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Sylvain Calinon

Sylvain Calinon



I am Team Leader of the Learning and Interaction Lab at the Department of Advanced Robotics, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genova, Italy. I am also a visiting researcher at the Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory (LASA), Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, where I received my PhD in 2007. My research interests cover robot learning by imitation and exploration, machine learning and human-robot interaction.

I maintain the Programming-by-demonstration.org website, which provides an open access to researchers working in learning by imitation to post announcements, links, and publications.

Updated 20/02/2014

General information

  Dr Sylvain Calinon,
  Department of Advanced Robotics,
  Italian Institute of Technology (IIT),
  Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy.

Born January 12, 1980 at Yverdon, Switzerland.
Marital status: Single. Citizenship: Swiss and French.





  (Office) +39 010 717 81 755
  (Mobile Switzerland) +41 76 368 16 64
  (Mobile Italy) +39 333 611 03 74
  sylvain.calinoniit.it



Professional Career

April 2009-nowTeam Leader Head of the Learning and Interaction Lab, Department of Advanced Robotics (Prof. Darwin Caldwell), Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genova, Italy.
2007-2009

Postdoctoral Fellow

Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory (Prof. Aude Billard), Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.


Education

2003-2007PhD Robotics Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. Thesis: "Continuous Extraction of Task Constraints in a Robot Programming by Demonstration Framework"
Advisor: Prof. Aude Billard, EPFL, Switzerland.
Committee: Prof. Hannes Bleuler, EPFL, Switzerland,
Prof. Herve Bourlard, Director of IDIAP Research Institute, Switzerland,
Dr Yiannis Demiris, Imperial College London (ICL), UK,
Prof. Stefan Schaal, University of Southern California (USC), USA.
Awards: Robotdalen Scientific Award,   Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) Award,   EPFL-Press distinction.
Oral exam: May 1st, 2007. Public presentation: July 6th, 2007.
2001-2003MSc Microengineering Autonomous Systems Laboratory (ASL), EPFL, Switzerland. Thesis: "PDA Interface for Humanoid Robots using Speech and Vision Processing"
Advisor: Prof. Aude Billard, EPFL, Switzerland.
Committee: Prof. Jean-Daniel Nicoud, DIDEL S.A.
Oral exam:March 1st, 2003.
1998-2001BSc Microengineering EPFL, Switzerland.


Collaborations

April 2009-nowVisiting researcher Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL).
March 2008Visiting researcher CNRS-AIST Joint Japanese-French Robotics Laboratory (JRL) (Prof. Abderrahmane Kheddar), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Japan (1 month).
April 2005Visiting researcher Adaptive Systems Research Group (Prof. Kerstin Dautenhahn and Prof. Chrystopher Nehaniv), )University of Hertfordshire (UH), Hatfield, UK (2 weeks).
Sept. 2003Visiting researcher Humanoid Robotics and Computational Neuroscience department (HRCN) (Prof. Gordon Cheng), Advanced Telecommunication Research Institute (ATR), Kyoto, Japan (1 month).
Oct. 2002Visiting researcher Computational Learning and Motor Control Lab (CLMC) (Prof. Stefan Schaal), University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, USA (1 month).


Awards

2013 CoTeSys Best Paper Award Finalist of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Tokyo, Japan.
2009 Best Paper Award Finalist of the IEEE-RAS Intl Conf. on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), Paris, France.
2008 Robotdalen Scientific Award for Best 2007 PhD Thesis (See the press release here).
The jury was impressed by the practical and economic importance of the problem, the systematic analysis and innovative layered approach of its implementation, the completeness of the solution, and the open release of source code, demonstrating confidence in the solution independence from specifics of any particular robot hardware or manipulation task.
2008ABB Award for Best 2007 PhD Thesis.
For the thorough and exemplary work in his Ph.D. thesis and important scientific contributions resolving two major issues in robot programming by demonstration.
2008EPFL-Press distinction for Best 2007 PhD Thesis.
2008First prize (LASA-EPFL Team) in the Grand Challenge on Human-Robot Interaction at the IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2008).
2007Best Paper Award of the IEEE Intl Symp. on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), Jeju, Korea. Paper on "Active Teaching in Robot Programming by Demonstration".


