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Saffiotti, Alessandro, ProfessorORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-8229-1363
Alternative names
Biography [eng]

My research interests encompass Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomous robotics, and technology for elderly care.  I have been active for more than 25 years in the integration of AI and Robotics into a "cognitive robots" - you may say: how to give a brain to a body, or a body to a brain!  I also organize a number of international activities on combining AI and Robotics, including the "Lucia" series of PhD schools. I enjoy collaborative work, and I have participated in 12 EU projects, several EU networks, and many national projects. I am in the editorial board of the Artificial Intelligence journal, and of the International Journal on Social Robotics. I am a member of AAAI, a senior member of IEEE, and an EurAI fellow.

Publications (10 of 192) Show all publications
Bacciu, D., Di Rocco, M., Dragone, M., Gallicchio, C., Micheli, A. & Saffiotti, A. (2019). An ambient intelligence approach for learning in smart robotic environments. Computational intelligence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An ambient intelligence approach for learning in smart robotic environments
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2019 (English)In: Computational intelligence, ISSN 0824-7935, E-ISSN 1467-8640Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Smart robotic environments combine traditional (ambient) sensing devices and mobile robots. This combination extends the type of applications that can be considered, reduces their complexity, and enhances the individual values of the devices involved by enabling new services that cannot be performed by a single device. To reduce the amount of preparation and preprogramming required for their deployment in real-world applications, it is important to make these systems self-adapting. The solution presented in this paper is based upon a type of compositional adaptation where (possibly multiple) plans of actions are created through planning and involve the activation of pre-existing capabilities. All the devices in the smart environment participate in a pervasive learning infrastructure, which is exploited to recognize which plans of actions are most suited to the current situation. The system is evaluated in experiments run in a real domestic environment, showing its ability to proactively and smoothly adapt to subtle changes in the environment and in the habits and preferences of their user(s), in presence of appropriately defined performance measuring functions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2019
Keywords
Adaptive planning, ambient intelligence, recurrent neural networks, robotic ecology, self-adaptive system, smart environment
National Category
Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems) Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-75959 (URN)10.1111/coin.12233 (DOI)000481324700001 ()
Note

Funding Agency:

