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Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Activities

Activities List

Motor Learning, Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotics (P. Morasso, J, Zenzeri)

The Motor Learning, Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotics group focuses on Robotics and Interaction Technologies for Neuroscience and Neurorehabilitation. In particular, the research is articulated as follows: the development cutting edge mechatronic and robotic technology to enhance/augment human-robot interaction with a special focus on robot-aided rehabilitation and assistance; the study of neural plasticity that underlies the organization of the human sensorimotor system and its capacity to learn motor skills in the context of a complex environment; integration technology in the clinical/home environment developing new standards of assessment both at the device and at the service level.

Cognitive Robotics and Human-Human Interaction (A. Sciutti, F. Rea)

The aim of our research is to investigate the sensory and motor mechanisms underlying mutual understanding in human-human interaction, with the technological goal of designing robots that can naturally cooperate with people in carrying out everyday tasks. The peculiarity of our approach is that robots, rather than being just the final goal of the research, are used as the ideal tool to investigate social interaction in a principled way.

Dynamic Touch and Interaction Lab (G. Baud-Bovy)

Our research activity is currently focused on the haptic perception and exploration of the environment, the control of finger forces in multi-finger grasp and, more generally, physical interaction with objects or persons.  The group has developed new devices and robotic platforms to test human perceptual abilities with a focus on haptics. It has expertise in kinematic and dynamic analysis of movement, behavioural and psychophysical techniques and the modelling of perceptual and decisional processes. It is involved in various projects that aims at introducing this technology at home, school and other daily settings.

Spatial Awareness and Multisensory Perception (L. Brayda)

We investigate how sensory deprived individuals compensate missing sensory channels by vicarious modalities. Our focus is on sensory enhancement and how to achieve it with novel assistive technologies, mainly aimed at the construction of cognitive maps. Our methodology serves to build hardware/software platforms to decrease the digital divide, therefore increasing social inclusion. We focus on three main topics

Sensory Substitution: How much spatial knowledge depends on visual experience? We investigate the neural and behavioural correlates of tactile spatial representations. 

Small Area Haptic Device: Are we able to understand simple tactile virtual objects? We study how information can be coded, displayed and understood by humans through low-tech haptic displays.

Sensory Supplementation: Is it possible to improve the spatial soundscape of hearing impaired individuals? We study how binaural acoustic feedback can be used in context where hearing loss prevents proper spatial awareness.

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