International Winter School on Humanoid Robot Programming

Course at a Glance

The course will be held in the period 6-15 of February, 2018 at the Metropole Hotel, Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy

Autonomous robots are becoming progressively more sophisticated, thanks to the availability of affordable technologies and robust algorithms for perception, control and learning. These technologies are building blocks for the development of systems with cognitive capabilities, able to operate effectively outside controlled environments.

The aim of this school is to give students an overview of the state-of-the-art on the broad field of robotics and teach them the required, practical, skills that allow them to program robots taking advantage of available tools and libraries for perception, control and machine learning. We propose to use humanoid robots are testbeds, because they offer unique opportunities to study many of the problems that are relevant to the field of autonomous systems.

This school will cover the following topics:

  • Software architectures for robot programming (i.e. ROS, YARP)
  • Methods, tools and best practices for software integration and concurrent development
  • Robot kinematics, control in task and joint space
  • Direct and inverse dynamics for whole-body control
  • Robot vision
  • Neuromorphic sensors and event-driven vision
  • Machine Learning and Deep-learning

This school is an evolution of the Veni Vidi Vici (VVV) iCub summer school, which started in 2006. With respect to the original format, the program has been revised to dedicate more hours to frontal teaching and enriched by invited talks. In addition, students will be given sufficient time to build practical programming skills thanks to extensive hands-on sessions on software simulators and real humanoid robotic platforms. Two iCub humanoid robots will be available to the students, equipped with a cluster of computers and GPUs in a dedicated LAN.

Participants are expected to have a background in robotics and computer programming in C/C++. They should also bring their own laptop to attend hands-on sessions.

The website of previous schools including program and material can be found here: VVV17.


The school is funded by the Technical Education Program of the of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS).

We also acknowledge support of the following IEEE-RAS technical committees:

Basic Info


The school will take place at the hotel Metropole in the beautiful town of Santa Margherita Ligure, located about 35 Km southeast Genova, Italy.


The school begins in the morning of the 6/2 and finishes in the evening of the 15/2. Sunday 11th will be free (participants are encouraged to visit Santa Margherita or the riviera nearby).

Accommodation and Food

Accomodation, lunch and dinner will be served at the Hotel Metropole and are included in the school fee (with the only exception of the lunch on Sunday which will NOT be included).

Subscription and Fees

The school is open to PhD students and Post-Docs. Applicants will be selected competitively based on the application material (research statement, CV and support letter).

The fee includes the school, food (full board, with the exception of Sunday 11/2 in which only dinner will be provided) and accomodation at the Hotel Metropole for 11 nights (from Monday to Thrusday night):

1250 euro, discounted registration for IEEE-RAS members (shared room)

1750 euro, discounted registration for IEEE-RAS members (single room, depending on availability)

1500 euro, full registration (shared room)

1950 euro, full registration (single room, depending on availability)

Accomodation in shared room will be in triple or double rooms, depending on availability.

For any inquiries, please write to lorenzo.natale _AT_ iit.it

Registration deadline: 1/12

Registrations will be considered valid only if we receive the payment by the deadline of registration.

Attendants from IIT do not need to register online, but should contact their department secretariat.

School resources website

School's wiki, instructions for participants, robot booking etc.:


