Robots and Us...

RoboticsLab participates to the European Robotics Week!

EU Robotics Week
EU Robotics Week poster

This year RoboticsLab participates to the European Robotics Week, held from November 28th to December 4th, dedicated to the dissemination of the most recent results related to robotics technologies. Our contribution, entitled "The Body and the Soul of Robots", will discuss our efforts to endow robots with emotions, consciousness, learning and reasoning capabilities. We will perform live demonstrations of telepresence with the robot TELENOID, performed in collaboration with the University of Osaka, and during the exibition visitors will be accompanied by one of our humanoid robots NAO. This event is driven by Prof. Antonio Chella together with researchers Haris Dindo and Rosario Sorbello, postdoc Valeria Seidita and numerous Ph.D and M.Sc. students.

You are all welcome on December 4th at the Steri Palace in Piazza Marina, Palermo! Please refer to the official home page of the European Robotics Week or Scuola di Robotica for more information on this event.

You can also download press release (in italian).

HUMANOBS: Humanoids that Learn Socio-Communicative Skills by Observation


Since January 2009, RoboticsLab has been participating to HUMANOBS, a €2M 3-year research project funded by the European Commission Framework Program 7 in the Cognitive systems, Interaction and Robotics domain (FP7-ICT call, STREP, no. 231453). The main goal of the project is to develop the next-generation AI architectures that grow by self-programming. We will develop an artificial television-show host that can learn how to conduct interviews by watching people. The AI will observe what people say and do, and then learn to imitate not just their behavior but also their intentions. Based on the concept of model-driven cognition, we aim to lay a foundation for machines with a more general-purpose intelligence. Please consult the home page of the project.

International Journal of Machine Consciousness


We announce the first issue of International Journal of Machine Consciousness whose editor-in-chief is Antonio Chella, the head of the RoboticsLab.

The journal examines the theoretical foundations of conscious machines and analyzes current approaches to machine consciousness. It offers unity and visibility to a wide spread of research, which is now scattered throughout many diverse and often unrelated journals. Since the topic of machine consciousness is still highly controversial, each issue will endorse a blend of papers covering provocative theories as well as testable models.

Machine consciousness is a field placed at the crossing between technical disciplines (AI, Robotics, Computer Science and Engineering), theoretical ones (Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Mind, Linguistics, Logic), and empirical ones (Psychology and Neuroscience).

Machine consciousness is pursued for:

  • Implementing and designing machines resembling human beings (cognitive robotics);
  • Understanding the nature of consciousness (cognitive science);
  • Implementing and designing more efficient control systems.

The journal accepts long and short papers, review papers and target papers. Papers should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief. For full details on how to submit a paper, please consult the IJMC website.



In june 2009, RoboticsLab purchased two NAOs, 26-DOF humanoid robots (manufactured by Aldebaran Robotics). The robots will be used to perform experiments on Social Learning and Human-Robot Interaction.

The platform is equipped with Force Sensitive Resistors (FSR) located on the feet, sonars, bumpers, tactile sensors, an IR emitter/receiver, a stereo camera and a pair of microphones.

The first public presentation of NAOs' learning and interactive capabilities developed at the RoboticsLab will be held in November 2009 during the "Futuro Remoto" fair in Naples, where our lab has been invited to provide a demo with other leading research institutes across Italy.



The newly-born robot Marvin is a low-cost mobile platform entirely designed and developed at the RoboticsLab in Palermo. It has been carefully designed to ease the teaching of fundamental principles of robotics and AI. Students will have special hands-on sessions to study real-time systems, control, motion planning and probabilistic algorithms for localization and mapping. You can see a video of Marvin in action.

Nevertheless, Marvin is also supposed be used in research to develop a robotic-helper in day-by-day office activities. For further information, visit the project home page.

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