ZiF Research Group

Cognitive Behavior of Humans, Animals, and Machines:

Situation Model Perspectives

October 2019 – July 2020

Convenors: Werner Schneider (Bielefeld, GER), Helge Ritter (Bielefeld, GER)

Giulio Sandini

Associate Fellow

Foto Brain and Cognitive Sciences Unit,
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy,
University of Genova, Italy
E-Mail: giulio.sandini@iit.it


Giulio Sandini is Founding Director of the Italian Institute of Technology and full professor of bioengineering at the University of Genoa. After his graduation in Electronic Engineering (Bioengineering) at the University of Genova he was research fellow and assistant professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa until 1984. During this period, working at the Laboratorio di Neurofisiologia of the CNR, he investigated aspects of visual processing at the level of single neurons as well as aspects of visual perception in human adults and children. He has been Visiting Research Associate at the Department of Neurology of the Harvard Medical School in Boston. After his return to Genova in 1984 as associate professor he founded the Laboratory for Integrated Advanced Robotics. In 1996 he was Visiting Scientist at the Artificial Intelligence Lab of MIT. Since 2006 he contributed to the definition of initial IIT's scientific plan.

Current Main Research Interests

Giulio Sandini research activities are in the fields of Biological and Artificial Vision, Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience and Robotics with the objective of understanding the neural mechanisms of human sensory-motor coordination and cognitive development from a biological and an artificial perspective. A distinctive aspect of his research has been the multidisciplinarity of the approach expressed through national and international collaborations with neuroscientists and developmental psychologists. Giulio Sandini has established and is currently directing the research unit "Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences" of IIT which concentrates on a multidisciplinary approach to human centered technologies encompassing machine learning and artificial cognition, exploring the brain mechanisms at the basis of motor behavior, learning, multimodal interaction, and sensorimotor integration.

Five selected publications with particular relevance to the Research Group
  • Sciutti, A., Mara, M., Tagliasco, V., & Sandini, G. (2018). Humanizing human-robot interaction: On the importance of mutual understanding. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 37, 22-29.
  • Vernon, D., Beetz, M., & Sandini, G. (2015). Prospection in cognition: The case for joint episodic-procedural memory in cognitive robotics. Frontiers Robotics AI, 2(JUL), 19.
  • Sandini, G., Metta, G., & Vernon, D. (2007). The iCub cognitive humanoid robot: An open-system research platform for enactive cognition. Lecture Notes in Computer Science - 4850 LNAI, 358-369.
  • Vernon, D., Metta, G., & Sandini, G. (2007). A survey of artificial cognitive systems: Implications for the autonomous development of mental capabilities in computational agents. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 11, 151-180.
  • Lungarella, M., Metta, G.,Pfeifer, R., & Sandini, G. (2003). Developmental robotics: A survey. Connection Science, 15, 151-190.