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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 187) Show all publications
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: 2018-04-13Bibliographically approved
Wasik, A., Tomic, S., Saffiotti, A., Pecora, F., Martinoli, A. & Lima, P. U. (2018). Towards Norm Realization in Institutions Mediating Human-Robot Societies. 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. 297-304). IEEE
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Norm Realization in Institutions Mediating Human-Robot Societies
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2018 (English)In: 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), IEEE , 2018, p. 297-304Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Social norms are the understandings that govern the behavior of members of a society. As such, they regulate communication, cooperation and other social interactions. Robots capable of reasoning about social norms are more likely to be recognized as an extension of our human society. However, norms stated in a form of the human language are inherently vague and abstract. This allows for applying norms in a variety of situations, but if the robots are to adhere to social norms, they must be capable of translating abstract norms to the robotic language. In this paper we use a notion of institution to realize social norms in real robotic systems. We illustrate our approach in a case study, where we translate abstract norms into concrete constraints on cooperative behaviors of humans and robots. We investigate the feasibility of our approach and quantitatively evaluate the performance of our framework in 30 real experiments with user-based evaluation with 40 participants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2018
Series
IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, ISSN 2153-0858, E-ISSN 2153-0866
National Category
Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-73139 (URN)10.1109/IROS.2018.8594079 (DOI)000458872700027 ()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:

ISR/LARSyS Strategic Funds from FCT  FCT[UID/EEA/5009/2013]  FCT/11145/12/12/2014/S

Available from: 2019-03-14 Created: 2019-03-14 Last updated: 2019-03-14Bibliographically approved
Bruno, B., Mastrogiovanni, F., Pecora, F., Sgorbissa, A. & Saffiotti, A. (2017). A framework for Culture-aware Robots based on Fuzzy Logic. In: 2017 IEEE International Conference on Fuzzy Systems (FUZZ-IEEE): . Paper presented at IEEE International Conference on Fuzzy Systems (FUZZ 2017), Royal Continental Hotel, Naples, Italy, July 9-12, 2017. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A framework for Culture-aware Robots based on Fuzzy Logic
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2017 (English)In: 2017 IEEE International Conference on Fuzzy Systems (FUZZ-IEEE), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2017Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Cultural adaptation, i.e., the matching of a robot's behaviours to the cultural norms and preferences of its user, is a well known key requirement for the success of any assistive application. However, culture-dependent robot behaviours are often implicitly set by designers, thus not allowing for an easy and automatic adaptation to different cultures. This paper presents a method for the design of culture-aware robots, that can automatically adapt their behaviour to conform to a given culture. We propose a mapping from cultural factors to related parameters of robot behaviours which relies on linguistic variables to encode heterogeneous cultural factors in a uniform formalism, and on fuzzy rules to encode qualitative relations among multiple variables. We illustrate the approach in two practical case studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2017
Series
IEEE International Conference on Fuzzy Systems, E-ISSN 1098-7584
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-62924 (URN)10.1109/FUZZ-IEEE.2017.8015750 (DOI)000426449100365 ()2-s2.0-85030179964 (Scopus ID)9781509060344 (ISBN)9781509060351 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE International Conference on Fuzzy Systems (FUZZ 2017), Royal Continental Hotel, Naples, Italy, July 9-12, 2017
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 737858
Note

Funding Agencies:

Fondazione/Stiftelsen C.M. Lerici  

Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI)  

Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR)  PGR00193 

Available from: 2017-12-01 Created: 2017-12-01 Last updated: 2018-03-21Bibliographically approved
Bidot, J., Karlsson, L., Lagriffoul, F. & Saffiotti, A. (2017). Geometric backtracking for combined task and motion planning in robotic systems. Artificial Intelligence, 247, 229-265
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Geometric backtracking for combined task and motion planning in robotic systems
2017 (English)In: Artificial Intelligence, ISSN 0004-3702, E-ISSN 1872-7921, Vol. 247, p. 229-265Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Planners for real robotic systems should not only reason about abstract actions, but also about aspects related to physical execution such as kinematics and geometry. We present an approach to hybrid task and motion planning, in which state-based forward-chaining task planning is tightly coupled with motion planning and other forms of geometric reasoning. Our approach is centered around the problem of geometric backtracking that arises in hybrid task and motion planning: in order to satisfy the geometric preconditions of the current action, a planner may need to reconsider geometric choices, such as grasps and poses, that were made for previous actions. Geometric backtracking is a necessary condition for completeness, but it may lead to a dramatic computational explosion due to the large size of the space of geometric states. We explore two avenues to deal with this issue: the use of heuristics based on different geometric conditions to guide the search, and the use of geometric constraints to prune the search space. We empirically evaluate these different approaches, and demonstrate that they improve the performance of hybrid task and motion planning. We demonstrate our hybrid planning approach in two domains: a real, humanoid robotic platform, the DLR Justin robot, performing object manipulation tasks; and a simulated autonomous forklift operating in a warehouse.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Combined task and motion planning; Task planning; Action planning; Path planning; Robotics; Geometric reasoning; Hybrid reasoning; Robot manipulation
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-48015 (URN)10.1016/j.artint.2015.03.005 (DOI)000401401600011 ()2-s2.0-84929590433 (Scopus ID)
Projects
GeRTSAUNA
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 248273Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2016-02-05 Created: 2016-02-05 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
Vermesan, O., Bröring, A., Tragos, E., Serrano, M., Bacciu, D., Chessa, S., . . . Bahr, R. (2017). Internet of robotic things: converging sensing/actuating, hypoconnectivity, artificial intelligence and IoT Platforms. In: Ovidiu Vermesan,‎ Joel Bacquet (Ed.), Cognitive Hyperconnected Digital Transformation: Internet of Things Intelligence Evolution (pp. 97-155). River Publishers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Internet of robotic things: converging sensing/actuating, hypoconnectivity, artificial intelligence and IoT Platforms
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2017 (English)In: Cognitive Hyperconnected Digital Transformation: Internet of Things Intelligence Evolution / [ed] Ovidiu Vermesan,‎ Joel Bacquet, River Publishers, 2017, p. 97-155Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Internet of Things (IoT) concept is evolving rapidly and influencing newdevelopments in various application domains, such as the Internet of MobileThings (IoMT), Autonomous Internet of Things (A-IoT), Autonomous Systemof Things (ASoT), Internet of Autonomous Things (IoAT), Internetof Things Clouds (IoT-C) and the Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT) etc.that are progressing/advancing by using IoT technology. The IoT influencerepresents new development and deployment challenges in different areassuch as seamless platform integration, context based cognitive network integration,new mobile sensor/actuator network paradigms, things identification(addressing, naming in IoT) and dynamic things discoverability and manyothers. The IoRT represents new convergence challenges and their need to be addressed, in one side the programmability and the communication ofmultiple heterogeneous mobile/autonomous/robotic things for cooperating,their coordination, configuration, exchange of information, security, safetyand protection. Developments in IoT heterogeneous parallel processing/communication and dynamic systems based on parallelism and concurrencyrequire new ideas for integrating the intelligent “devices”, collaborativerobots (COBOTS), into IoT applications. Dynamic maintainability, selfhealing,self-repair of resources, changing resource state, (re-) configurationand context based IoT systems for service implementation and integrationwith IoT network service composition are of paramount importance whennew “cognitive devices” are becoming active participants in IoT applications.This chapter aims to be an overview of the IoRT concept, technologies,architectures and applications and to provide a comprehensive coverage offuture challenges, developments and applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
River Publishers, 2017
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-62923 (URN)978-87-93609-11-2 (ISBN)978-87-93609-10-5 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-12-01 Created: 2017-12-01 Last updated: 2018-08-11Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-8229-1363

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