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Giorgio Metta

Scientific Director
PhD, robotics guru

Office

Scientific Director’s Office

Contacts

Via Morego, 30 - Genoa, Italy
+39 010 2896 411

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About

Giorgio Metta is the Scientific Director of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). He holds a MSc cum laude (1994) and PhD (2000) in electronic engineering both from the University of Genoa. From 2001 to 2002, Giorgio was postdoctoral associate at the MIT AI-Lab. He was previously with the University of Genoa and from 2012 to 2019 Professor of Cognitive Robotics at the University of Plymouth (UK). He was member of the board of directors of euRobotics aisbl, the European reference organization for robotics research. Giorgio Metta served as Vice Scientific Director of IIT from 2016 to 2019. He coordinated IIT's participation into two of the Ministry of Economic Development Competence Centers for Industry 4.0 (ARTES4.0, START4.0). He was one of the three Italian representatives at the 2018 G7 forum on Artificial Intelligence and, more recently, one of the authors of the Italian Strategic Agenda on AI. Giorgio coordinated the development of the iCub robot for more than a decade making it de facto the reference platform for research in embodied AI. Presently, there are more than 40 robots reaching laboratories as far as Japan, China, Singapore, Germany, Spain, UK and the United States. Giorgio Metta research activities are in the fields of biologically motivated and humanoid robotics and, in particular, in developing humanoid robots that can adapt and learn from experience. Giorgio Metta is author of more than 300 scientific publications. He has been working as principal investigator and research scientist in about a dozen international research as well as industrial projects.  

Projects

Some past projects of mine (in random order)...

  • RobotCub, our flagship project, IIT became partner in 2007 and main actor in the development of the humanoid robot. RobotCub is a 5 years long project funded by the European Commission through Unit E5 "Cognitive Systems, Interaction & Robotics" (now simply "robotics"). Our main goal is to study cognition through the implementation of a humanoid robot the size of a 3.5 year old child: the iCub. This is an open project in many different ways: we distribute the platform openly, we develop software open-source, and we are open to including new partners and form collaboration worldwide.

  • The ITALK project aims to develop artificial embodied agents able to acquire complex behavioural, cognitive, and linguistic skills through individual and social learning. This will be achieved through experiments with the iCub humanoid robot to learn to handle and manipulate objects and tools autonomously, to cooperate and communicate with other robots and humans, and to adapt to changing internal, environmental, and social conditions.

  • Roboskin will develop and demonstrate a range of new robot capabilities based on robot skin tactile feedback from large areas of the robot body. An investigation of these issues until now has been limited by the lack of tactile sensing technologies enabling large scale experimental activities, since so far skin technologies and embedded tactile sensors have been mostly demonstrated only at prototype stage. The new capabilities will improve the ability of robots to operate effectively and safely in unconstrained environments and also their ability to communicate and co-operate with each other and with humans.

  • The Experimental Functional Android Assistant (EFAA) project will contribute to the development of socially intelligent humanoids by advancing the state of the art in both single human-like social capabilities and in their integration in a consistent architecture. The EFAA project proposes a biomimetic, brain-inspired approach. The central assumption of EFAA is that social robots must develop a sense of self as to overcome the fundamental problem of social inference. It is only in possessing the core aspects of a human-like self, that inferences about others can be made through analogy. The EFAA project will apply and benchmark its cognitive architecture on a mobile humanoid assistant based on the iCub platform.

Awards

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