal with a completely new situation and to provide an help for us. Based on the database of previous experiences, the brain sends very small but relevant sensations related the touch sense, even without a real feedback from the environment. This ”haptic illusion” seems to be stronger for sharp shapes than for smooth ones, maybe because the former is connected to something dangerous for us and the object could hurt and a subconscious mechanism overwrites the actual perception with something fake, but useful as alarm. Such exploitation of expectationbased illusory sensory feedback could be useful in the design of plausible virtual environments.

HI_cone_stereo HI_objGeometric HI_sphere_mono


  • Virtual Lifting with EMG: This study is related to the ability of the humans to compensate the lack of physical devices and create anyway the feeling of weight for virtual objects. The idea is to use the ElectroMio Gram (EMG) to monitor the muscle activity in the arm during specific tasks, like lifting a real object and force the participant to 'pretend' to lift and use a similar force in the virtual environment. A threshold in the EMG signal will trigger the graphical movement in the virtual space, according to the hand position of the user.




  • Music and Media integrated with Virtual Reality and Robots

  • Interaction with Virtual Objects

  • Motion Tracking

Selected Publications

The bibtex file could be downloaded from the list in the attached documents.

  • Migliardi M., Gaudina M. And Brogni A. "Pervasive services and mobile devices may support human memory and enhance daily efficiency", International Journal of Space-Based and Situated Computing – InderScience Publishers (accepted, to appear).
  • Mazzanti D., Zappi V., Brogni A. and Caldwell D. "Point Clouds Indexing in Real Time Motion Capture", Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, 2012, Milan, Italy
  • M.Gaudina, V.Zappi, A.Brogni, D. Caldwell "Haptic, Audio, Visual: Multimodal Distribution for Interactive Games", in IEEE Journal Transaction on Instrumentation and Measurement, 2012 [accepted, to appear].
  • M.Gaudina, A.Brogni, M.Migliardi, D.Caldwell "Virtual Social Multimedia Streaming with a Novel Haptic Device", in Proceedings of IEEE MIPRO 2012, Opatjia, Croatia.
  • Zappi, V., Mazzanti, D., Brogni, A. and Caldwell, D.. "‪Concatenative Synthesis Unit Navigation and Dynamic Rearrangement in vrGrains‬", Proceedings of the 9th Sound and Music Computing Conference, 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Zappi, V., Pistillo, A., Calinon, S., Brogni, A. and Caldwell, D., "Music Expression with a Robot Manipulator used as a Bidirectional Tangible Interface", EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing, Volume 2012, Issue 1.
  • Migliardi M., Gaudina M. And Brogni A. “Enhancing personal efficiency with pervasive services and wearable devices” 2011 International Conference on Broadband and Wireless Computing, Communication and Applications
  • Brogni, A., Caldwell, D. and Slater M. "Touching Sharp Virtual Objects Produces a Haptic Illusion" Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI2011), Orlando, Florida.
  • Gaudina, M., Brogni, A., and Caldwell, D."Irradiating Heat in Virtual Environments:Algorithm and Implementation" Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI2011), Orlando, Florida.
  • Valente, M., Sobrero, D., Brogni, A., and Caldwell, D."Intercepting virtual ball in immersive virtual environment" Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI2011), Orlando, Florida.
  • Zappi, V., Mazzanti, D., Brogni, A. and Caldwell, D. "Design and Evaluation of a Hybrid Reality Performance" Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, 30 May - 1 June 2011, Oslo, Norway.