European Commission  FP7-ICT-269914

Available from: 2019-08-29 Created: 2019-08-29 Last updated: 2019-10-17Bibliographically approved
Sgorbissa, A., Papadopoulos, I., Papadopoulos, C., Saffiotti, A., Pandey, A. K., Merton, L., . . . Mastrolonardo, R. (2019). CARESSES: The Flower that Taught Robots about Culture. In: HRI '19: 2019 14TH ACM/IEEE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HUMAN-ROBOT INTERACTION. Paper presented at 14th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2019), Daegu, South Korea, March 11-14, 2019 (pp. 371-371). IEEE, Article ID 8673086.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>CARESSES: The Flower that Taught Robots about Culture
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2019 (English)In: HRI '19: 2019 14TH ACM/IEEE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HUMAN-ROBOT INTERACTION, IEEE , 2019, p. 371-371, article id 8673086Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The video describes the novel concept of "culturally competent robotics", which is the main focus of the project CARESSES (Culturally-Aware Robots and Environmental Sensor Systems for Elderly Support). CARESSES a multidisciplinary project whose goal is to design the first socially assistive robots that can adapt to the culture of the older people they are taking care of. Socially assistive robots are required to help the users in many ways including reminding them to take their medication, encouraging them to keep active, helping them keep in touch with family and friends. The video describes a new generation of robots that will perform their actions with attention to the older person's customs, cultural practices and individual preferences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2019
Series
ACM IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, ISSN 2167-2121, E-ISSN 2167-2148
Keywords
Culturally competent robots, elderly care
National Category
Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-74427 (URN)10.1109/HRI.2019.8673086 (DOI)000467295400053 ()2-s2.0-85064002082 (Scopus ID)978-1-5386-8555-6 (ISBN)
Conference
14th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2019), Daegu, South Korea, March 11-14, 2019
Available from: 2019-05-28 Created: 2019-05-28 Last updated: 2019-05-28Bibliographically approved
Bruno, B., Recchiuto, C. T., Papadopoulos, I., Saffiotti, A., Koulouglioti, C., Menicatti, R., . . . Sgorbissa, A. (2019). Knowledge Representation for Culturally Competent Personal Robots: Requirements, Design Principles, Implementation, and Assessment. International Journal of Social Robotics, 11(3), 515-538
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Knowledge Representation for Culturally Competent Personal Robots: Requirements, Design Principles, Implementation, and Assessment
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2019 (English)In: International Journal of Social Robotics, ISSN 1875-4791, E-ISSN 1875-4805, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 515-538Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Culture, intended as the set of beliefs, values, ideas, language, norms and customs which compose a person's life, is an essential element to know by any robot for personal assistance. Culture, intended as that person's background, can be an invaluable source of information to drive and speed up the process of discovering and adapting to the person's habits, preferences and needs. This article discusses the requirements posed by cultural competence on the knowledge management system of a robot. We propose a framework for cultural knowledge representation that relies on (i) a three-layer ontology for storing concepts of relevance, culture-specific information and statistics, person-specific information and preferences; (ii) an algorithm for the acquisition of person-specific knowledge, which uses culture-specific knowledge to drive the search; (iii) a Bayesian Network for speeding up the adaptation to the person by propagating the effects of acquiring one specific information onto interconnected concepts. We have conducted a preliminary evaluation of the framework involving 159 Italian and German volunteers and considering 122 among habits, attitudes and social norms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019
Keywords
Culture-aware robotics, Companion robot, Knowledge representation
National Category
Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-75376 (URN)10.1007/s12369-019-00519-w (DOI)000474401100010 ()2-s2.0-85068880768 (Scopus ID)
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 737858
Available from: 2019-07-29 Created: 2019-07-29 Last updated: 2019-07-29Bibliographically approved
Grosinger, J., Pecora, F. & Saffiotti, A. (2019). Robots that Maintain Equilibrium: Proactivity by Reasoning About User Intentions and Preferences. Pattern Recognition Letters, 118, 85-93
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Robots that Maintain Equilibrium: Proactivity by Reasoning About User Intentions and Preferences
2019 (English)In: Pattern Recognition Letters, ISSN 0167-8655, E-ISSN 1872-7344, Vol. 118, p. 85-93Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Robots need to exhibit proactive behavior if they are to be accepted in human-centered environments. A proactive robot must reason about the actions it can perform, the state of the environment, the state and the intentions of its users, and what the users deem desirable. This paper proposes a computational framework for proactive robot behavior that formalizes the above ingredients. The framework is grounded on the notion of Equilibrium Maintenance: current and future states are continuously evaluated to identify opportunities for acting that steer the system into more desirable states. We show that this process leads a robot to proactively generate its own goals and enact them, and that the obtained behavior depends on a model of user intentions, preferences, and the temporal horizon used in prediction. A number of examples show that our framework accounts for even slight variations in user preference models and perceived user intentions. We also show how the level of informedness of the system is easily customizable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019
Keywords
Robot proactivity, Equilibrium maintenance, Goal reasoning, Fuzzy models
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-65667 (URN)10.1016/j.patrec.2018.05.014 (DOI)000457976400010 ()2-s2.0-85048078578 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, PGR00193
Note

Funding Agency:

Semantic Robots Research Profile (Swedish Knowledge Foundation)

Available from: 2018-03-12 Created: 2018-03-12 Last updated: 2019-02-19Bibliographically approved
Menicatti, R., Recchiuto, C. T., Bruno, B., Zaccaria, R., Khaliq, A. A., Köckemann, U., . . . Sgorbissa, A. (2018). Collaborative Development Within a Social Robotic, Multi-Disciplinary Effort: the CARESSES Case Study. In: 2018 IEEE Workshop on Advanced Robotics and its Social Impacts (ARSO): . Paper presented at 2018 IEEE Workshop on Advanced Robotics and its Social Impacts (ARSO), Genova, Italy, 27-29 September, 2018 (pp. 117-124). IEEE
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Collaborative Development Within a Social Robotic, Multi-Disciplinary Effort: the CARESSES Case Study
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2018 (English)In: 2018 IEEE Workshop on Advanced Robotics and its Social Impacts (ARSO), IEEE, 2018, p. 117-124Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In many cases, complex multidisciplinary research projects may show a lack of coordinated development and integration, and a big effort is often required in the final phase of the projects in order to merge software developed by heterogeneous research groups. This is particularly true in advanced robotic projects: the objective here is to deliver a system that integrates all the hardware and software components, is capable of autonomous behaviour, and needs to be deployed in real-world scenarios toward providing an impact on future research and, ultimately, on society. On the other hand, in recent years there has been a growing interest for techniques related to software integration, but these have been mostly applied to the IT commercial domain.