Invited talks

January 2014 RoSEC Winter School, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
November 2013 NII Shonan Meeting on Cognitive Social Robotics: intelligence based on embodied experience and social interaction, Shonan Village Center, Japan.
October 2013 Workshop "Benchmarking of State-of-the-Art algorithms in Generating Human-Like Robot Reaching Motions", IEEE-RAS Intl Conf. on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
October 2013 Workshop "From Safety to Comfort in the Humanoid Coworker and Assistant", IEEE-RAS Intl Conf. on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
August 2013 Biorobotics Lab, TU Delft, Netherlands.
June 2013 Workshop on Robot Learning, International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML'2013), Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
May 2013 Workshop on Semantics, Identification, and Control of Robot-Human-Environment, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2013), Karlsruhe, Germany.
April 2013 Workshop on haptic collaboration in shared control tasks, IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC’2013), Daejeon, Korea.
March 2013 Workshop on Collaborative Robotics in Industry, European Robotics Forum (ERF’2013), Lyon, France.
January 2013 RoSEC Winter School, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
September 2012 12th International UJI Robotics School on Perceptual Robotics for Humanoids, Benicassim, Spain.
June 2012 German-French Workshop: Perspectives on Cognitive Interaction and Technology, CITEC, Bielefeld, Germany.
June 2012 iCub Facility kick‐off meeting, IIT, Genova, Italy.
April 2012 LCCC Symp. on Robotic Skill Learning and Cognition, Lund, Sweden.
January 2012 Intl Workshop on Cognition, Control and Learning, CHIC, KIST, Seoul, Korea.
January 2012 RoSEC Winter School, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
December 2011 Intl Conf. of the European SKILLS Project, Montpellier, France.
October 2011 Computational Learning and Motor Control Lab, University of Southern California (USC), USA.
August 2011 Learning from Demonstration Challenge, Twenty-Fifth Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI'11), Boston, USA.
July 2010 Campus Party, Science and Arts City Museum, Valencia, Spain.
(Technology festival since 1997 with renowned invited speakers such as Stephen Hawking, Al Gore, Neil Amstrong, Steve Wozniak, Vint Cerf or Tim Berners-Lee)
October 2009 Automatic Control Dept, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain.
2008 Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics - CoR-Lab, CITEC, Bielefeld, Germany.
2008 HONDA Research Institute Europe, Offenbach, Germany.
2008 Nakamura Laboratory, University of Tokyo, Japan.
2008 Workshop on Grasp and Task Learning by Imitation, IEEE/RSJ Intl Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Nice, France.
2008 Workshop on Interactive Robot Learning, Robotics: Science and Systems Conf. (RSS), Zurich, Switzerland.
2008 RobotX Industrial forum on robotics, Yverdon, Switzerland.
2008 Workshop on Social Interaction with Intelligent Indoor Robots, Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Pasadena, CA, USA.
2008 Swedish robotics initiative Robotdalen annual event, Volvo Group, Eskilstuna, Sweden.
2007 Workshop on Concept Learning for Embodied Agents, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Roma, Italia.
2006

Workshop on Collaborative Human-Robot Teamwork, IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Orlando, Florida, USA.

Invited robot demonstrations at international events

2010 Futura Campus Party, demonstrations of a chief cook learning robot at the Science & Arts City Museum, Valencia, Spain.
2009 Futura Campus Party, demonstrations of a chief cook learning robot at the Corferias International Exhibition Center, Bogota, Columbia.
2008 Google Zeitgeist Partner Forum, demonstrations of a portraitist humanoid robot.


Bibliometry

h-index: 24, over 2500 citations*.

The complete list of my publications can be found in the publications section.

Publications highlights


* Source: Google Scholar, 2014.
** Source: Elsevier, 2009.