  • Zappi, V., Gaudina M., Brogni, A. and Caldwell, D., "Virtual Sequencing with a Tactile Feedback Device" Proceedings of the 5th International Haptic and Auditory Interaction Design Workshop (HAID10), 2010
  • Gaudina M., Zappi, V., Brogni, A. and Caldwell, D., "Distributed Multimodal Interaction Driven
    Framework: conceptual model and game example"
    International Symposium on Haptic Audio-Visual Environments and Games (IEEE HAVE2010), 2010
  • Zappi, V., Brogni, A. and Caldwell, D., "OSC Virtual Controller" Proceedings of the 2010 Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME 2010), Sydney, Australia
  • Zappi, V.; Brogni, A. and Caldwell, D., "A Multimodal Platform for Audio Manipulation in Virtual Reality" Proceedings of the 4th International Haptic and Auditory Interaction Design Workshop (HAID09)
  • Garau M., Friedman D., Widenfeld H. R., Antley A., Brogni A., Slater A. "Temporal and Spatial Variations in Presence : Qualitative Analysis of Interviews from an Experiment on Breaks in Presence", PRESENCE : Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 17, 2008, 17, 293-309
  • Andrea Brogni , Vinoba Vinayagamoorthy, Anthony Steed, Mel Slater "Responses of Participants During an Immersive Virtual Environment Experience", International Journal of Virtual Reality, 6 (2).·
  • Andrea Brogni , Vinoba Vinayagamoorthy, Anthony Steed, Mel Slater "Variations in Physiological Responses of Participants During Different Stages of an Immersive Virtual Environment Experiment", (VRST 2006). ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, 1-3 November 2006, Limassol (Cyprus)
  • Vinoba Vinayagamoorthy, Andrea Brogni, Anthony Steed, Mel Slater, "The Role of the Posture in the Communication of Affect in a Immersive Virtual Environment", (VRCIA 2006). ACM SIGGRAPH International Conference on Virtual Reality Continuum and Its Applications, Hong Kong.
  • Friedman, D., Brogni, A., Guger, C., Antley, A., Steed, A., and Slater, M., (2006). "Sharing and Analyzing Data from Presence Experiments". Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 15(5), pag. 599-610, 111-118 ISBN 0-9551232-0-8.
  • Slater, M., Guger, C., Edlinger, G., Leeb, R., Pfurtscheller, G., Antley, A., Garau, M., Brogni, A., Steed, A., and Friedman, D. (2006). "Analysis of physiological responses to a social situation in an immersive virtual environment". Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 15(5), pag. 553-569.
  • Aceti L., Francescutti J., Brogni A., "Realities and Virtualities: The networking of Viewers, Information and Spaces", in 'Atti del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Trieste - XV Congresso Associazione Nazionale Musei Scientifici - Museo Oggi, tra Reale e Virtuale', vol. 51 (suppl.), pages 15-18, Trieste, Italy.·        
  • Friedman, D., Brogni, A., Antley, A., Guger, C., Steed, A., Slater, M., "Standardizing Data Analysis in Presence Experiments", 8th Annual International Workshop on Presence ( PRESENCE 2005), London, UK.·        
  • Anthony Steed, Andrea Brogni, Vinoba Vinayagamoorthy, "Breaks in Presence as Usability Criteria", (HCII 2005). HCI International 2005, the 11th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction, 22-27 July 2005, Las Vegas.
  • Vinoba Vinayagamoorthy, Andrea Brogni, Marco Gillies, Mel Slater and Anthony Steed, "An Investigation of Presence Response across Variations in Visual Realism", 7th Annual International Workshop on Presence ( PRESENCE 2004).
  • Guger C., Edlinger G., Lee R., Pfurtscheller G., Antley A., Garau M., Brogni A., Friedman D., Slater M., "Heart Rate Variability and Event-Related ECG in Virtual Environments", 7th Annual International Workshop on Presence ( PRESENCE 2004).
  • Garau M., Widenfeld H.R., Antley A., Friedman D. Brogni A., Slater M., "Temporal and Spatial Variations in Presence: a qualitative Analysis ", 7th Annual International Workshop on Presence ( PRESENCE 2004).

  • Brogni, A., Slater, M., Steed, A., "More Breaks Less Presence", 6th Annual International Workshop on Presence ( PRESENCE 2003).
  • Slater, M., Brogni, A., Steed, A., "Physiological Responses to Breaks in Presence: A Pilot Study", 6th Annual International Workshop on Presence ( PRESENCE 2003).
  • Garau, M., Slater, M., Vinayagamoorthy, V., Brogni, A., Steed, A.J., Sasse, M.A., "The Impact of Avatar Realism on Perceived Quality of Communication in a Shared Immersive Virtual Environment", (CHI 2003)

  • M. Bergamasco, A. Brogni, A. Frisoli, F. Salvini, M. Vignoni, "Tactual Exploration in Cultural Heritage", (IE 2002).

  • D. Ferrazzin, F. Salsedo, C.A. Avizzano, G. Di Pietro, A. Brogni, M. Vignoni, M. Bergamasco, "The MORIS Motorcycle Simulator: An Overview", (SETC 2001).
  • Mensuali, M. Lucchesini, A. Brogni, Poster "Study of the effects produced from variations of the gravitational attitude in the processes of growth and differentiation for micropropagate plantule", (ISS 2001).

  • Brogni, C. A. Avizzano, C. Evangelista, M. Bergamasco, "Technological Approach For Cultural Heritage: Augmented Reality", Proc. of 8th International Workshop on Robot and Human Interaction (RO-MAN '99).
  • A. Avizzano, A. Brogni, M. Bergamasco, "Application Of Filtering Strategies For Multiple Sclerosis Tremor: Analysis Of Results", Proc. of 8th International Workshop on Robot and Human Interaction (RO-MAN '99).
  • F. Tecchia, C. A. Avizzano, C. Evangelista, A. Brogni, G. Di Pietro, "Technical Consideration On The Visualisation Of Virtual Environments", Proc. of 8th International Workshop on Robot and Human Interaction (RO-MAN '99).
  • Evangelista, G. Di Pietro, A. Brogni, F. Tecchia, S. Catte,  C. A. Avizzano, M. Bergamasco, "Interactive Virtual Journey in G. Fattori's Paintings", Proc. of 8th International Workshop on Robot and Human Interaction (RO-MAN '99).
  • Evangelista, M. Bergamasco, C.A. Avizzano, G. Di Pietro, A. Brogni, F. Tecchia, S. Catte, "Picture Transposition In An Immersive Virtual Representation For Works Of Art In A Traditional Museum", Proc. of 8th International Workshop on Robots and Human Interaction (RO-MAN '99).
  • Brogni, F. Tecchia, M. Bergamasco, Videotape presentation: "Real-Time Deformation Of Hand Movements And Lighting Of Virtual Environments" IMAGINA 99 Prix Pixel-INA 1999, Monaco.

  • Brogni, E. Bresciani, M. Bergamasco, F. Silvano, "An Interactive System For The Presentation Of A Virtual Reality Egyptian Flute In A Real Museum", Proc. of "Computer Application in Archaeology" (1998, Barcelona - Spain).

I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.


IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.


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