Cognitive Robotics, Interaction and Rehabilitation Technologies

The Cognitive Robotics, Interaction and Rehabilitation Technologies curriculum provides interdisciplinary training at the interface between technology and biomedicine. The general objective of the program is to form scientists and research technologists capable to deal with multidisciplinary projects at the interface between technology and life-sciences. The research activities offered as part of this curriculum are supported by the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department of the Italian Institute of Technologies (RBCS) and by the Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and System Engineering (DIBRIS).
In particular, the science of action and interaction is the research stream unifying the multidisciplinary environment of the “Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences” (RBCS) department of IIT ( After establishing iCub as one of the more successful humanoid robot and fostering the birth of the iCub-Unit at IIT, the focus of RBCS has evolved toward the study of the embodied and cognitive interaction between humans and machines and its technological and social outcomes.
In the spirit of the doctoral School on Bioengineering and Robotics, in RBCS we are merging top-level neuroscience research and top-level robotics research by sharing fundamental scientific objectives arising from the study of speech recognition and language, the technological development of Brain Machine Interface, the foundations of physical and social interaction, the exploitation of sensory and motor rehabilitation. RBCS is where the iCub humanoid robot is used to investigate the language of embodied, human-human and human-robot communication and it is also the place where studies of how visual, haptic and tactile integration develops in normal as well as sensory-impaired children.
RBCS is where technologies for robotic rehabilitation devices are developed and tested in joint labs established in clinical environments, and it is also the place where electrophysiological experiments are performed to study human-machine interaction at the neural level to realize bi-directional direct communication between the brain and artificial systems.
DIBRIS ( has a long date tradition in investigating and applying embedded approaches to perception, cognition, and action to build autonomous and semi-autonomous intelligent systems operating in the real-world in close cooperation - or even in symbiosis -- with humans.
In this general spirit, research at DIBRIS focuses on different problems, methodologies and application scenarios, ranging from visual perception and knowledge representation to the interpretation of social cues in living beings, from autonomous exploration in unstructured or crowded scenarios to assistive and interactive technologies for assessment and rehabilitation of sensorimotor and motor skills.

Prof. Giulio Sandini, Italian Institute of Technology

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