This paper presents the work performed in the context of the project CARESSES, a multidisciplinary research project focusing on socially assistive robotics that involves 9 partners from the EU and Japan. Given the complexity of the project, a huge importance has been placed on software integration, task planning and architecture definition since the first stages of the work: to this aim, some of the practices commonly used in the commercial domain for software integration, such as merging software from the early stage, have been applied. As a case study, the document describes the steps which have been followed in the first year of the project discussing strengths and weaknesses of this approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2018
Series
IEEE Workshop on Advanced Robotics and its Social Impacts, ISSN 2162-7568
Keywords
Robot sensing systems, Cultural differences, Robot kinematics, Computer architecture, Middleware
National Category
Computer Sciences Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71984 (URN)10.1109/ARSO.2018.8625740 (DOI)000458688000025 ()978-1-5386-8037-7 (ISBN)
Conference
2018 IEEE Workshop on Advanced Robotics and its Social Impacts (ARSO), Genova, Italy, 27-29 September, 2018
Projects
CARESSES
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 737858
Note

Funding Agencies:

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication of Japan 

Available from: 2019-01-31 Created: 2019-01-31 Last updated: 2019-03-01Bibliographically approved
Khaliq, A. A., Köckemann, U., Pecora, F., Saffiotti, A., Bruno, B., Recchiuto, C. T., . . . Chong, N. Y. (2018). Culturally aware Planning and Execution of Robot Actions. In: 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS): . Paper presented at 25th IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Madrid, Spain, October 1-5, 2018 (pp. 326-332). IEEE
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Culturally aware Planning and Execution of Robot Actions
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2018 (English)In: 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), IEEE, 2018, p. 326-332Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The way in which humans behave, speak andinteract is deeply influenced by their culture. For example,greeting is done differently in France, in Sweden or in Japan;and the average interpersonal distance changes from onecultural group to the other. In order to successfully coexistwith humans, robots should also adapt their behavior to theculture, customs and manners of the persons they interact with.In this paper, we deal with an important ingredient of culturaladaptation: how to generate robot plans that respect givencultural preferences, and how to execute them in a way thatis sensitive to those preferences. We present initial results inthis direction in the context of the CARESSES project, a jointEU-Japan effort to build culturally competent assistive robots.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2018
Series
IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, ISSN 2153-0858, E-ISSN 2153-0866
Keywords
Robotics, automated planning, cultural awareness
National Category
Computer Sciences Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71980 (URN)10.1109/IROS.2018.8593570 (DOI)000458872700030 ()978-1-5386-8094-0 (ISBN)978-1-5386-8095-7 (ISBN)
Conference
25th IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Madrid, Spain, October 1-5, 2018
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 737858
Note

Funding Agency:

