Intrinsic motivation and episodic memories for robot exploration on high dimensional sensory spaces

Check out my new work submitted to Adaptive Behaviours (Sage Journal) on Intrinsic motivation and episodic memories for robot exploration on high-dimensional sensory spaces:

The proposed framework adopts deep convolutional neural networks and shallow networks to generate curiosity-driven behaviours in a robot. Online learning of such models is performed. An episodic memory system is used to face catastrophic forgetting issues, typically experienced when performing online updates of artificial neural networks.

Workshop on “Predictive processes for motor and cognitive development in robots” at Sant’Anna

I am organising a workshop on “Predictive processes for motor and cognitive development in robots” as part of my Marie Sklodowska Curie project “Predictive Robots” at the BioRobotics Institute at Sant’Anna featuring invited talks from Prof. Bruno Lara (UAEM Mexico) and Dr. Alejandra Ciria (UAEM Mexico).

Download the flyer here. Download the full programme here.

Details follows!


Evidences from cognitive sciences and neurosciences suggest that several perceptual phenomena and cognitive capabilities would rely on processes of anticipation of sensorimotor activity. 

Different accounts on computational models for predictive processes have been proposed in the literature. This workshop provides an overview of established frameworks of predictive internal models – which are based on the idea that perception is a bottom-up flow of information sourced from sensory receptors – and of more recent proposals on predictive processing – where perception relies on deviations from top-down cortical predictions.

Moreover, this workshops aims at fostering discussions on the role that predictive processes may have in robotics, from supporting motor control and adaptive behaviours to enabling cognitive development.

Organised by Dr. Guido Schillaci as part of the EU-H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie project “Predictive Robots”, this workshop will feature talks from two invited speakers, Prof. Bruno Lara (UAEM, Mexico, and Alexander von Humboldt fellow) and  Dr. Alejandra Ciria (UAEM and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), and from members of the BioRobotics Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.


Aula 3, The BioRobotics Institute, Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 34, Pontedera (Italy)


Friday, 22nd November 2019, 11:00am


11:00 Welcome by Guido Schillaci

11:10 Internal models and developmental robotics (Bruno Lara)

11:40 Internal models and prediction error dynamics (Alejandra Ciria)

12:10 Predictive processes and the minimal self (Guido Schillaci)

12:30 Combining prediction and adaptation for robot control (Lorenzo Vannucci)

12:50 Brain-inspired algorithms for robot control (Egidio Falotico)

13:10 Conclusions

Adaptive models for Innovative Greenhouses

The EU-H2020 MSCA-IF Predictive Robots project is also about spreading the adoption of a developmental paradigm and of predictive processes for different robotic applications. Greenhouses are complex systems that can be controlled, and whose states – and those of their crops – can be measured with a rich variety of sensors. From this point of view, they are not much different than robots. So, why not applying the ideas of developmental robotics on innovative greenhouses, as well?

Luis Miranda and I presented a work on “Adaptive Architectures towards portability of Greenhouse Models” at Greensys 2019, in Angers, France.

Adaptive models, trained in an incremental fashion, will help transferring knowledge between lab facilities and production greenhouses!

Pre-print of the paper available soon!

EU-H2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie

Delighted that my proposal for a EU-H2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual Fellowship on “Predictive Robots” has been accepted! The project will be hosted by the BioRobotics Institute of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (Pisa, Italy). More research on developmental robotics, predictive models and on the artificial self coming soon!