The sensori-motor bases of human (and robot) interaction - Dr Alessandra Sciutti (Italian Institute of Technology)

Alessandra Sciutti and the iCub Robot
Alessandra Sciutti and the iCub Robot

Date: 9 April 2024 16:00 - 17:00

Location: G27, Engineering building (west block, ground floor), Mile end campus

The sensori-motor bases of human (and robot) interaction


The ways in which humans move and their physical characteristics play a significant role in shaping how they perceive their surroundings and interact with others. Throughout life, individuals develop a vocabulary of actions that is continually employed to understand the world through active exploration and to interpret the behaviors of others through embodied communication. In this presentation, I will explore the importance of cognitive robotics in investigating and utilizing these sensori-motor foundations of interaction to create machines capable of establishing mutual understanding with humans. Additionally, I will highlight the potential for robots and other sensor-equipped devices to serve as valuable tools for advancing research on human cognitive and sensori-motor abilities.

Short bio:

Alessandra Sciutti is Tenure Track Researcher, head of the CONTACT (COgNiTive Architecture for Collaborative Technologies) Unit of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). She received her B.S and M.S. degrees in Bioengineering and the Ph.D. in Humanoid Technologies from the University of Genova in 2010. After two research periods in USA and Japan, in 2018 she has been awarded the ERC Starting Grant wHiSPER (, focused on the investigation of joint perception between humans and robots. She published more than 80 papers and abstracts in international journals and conferences and participated in the coordination of the CODEFROR European IRSES project ( She is currently Associate Editor for several journals, among which the International Journal of Social Robotics, the IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems and Cognitive System Research. She is an ELLIS scholar and the corresponding co-chair of the IEEE RAS Technical Committee for Cognitive Robotics. The scientific aim of her research is to investigate the sensory and motor mechanisms underlying mutual understanding in human-human and human-robot interaction.


Contact:  Lorenzo Jamone

Updated by: Lorenzo Jamone