PACE Thematic Workshop III in Genoa : Save the date !!


9-11 October 2017

Central-Research-Laboratory-Genova_© 2016 IIT_4738

While robots were restricted to closed recensions on factory floors in the past, robots and humans will interact ever more closely in the future. Robots will present in the houses, where they will help cleaning for example. They will help older person to get out of beds and walk. They will be present in hospitals where they will help surgeons. They will also assist physiotherapists in delivering personalized physical rehabilitation to patients.  Perhaps one day, robots will become dance teachers. Another close form of interaction involves robots that might be parts or extensions of the body. New generations of robotic systems include limb prostheses, exoskeletons, actuated wheelchairs for example.

Close interaction between robots and humans will depend on resolving multiple challenges.  First, robots will have to satisfy Asimov’s first law of robotics. Robots will have to be built in such a way that they cannot injure humans. Second, almost all of the scenarios envisioned above require compact and transportable forms of power supply. Finally, the cost-benefit analysis of a robot is very different for a manufacturing plant and a family budget. How fast such a future might will also depend on fast technological progress can increase reliability and bring down the cost of robots.

This workshop will focus on different, more scientific kinds of challenges. As robots and humans will interact closely, they will need to be able to communicate and understand each other better.

During the first day, a session will deal with physical interaction between human and robots. Many situations require that robot interact physically with humans. Physical contact creates many challenges beside the obvious safety issues. Physical contact can have destabilizing impact on the robot. A handshake must feel natural.

To collaborate with humans, robots will also have to understand and predict the intentions of humans from the way they move. They will also have to move in such a way that their intentions might be readable to human partners. These questions will be explored in the second session on social interaction between human and robots.

Finally, robots that are part or extension of the body need to communicate with the human sensory and motor systems, either directly via the nervous pathways that normally connect the brain to the sensory organs and muscles or indirectly via residual sensory and motor capacities of the humans. An important application adjusts its force as a function of the state of the patient in a continuous manner. These aspects will be discussed in session on assistive and rehabilitative use of robots and prosthetics.

A keynote speech by Ferdinando Mussa-Ivaldi will close the first day of the event.


Click here for the agenda.

The event offer an opportunity to participants to present posters during the two days. If you are interested in presenting your work at the poster session, please specify it in the registration form and submit a 300 words abstract.

Participation is free of charge, but it requires a registration for organizational purposes. The registration form is available at the following link  Deadline for registration and abstract’s submission is 5th of October 2017.


For any enquiry or further information, please refer to the workshop contact


Training sessions reserved for PACE partners are planned for October 11 (the agenda for the third day is available here)