The following is a high-level schedule of the school. More details, including links to slides, code tutorials and assignment are available in the School Material page, within the wiki.
18:00 - 19:30Check your installation (follow instructions at https://vvv-school.github.io/vvv18). Optional for those who are already at the hotel and would like to check their laptop and software installation.ALL
9:00 - 9:15Welcome and introductionLorenzo Natale
9:15 - 13:00Introducing the tools for sharing code at the school. Git and Github. Git basics hands-on session.Ugo Pattacini
13:00 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 18:00Software middleware for robotics: the YARP middlewareLorenzo Natale
18:00 - 19:00Students presentations
20:00 - Dinner
9:00 - 13:00Hands on: the YARP middlewareLorenzo Natale
13:00 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 18:00The ROS middlewareBence Magyar
18:00 - 19:00Evening Talk: Sustainable Human-Centered Robots [abstract and bio]Luis Sentis
20:00 - Dinner
9:00 - 13:00Robot kinematicsUgo Pattacini
13:00 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 18:30Hands on: robot kinematics, control in Cartesian spaceUgo Pattacini
20:00 - Dinner
9:00 - 13:00Computer VisionAlexander Bernardino
13:00 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 18:00Hands on: robot vision with OpenCVVadim Tikhanoff
18:00 - 19:00Evening Talk: Humanoids capable of merging: a fundamental cognitive mechanism for meaning creation in the motoric, perceptual and language space [abstract and bio] Katerina Pastra
20:00 - Dinner
9:00 - 13:00Robot Dynamics & whole-body controlDaniele Pucci
13:00 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 18:00Hands on: whole-body control of a humanoid robotDaniele Pucci
18:00 - 19:00Evening Talk: Data Driven Robotics and Reinforcement Learning at DeepMind [abstract and bio] Francesco Nori
20:00 - Dinner
9:00 - 19:00Day off. Notice that Lunch today is NOT included in the fee. Dinner will be served at the hotel as usual.
9:00 - 13:00Neuromorphic sensors and Event-driven visionChiara Bartolozzi
13:00 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 18:00Hands on: Event Driven VisionArren Glover
18:00 - 19:00Evening Talk: 3D object modelling, recognition and tracking with an application to action learning [abstract and bio]Michael Zillich
20:00 - Dinner
9:00 - 13:00Machine Learning & Deep Learning Fabio Anselmi
13:00 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 18:30Hands on: Deep LearningGiulia Pasquale
20:00 - Dinner
9:00 - 12:00Putting it all together: bulding complex behaviors.Group Work
12:00 - 13:00Evening Talk: Bridging the Chasm - how to do your innovation more efficiently than I did [abstract and bio]Rich Walker
13:00 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 18:30Hands on: An integrated demoGroup Work
20:00 - Dinner
9:00 - 13:00Putting it all together: bulding complex behaviors.Group Work
13:00 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 17:30Hands on: An integrated demoGroup Work
20:00 - Social dinner: Goodbye and farewellALL


Chiara Bartolozzi

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Lorenzo Natale

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Ugo Pattacini

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Vadim Tikhanoff

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Daniele Pucci

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Alex Bernardino

Instituto Superior Técnico

Bence Magyar

Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Centre for Robotics

Arren Glover

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Fabio Anselmi

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Teaching Assistants

Elisa Maiettini

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Claudio Fantacci

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Nicoló Genesio

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Giulia Pasquale

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Valentina Vasco

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Diego Ferigo

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Silvio Traversaro

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Invited Speakers

Luis Sentis

University of Texas at Austin

Katerina Pastra

Cognitive Systems Research Institute

Francesco Nori

Google DeepMind

Michael Zillich

Technische Universitat Wien

Rich Walker

Shadow Robot Company

Organizing Committee

Local Committee

Lorenzo Natale

istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

lorenzo.natale _AT_ iit.it

Chiara Bartolozzi

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

chiara.bartolozzi _AT_ iit.it

Ugo Pattacini

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

ugo.pattacini _AT_ iit.it

Vadim Tikhanoff

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

vadim.tikhanoff _AT_ iit.it

Daniele Pucci

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

daniele.pucci _AT_ iit.it

Advisory Board

Tamim Asfour

Karlsruhe Insistute of Technology

asfour _AT_ kit edu

Giorgio Metta

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

giorgio.metta _AT_ iit.it

Katja Mombaur

University of Heidelberg

katja.mombaur _AT_ iwr.uni-heidelberg.de

Jose Santos-Victor

Instituto Superior Técnico

jasv _AT_ isr.tecnico.ulisboa.pt