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication of Japan

Available from: 2019-01-31 Created: 2019-01-31 Last updated: 2019-03-14Bibliographically approved
Köckemann, U., Khaliq, A. A., Pecora, F. & Saffiotti, A. (2018). Domain Reasoning for Robot Task Planning: A Position Paper. In: Alberto Finzi, Erez Karpas, Goldie Nejat, AndreA Orlandini, Siddharth Srivastava (Ed.), PlanRob 2018: Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Planning and Robotics. Paper presented at 28th International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, Delft, The Netherlands, June 24-29, 2018 (pp. 102-105). ICAPS
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Domain Reasoning for Robot Task Planning: A Position Paper
2018 (English)In: PlanRob 2018: Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Planning and Robotics / [ed] Alberto Finzi, Erez Karpas, Goldie Nejat, AndreA Orlandini, Siddharth Srivastava, ICAPS , 2018, p. 102-105Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this position paper we argue for moving towards generalpurpose domains to promote the usage of task planning forreal-world robot systems. Planning approaches should extractconcrete domains based on their current context in order tosolve problems. Towards this aim, we define the problem ofdomain reasoning, by which a planning domain is obtainedfrom a more general, multi-purpose domain definition, giventhe current deployment and context of the robot system. Weprovide examples motivating the need for domain reasoningin robot task planning, as well as a discussion of potentialsolutions to the domain reasoning problem.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ICAPS, 2018
Keywords
Automated planning, domain reasoning
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71979 (URN)
Conference
28th International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, Delft, The Netherlands, June 24-29, 2018
Projects
CARESSES
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 737858
Available from: 2019-01-31 Created: 2019-01-31 Last updated: 2019-02-04Bibliographically approved
Potenza, A. & Saffiotti, A. (2018). One Robot and Two Humans: Some Notes on Shared Autonomy in the Case of Robotic Telepresence.. In: : . Paper presented at IJCAI2018, Workshop on Autonomy in Teams, Stockholm, Sweden, 13 July, 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>One Robot and Two Humans: Some Notes on Shared Autonomy in the Case of Robotic Telepresence.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Telepresence robots, similar to other teleoperated robots, can benefit strongly from shared autonomyas a way to enhance ease of use for the operator. With ever-increasing capabilities of autonomousrobots, it is crucial to understand what can be automated and under which circumstances. We argue that within a dynamic environment, the allocation of tasks between human and robot should not be fixed, but rather adaptable, taking into account the current state of the environment.

Keywords
Shared Autonomy, Adjustable Autonomy, Mobile Robotic Telepresence
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-68708 (URN)
Conference
IJCAI2018, Workshop on Autonomy in Teams, Stockholm, Sweden, 13 July, 2018
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 721619
Available from: 2018-09-03 Created: 2018-09-03 Last updated: 2018-09-17Bibliographically approved
Simoens, P., Dragone, M. & Saffiotti, A. (2018). The Internet of Robotic Things: A review of concept, added value and applications. International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 15(1), Article ID 1729881418759424.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Internet of Robotic Things: A review of concept, added value and applications
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, ISSN 1729-8806, E-ISSN 1729-8814, Vol. 15, no 1, article id 1729881418759424Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Internet of Robotic Things is an emerging vision that brings together pervasive sensors and objects with robotic and autonomous systems. This survey examines how the merger of robotic and Internet of Things technologies will advance the abilities of both the current Internet of Things and the current robotic systems, thus enabling the creation of new, potentially disruptive services. We discuss some of the new technological challenges created by this merger and conclude that a truly holistic view is needed but currently lacking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018
Keywords
Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems, distributed robotics, network robot systems, autonomous systems, robot ecology
National Category
Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-66582 (URN)10.1177/1729881418759424 (DOI)000428570400001 ()2-s2.0-85042784079 (Scopus ID)
Note

Funding Agency:

imec ACTHINGS High Impact initiative

Available from: 2018-04-13 Created: 2018-04-13 Last updated: 2019-10-17Bibliographically approved
Tomic, S., Martinoli, A., Wasik, A., Pecora, F., Lima, P. U. & Saffiotti, A. (2018). Towards Institutions for Mixed Human-Robot Societies. In: Proceedings of the International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, (AAMAS' 18): . Paper presented at 17th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2018), Stockholm, Sweden, July 10-15, 2018 (pp. 2216-2217). Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Institutions for Mixed Human-Robot Societies
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2018 (English)In: Proceedings of the International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, (AAMAS' 18), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2018, p. 2216-2217Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We report an exploration into normative reasoning for robots in human societies using the concept of institutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2018
Series
Proceedings of the ... International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems AAMAS ; 1548-8403
Keywords
Normative agents, Social robots, Cognitive robotic, Human Robot Interaction, Multi-Robot Systems
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-74548 (URN)000468231300372 ()2-s2.0-85054729045 (Scopus ID)978-1-4503-5649-7 (ISBN)
Conference
17th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2018), Stockholm, Sweden, July 10-15, 2018
Available from: 2019-06-03 Created: 2019-06-03 Last updated: 2019-06-03Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-8229-1363

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