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Giorgio Metta Write a Message

Senior Researcher Tenured - Research Director
PhD, Vice Scientific Director, robotics guru

Research Line

iCub

Contacts

Via Morego, 30
+39 010 71781 411

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About

Giorgio Metta is Vice Scientific Director at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) and Director of the iCub Facility Department at the same institute. He coordinates the development of the iCub robotic project.

He holds an MSc cum laude (1994) and PhD (2000) in electronic engineering both from the University of Genoa. From 2001 to 2002, he was postdoctoral associate at the MIT AI-Lab. He was previously with the University of Genoa and since 2012 Professor of Cognitive Robotics at the University of Plymouth (UK). He is also deputy director of IIT delegate to the training of young researchers. He is member of the board of directors of euRobotics aisbl, the European reference organization for robotics research.

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 250 scientific publications. He has been working as principal investigator and research scientist in about a dozen international as well as national funded projects.

Projects

Giorgio Metta is principal investigator on:

RobotCub is a 5 years long project funded by the European Commission through Unit E5 Cognitive Systems, Interaction & Robotics. The 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.

The CHRIS project will address the fundamental issues which would enable safe Human Robot Interaction (HRI). Specifically this project addresses the problem of a human and a robot performing co-operative tasks in a co-located space, such as in the kitchen where your service robot stirs the soup as you add the cream. These issues include communication of a shared goal (verbally and through gesture), perception and understanding of intention (from dextrous and gross movements), cognition necessary for interaction, and active and passive compliance.

Read more about my projects...

Selected Publications

Badino, L.; D'Ausilio, A.; Fadiga, L.; Metta, G. .2014, Computational validation of the motor contribution to speech perception. Topics in Cognitive Science. pp.461-475 Volume 3, Issue 6 (doi:10.1111/tops.12095)

Fanello, S. R., Gori, I., Metta, G., & Odone, F. (2013). Keep it simple and sparse: Real-time action recognition. Journal of Machine Learning Research, 14, 2617-2640.

Maiolino, P.; Maggiali, M.; Cannata, G.; Metta, G.; Natale, L. .2013, A Flexible and Robust Large Scale Capacitive Tactile System for Robots. IEEE Sensors Journal. 13(10) pp.3910-3917.

Dahiya, R.S.; Metta, G.; Valle, M.; Sandini, G. .2010, Tactile Sensing: From Humans to Humanoids. IEEE Transactions on Robotics. 26(1) pp.1-20.

Lungarella, M.; Metta, G.; Pfeifer, R.; Sandini, G. .2003, Developmental Robotics: A Survey. Connection Science. 15(4) pp.151-190.

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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.