Grant activities / Projects

Co-Principal Investigator

2012-2015 STIFF-FLOP (STIFFness controllable Flexible and Learn-able Manipulator for surgical OPerations)
(IP FP7-ICT-287728, affiliated with ADVR-IIT)
2012-2014 PANDORA (Persistent Autonomy through learNing, aDaptation, Observation and Re-plAnning)
(STREP FP7-ICT-288273, affiliated with ADVR-IIT)

Project participant

2011-2015 SAPHARI (Safe and Autonomous Physical Human-Aware Robot Interaction)
(IP FP7-ICT-287513, affiliated with ADVR-IIT)
2010-2014 AMARSI (Adaptive Modular Architectures for Rich Motor Skills)
(IP FP7-ICT-248311, affiliated with ADVR-IIT)
2007-2009 ROBOT@CWE (Advanced robotic systems in future collaborative working environments)
(STREP FP6-34002, affiliated with LASA-EPFL)
2006-2010 FEELIX GROWING (Feel, interact, express: a global approach to development with interdisciplinary grounding)
(IP FP6-IST-045169, affiliated with LASA-EPFL)
2004-2007 COGNIRON (The Cognitive Robot Companion)
(IP FP6-IST-002020, affiliated with LASA-EPFL)

Transfer of technology

2011 Commissioned service of technology for the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan
(development of a portraitist robot software for interactive showcase of industrial robots)


Committees / Editorships / Memberships

2011-2012Steering Committee

ACM/IEEE Intl conferences on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI).

2012Financial Chair ACM/IEEE Intl Conf. on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Boston, MA, USA.
2011Financial Chair

ACM/IEEE Intl Conf. on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Lausanne, Switzerland.

2012-2013Organizing Committee IEEE Intl Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (Ro-Man'2013).
2012Organizing Committee

Workshop on Learning and Interaction in Haptic Robots at the IEEE/RSJ Intl Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'2012).

2013-nowAssociate Editor International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems.
2012-2014Associate Editor IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).
2012-2013Associate Editor IEEE/RSJ Intl Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).
2013Associate Editor IEEE Intl Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (Ro-Man'2013).
2008-nowTechnical Committee

Robot Learning, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS).

2014Program Committee Intl Symposium on New Frontiers in Human-Robot Interaction (AISB'2014).
2013Program Committee Robotics Track, Twenty-Seventh AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence.
2013Program Committee Intl Workshop on Cognitive Robotics Systems: Replicating Human Actions and Activities.
2012Program Committee IEEE Intl Conference on Development and Learning / EpiRob 2012.
2012Program Committee AAAI 2012 Symposium on Robots Learning Interactively from Human Teachers.
2011-2012Program Committee Robotics: Science and Systems Conferences (RSS).
2009Program Committee IEEE Intl Symp. on Computational Intelligence in Robotics and Automation (CIRA), Daejeon, Korea.
2009-2010Program Committee

Intl Symposiums on New Frontiers in Human-Robot Interaction.

2010Coordinator

Robotics Area for Campus Party Europe, represented by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation, Madrid, Spain.

2013Examiner Leonel Rozo's PhD thesis, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain.
2009Examiner

Diego Pardo's PhD thesis, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain.

2010-nowMember European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems, Interaction and Robotics (EUCog).
2008Member FIBRS Student/Chair Mentorship Program.


Training of laboratory personnel

Postdoctoral Fellow
2012-now Dr Leonel Rozo, ADVR-IIT.
2012-now Dr Danilo Bruno, ADVR-IIT.
2009-2011

Dr Petar Kormushev, ADVR-IIT (now Team Leader at IIT).

PhD Students
2014-now João Silvério, "Human-robot collaborative manipulation and coordination in bimanual tasks". PhD thesis proposal, ADVR-IIT/UniGenova.
2012-now Milad Malekzadeh, "Machine Learning for a Soft Robotic Arm Assisting in Minimally Invasive Surgery". PhD thesis proposal, ADVR-IIT/UniGenova.
2011-2014 Tohid Alizadeh, "Modulation and Statistical Modeling of Human Movements Through Demonstrations". PhD thesis, ADVR-IIT/UniGenova.
2011-2014 Davide De Tommaso, "Active Vision and Projections as User Interface in Robot Learning from Demonstration". PhD thesis, ADVR-IIT/UniGenova.
2010-2013

Antonio Pistillo, "Approaches To Open And Closed-Loop Probabilistic Model Learning In Programming By Demonstration". PhD thesis, ADVR-IIT/UniGenova.

