banner ICRA 2014 Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia Digital Agenda for Europe

L. Natale(1), F.Nori(2), N. Tsagarakis(3), G. Metta(1)
(1) iCub Facility
(2) Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences
(3)Advanced Robotics Departments
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Via Morego, 30 - 16163 Genoa, Italy.

NEW : Workshop photos

Workshop program pdf


The iCub is a humanoid robot shaped as a four years old child. It is available as an open system platform following the GPL license. The iCub was originally designed by a consortium of 11 partners guided by the Italian Institute of Technology, with background ranging from engineering to neurophysiology and developmental psychology, within the RobotCub Integrated Project funded by European Commission through its Cognitive Systems and Robotics Unit. The iCub can crawl on all fours and sit up. Its hands allow dexterous manipulation and its head and eyes are fully articulated. It has visual, vestibular, auditory, and tactile sensory capabilities. In the past few years the community of researchers working on the iCub grew at a constant pace. Today there are more than 25 iCub platforms available worldwide. Simultaneously the platform evolved significantly in terms of its sensors and actuators. Thanks to the recent improvements the iCub is now equipped with: whole-body distributed tactile and force/torque sensing, series elastic actuators for compliant walking experiments (the COMAN actuators) and movable head with microphones, speaker, actuated eyes, eyelids and lips for speech and human-robot interaction studies. The key advantage of the iCub is that it is an integrated platform that allows the study of complex tasks that require speech and auditory perception, vision as well as proper coordination and integration of sensory data and control. We believe that this, more than ever, requires that researchers with different expertise join forces and start working together. Having platforms with compatible software and hardware is clearly a unique opportunity for collaboration. This workshop is the third in a series happening approximately every two years and, in particular, it will present a cohesive description of the iCub-related activities ranging from software development, control, vision, cognition and hardware, sensors and so forth.


This workshop has two goals. The first goal is to bring together researchers working on the iCub humanoid robots and to present a complete overview of their recent activities. In particular we welcome contributions that demonstrate complex tasks that involve integration and coordination of several sensory modalities and whole-body control. The second goal is to foster collaboration among researchers that are working on different disciplines to advance the state of the art in humanoid robotics. In addition, the workshop will serve as a venue to start the preparation of a special issue for a prestigious journal. To conclude, with this 10th birthday workshop we aim at:

  • Demonstrating the current development of the iCub platform;
  • Providing an overview of the research on the iCub platform;
  • Giving the opportunity of demonstrating and discussing recent results of integration activities;
  • Advancing the state of the art in humanoid robotics by fostering collaboration among researchers working on different areas of robotics as e.g. speech, machine learning, vision, manipulation, locomotion, and whole-body control.

Speakers (click on the talk title to get the abstract)

Time Name Title Affiliation
9:00 Giorgio Metta Ten years of the iCub project Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, iCub Facility
9:20 Nikos Tsagarakis Recent advancements on the compliant humanoid COMAN development Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, ADVR
9:40 Francesco Nori Optimal Whole Body Control of the iCub humanoid Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, RBCS
10:00 Francesco Becchi Industrial perspectives of the iCub technology Telerobot, Concept Labs
Coffee break
10:50 Sylvain Calinon Learning by imitation and exploration with the COMAN and iCub humanoid robots Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Idiap Research Institute
11:10 Stefan Wermter Sound Source Localization and Multimodal Integration with the iCub head University of Hamburg, Department of Computer Science Knowledge Technology
11:30 José Santos-Victor Experiments with the iCub: modelling oculo-motor control and understanding object affordances IST, Institute of Systems and Robotics
11:50 Peter Ford Dominey Cooperation with iCub INSERM Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, Robot Cognition Laboratory
12:10 Jun Tani Incorporating with stochastic processes and deterministic chaos in learning to model fluctuated KAIST, Cognitive Neuro-Robotics Lab.
14:00 Karinne Ramírez Amaro iCub@ICS-TUM: Semantic Reasoning, Constrained Manipulation and Humanoid Vision enable on the iCub TU Munchen,Institute for Cognitive System
14:20 Jan Peters Automatic Skill Learning: Useful technology for the iCub? TU Darmstadt, Computer Science Department
14:40 Angelo Cangelosi Embodied Language Learning in the iCub: From First Words to Numbers University of Plymouth, Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems
15:00 Jochen Steil iCub goes interaction Universität Bielefeld, Cognitive Robotics and Learning
Coffee break
15:50 Nicolas Sommer Tactile exploration with the iCub robot EPFL, Learning Algorithms and System Laboratory
16:10 Patricia Shaw A Psychologically Inspired Approach to Developmental Learning in Cognitive Robots Aberystwyth University, Department of Computer Science
16:30 Serena Ivaldi iCub learning from humans via multimodal, physical, social and natural interaction TU Darmstadt, Intelligent Autonomous Systems Lab
16:50 Zhang Chong Simultaneous learning of vergence and smooth pursuit through active efficient coding Hong Kong University of Science and technology
Workshop ends

List of topics

Speech and auditory perception, Human-robot interaction, Vision, Machine learning, Locomotion and whole-body control, Manipulation, Software engineering for system integration.

Intended audience

This workshop has a broader audience by showcasing cutting edge humanoid robotics. In particular, it can be informative for researchers interested in joining the iCub community or more in general interested in open source development.

Related workshops


This workshop will be organized under the support of the following EU projects


This workshop is supported by the IEEE CIS Technical Committee on Autonomous Mental Development; more specifically by the task force on Action and Perception.


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