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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 183) Show all publications
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
Grosinger, J., Pecora, F. & Saffiotti, A. (2018). Robots that Maintain Equilibrium: Proactivity by Reasoning About User Intentions and Preferences. Pattern Recognition Letters
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Robots that Maintain Equilibrium: Proactivity by Reasoning About User Intentions and Preferences
2018 (English)In: Pattern Recognition Letters, ISSN 0167-8655, E-ISSN 1872-7344Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
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, 2018
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)
Available from: 2018-03-12 Created: 2018-03-12 Last updated: 2018-09-14Bibliographically 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
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
Bruno, B., Chong, N. Y., Kamide, H., Kanoria, S., Lee, J., Lim, Y., . . . Sgorbissa, A. (2017). Paving the Way for Culturally Competent Robots: a Position Paper. In: Howard, A; Suzuki, K; Zollo, L (Ed.), 2017 26th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN): . Paper presented at 26th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), Lisbon, Portugal, August 28 - September 1, 2017 (pp. 553-560). New York: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Paving the Way for Culturally Competent Robots: a Position Paper
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2017 (English)In: 2017 26th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN) / [ed] Howard, A; Suzuki, K; Zollo, L, New York: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2017, p. 553-560Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Cultural competence is a well known requirementfor an effective healthcare, widely investigated in thenursing literature. We claim that personal assistive robotsshould likewise be culturally competent, aware of generalcultural characteristics and of the different forms they take indifferent individuals, and sensitive to cultural differences whileperceiving, reasoning, and acting. Drawing inspiration fromexisting guidelines for culturally competent healthcare and thestate-of-the-art in culturally competent robotics, we identifythe key robot capabilities which enable culturally competentbehaviours and discuss methodologies for their developmentand evaluation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2017
Series
IEEE RO-MAN, ISSN 1944-9445, E-ISSN 1944-9437
National Category
Computer Sciences Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-62926 (URN)10.1109/ROMAN.2017.8172357 (DOI)000427262400087 ()978-1-5386-3518-6 (ISBN)978-1-5386-3519-3 (ISBN)
Conference
26th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), Lisbon, Portugal, August 28 - September 1, 2017
Note

Funding Agencies:

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication of Japan  

European Commission  737858 

Available from: 2017-12-01 Created: 2017-12-01 Last updated: 2018-09-04Bibliographically approved
Grosinger, J., Pecora, F. & Saffiotti, A. (2017). Proactivity through equilibrium maintenance with fuzzy desirability. In: 2017 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC): . Paper presented at IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics (SMC 2017), Banff, AB, Canada, October 5-8, 2017. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Proactivity through equilibrium maintenance with fuzzy desirability
2017 (English)In: 2017 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2017Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Proactive cognitive agents need to be capable ofboth generating their own goals and enacting them. In thispaper, we cast this problem as that ofmaintaining equilibrium,that is, seeking opportunities to act that keep the system indesirable states while avoiding undesirable ones. We characterizedesirability of states as graded preferences, using mechanismsfrom the field of fuzzy logic. As a result, opportunities for anagent to act can also be graded, and their relative preferencecan be used to infer when and how to act. This paper providesa formal description of our computational framework, andillustrates how the use of degrees of desirability leads to well-informed choices of action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2017
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-59447 (URN)10.1109/SMC.2017.8122932 (DOI)000427598702027 ()2-s2.0-85044369004 (Scopus ID)978-1-5386-1645-1 (ISBN)978-1-5386-1644-4 (ISBN)978-1-5386-1646-8 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics (SMC 2017), Banff, AB, Canada, October 5-8, 2017
Note

Funding Agencies:

Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI)  

Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR)  

Swedish Research Council (VR Project WearAmI)  PGR00193 

Semantic Robots Research Profile (Swedish Knowledge Foundation) 

Available from: 2017-09-04 Created: 2017-09-04 Last updated: 2018-04-19Bibliographically approved
Saffiotti, A. & van der Zant, T. (2017). The Impact of RoCKIn on Robotics. In: Pedro Lima (Ed.), RoCKIn: Benchmarking Through Robot Competitions (pp. 1-5). INTECH
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Impact of RoCKIn on Robotics
2017 (English)In: RoCKIn: Benchmarking Through Robot Competitions / [ed] Pedro Lima, INTECH, 2017, p. 1-5Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
INTECH, 2017
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-62922 (URN)10.5772/intechopen.70307 (DOI)978-953-51-3373-5 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-12-01 Created: 2017-12-01 Last updated: 2018-02-01Bibliographically approved
Potenza, A., Kiselev, A., Loutfi, A. & Saffiotti, A. (2017). Towards Sliding Autonomy in Mobile Robotic Telepresence: A Position Paper. In: : . Paper presented at ECCE 2017 - European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics,20-22 September 2017, Umeå University, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Sliding Autonomy in Mobile Robotic Telepresence: A Position Paper
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Sliding autonomy is used in teleoperation to adjusting a robot's level of local autonomy to match the user's needs. We claim that sliding autonomy can also improve mobile robotic telepresence, but we argue that existing approaches cannot be adopted to this domain without adequate modifications. We address in particular the question of how the need for autonomy, and its appropriate degree, can be inferred from measurable information.

Keywords
Mobile Robotic Telepresence, Sliding Autonomy
National Category
Computer Sciences Robotics
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-62860 (URN)
Conference
ECCE 2017 - European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics,20-22 September 2017, Umeå University, Sweden
Projects
Socrates
Available from: 2017-11-27 Created: 2017-11-27 Last updated: 2018-02-01Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-8229-1363

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