MSc Students
2012-2013 Martijn Zeestraten, "Robot Learning using Tree-Based Policy Representation". MSc thesis magna cum laude, ADVR-IIT/Delft University (Erasmus exchange program).
2012 Sunniva van Ipenburg, "Learning of a table skittle game with reinforcement learning and parametric Gaussian mixture model". MSc thesis, ADVR-IIT/Delft University (Erasmus exchange program).
2012 Affan Pervez, "Movement skill acquisition with imitation and reinforcement learning". MSc thesis, ADVR-IIT/KTH (Erasmus exchange program).
(now PhD student at TUM, Munich, Germany.)
2008 Florent D'halluin, "Robust learning and reproduction of gestures from human demonstrations". MSc thesis, EPFL.
2007 Murielle Richard, "Implementation of a learning-by-imitation algorithm on the Katana robot". MSc thesis, EPFL.
(now PhD student at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland.)
2005 Frederic Magnard, "Object tracking for a camera designed to be worn by children". MSc thesis, EPFL.
2004 Adrien Brossard, "Control of the humanoid robot HOAP-2". MSc thesis, EPFL.
2004 Andre Maurer, "Artificial Neural Network (ANN) - Hidden Markov Model (HMM) Comparison for a gesture recognition application". MSc thesis, EPFL.
(now teacher in computer science, with a PhD from EPFL)
2003

Marc Kunze, "Person recognition for the humanoid robot Robota". MSc thesis, EPFL.
(now Engineer at ETEL Motion Technology, with a PhD from EPFL)

BSc students
2008 Adrian Bodenmann, "Hierarchical learning of a movement through Hidden Markov Model". BSc Project, EPFL.
(now Researcher at the University of Tokyo)
2008 Florent D'halluin, "Incremental learning of gestures through the support of a human teacher". BSc Project, EPFL.
2007 Caroline Nadeau, "Vocal analysis to teach a humanoid robot manipulation skills". BSc Project, EPFL.
(now Research Engineer at IRISA/INRIA Rennes, with a PhD from Universite de Rennes 1)
2007 Manon Pulvin, "Imitation of legs motion by a humanoid robot through the use of motion sensors". BSc Project, EPFL.
2006 Adrien Hitz, "Locomotion control module for the HOAP3 robot". BSc Project, EPFL.
2005 Julien Epiney, "A Humanoid Robot that can paint". BSc Project, EPFL.
(now Automation Engineer at Mikron)
2005 Patrick Schoeneich, "Gaze direction detection using inertial sensors". BSc Project, EPFL.
(now R&D Engineer at Imina Technologies, with a PhD from EPFL)
2004 Jean-Joel Borter, "Motion data representation using motion sensors". BSc Project, EPFL.
(now R&D Engineer at Thermo Fisher Scientific)
2004 Christophe Dubach, "Recognition of trajectories using a stereoscopic vision system". BSc Project, EPFL.
(now Assistant Professor at the University of Edinburgh, with a PhD from the University of Edinburgh)
2004 Vincent Hentsch, "Gestures analysis using gyroscopic sensors". BSc Project, EPFL.
2003 Andre Noth, "Development of an auditory systems running on a Pocket-PC". BSc Project, EPFL.
(now Systems Research Project Manager at Nestle, with a PhD from ETH Zurich)
2003 Yves Linder, "Robust visual arms and head tracking running on a Pocket-PC". BSc Project, EPFL.
(now Group Leader at Electro Medical Systems)
2003 Cecile Grivaz, "Interactive game of a pair of mini-humanoid robot Robota". BSc Project, EPFL.
(now PhD student at the University of Geneva)


Other skills

Languages

French (native),   English (fluent),   German (good knowledge).

Robots

WAM (Barrett Technology Inc.),   LightWeight Arm (Kuka, DLR),   COMAN humanoid robot (IIT),   iCub humanoid robot (IIT),   HOAP-2, HOAP-3 (Fujitsu),   Katana (Neuronics),   DB (Sarcos),   HRP-2 (Kawada Ind., General Robotix),   Robota (Didel).

Coding

C/C++, Matlab/Octave, Java, Assembler, PHP, OpenGL, CUDA.