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Scientific Director

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Giorgio Metta

PhD, Robotics Guru

As of September 2019, Giorgio Metta is Scientific Director of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology). An internationally-renowned roboticist and an expert in artificial intelligence, after obtaining a degree in Electronic Engineering and a PhD in Robotics from the University of Genoa, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the prestigious AI Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA (USA), where he worked with Rodney Brooks.

Later, he was a researcher at the University of Genoa, he held the position of professor at the University of Plymouth (UK) and, as a senior researcher at IIT, in 2004, he launched and coordinated, together with Giulio Sandini and David Vernon, the European RobotCub project, which gave rise to the humanoid robot iCub. Giorgio coordinated the development of the iCub robot for more than a decade, making it de facto the reference platform for research in the field of humanoid robotics and embodied artificial intelligence at an international level. There are currently around 50 iCub robots worldwide, used in the laboratories of universities and research centres in countries such as Japan, China, Singapore, Germany, Spain, the UK and the USA. The work performed by the scientific community on the iCub robot, partly due to the project's open-source approach, enables the advancement of research in the field of Artificial Intelligence and humanoid robotics on a global scale.

Giorgio Metta's research interests have focused on the study of bioinspired systems and humanoid robotics, with specific reference to the design of machines that can learn from experience. In addition, Giorgio Metta is author or co-author of more than 300 scientific publications, and he has worked as Principal Investigator in a dozen international and industrial research projects.

In addition to constituting a point of reference for the scientific community worldwide, IIT's Scientific Director is also very active in the field of dissemination, an activity that enables him to bring the Institute's key research topics to the attention of the general public and policy makers.

On behalf of IIT, Giorgio Metta has managed relations with funding organisations and scientific institutions on an international scale and, in this role, he was a member of the board of directors of euRobotics aisbl, the reference association for European robotics. He coordinated participation in two of the centres for expertise at the Ministry of Economic Development for Industry 4.0 (ARTES4.0, START4.0); he was one of the three Italian representatives at the G7 forum on artificial intelligence in 2018, and, more recently, he was one of the authors of the Italian Strategic Agenda on Artificial Intelligence.

From 2016 to 2019, he held the position of Deputy Scientific Director at IIT, until, having passed the international selection procedure, he was appointed Scientific Director.

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Open Talk

IIT Publications List

Selected Scientific Publications
Cataldi P., Dussoni S., Ceseracciu L., Maggiali M., Natale L., Metta G., Athanassiou A., Bayer I.S.
Carbon Nanofiber versus Graphene-Based Stretchable Capacitive Touch Sensors for Artificial Electronic Skin
Advanced Science, vol. 5, (no. 2)
Natale L., Bartolozzi C., Pucci D., Wykowska A., Metta G.
iCub: The not-yet-finished story of building a robot child
Science Robotics, vol. 2, (no. 13)
Camoriano R., Pasquale G., Ciliberto C., Natale L., Rosasco L., Metta G.
Incremental robot learning of new objects with fixed update time
Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 3207-3214

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