Projects | SIRSLab



WEARHAP -WEARable HAPtics for humans and robots

The complexity of the world around us is creating a demand for cognition-enabled interfaces that will simplify and enhance the way we interact with the environment.
Project WEARHAP, aims at laying the scientific and technological foundations for wearable haptics, a novel concept for the systematic exploration of haptics in advanced cognitive systems and robotics that will redefine the way humans will cooperate with robots.
The challenge of this new paradigm stems from the need for wearability which is a key element for natural interaction.
This paradigm shift will enable novel forms of human intention recognition through haptic signals and novel forms of communication and cooperation between humans and robots.
Wearable haptics will enable robots to observe humans during natural interaction with their shared environment. Research challenges are ambitious and cross traditional boundaries between robotics, cognitive science and neuroscience.
Research findings derived from distributed robotics, biomechanical modeling, multisensory tracking, underaction in control and cognitive systems will be integrated to address the scientific and technological challenges imposed in creating effective wearable haptic interaction.
To highlight the enabling nature, the versatility and the potential for industrial exploitation of WEARHAP, the research challenges will be guided by representative application scenarios. These applications cover robotics, health and social scenarios, stretching from human-robot interaction and cooperation for search and rescue, to human-human communication, and interaction with virtual worlds through interactive games.


DALi - Devices for Assisted Living

Healthy adults take for granted the ability to navigate through complex and crowded environments.

For adults with reduced physical or mental ability, particularly older adults, simple daily tasks, such as shopping or just socialising, can be extremely challenging. Normal environments can seem hostile and unfamiliar; as a result, those with reduced ability tend to avoid going out and suffer a consequent loss of physical and mental wellbeing, arising from reduced exercise, reduced fresh food and reduced socialising.

To address this problem, we have developed a portable motion planning device for crowded environments, to help reduce the stress of a user with impaired ability.

Our device takes the responsibility of finding the best course of action in the local environment, freeing the user to focus on more important things, such as the physical effort of moving.






THE - The Hand Embodied

THE Hand Embodied, refers to the “hand” as both the abstract cognitive entity – standing for the sense of active touch – and the physical embodiment of such sense, comprised of actuators and sensors that ultimately realize the link between perception and action. Central to this project is the concept of constraints imposed by the embodied characteristics of the hand and its sensorimotor apparatus on the learning and control strategies we use for such fundamental cognitive functions as exploring, grasping and manipulating.

The project hinges about two systems of such enabling constraints, or synergies, respectively in the hand motor system and in the tactile and kinaesthetic sensory system, and about their interaction. Motor and sensory synergies are also our two key ideas for advancing the state of the art in artificial system architectures for the “hand” as a cognitive organ: indeed, the ultimate goal of THE Hand Embodied project is to learn from human data and hypotheses‐driven simulations how to better control, and even design, robot hands and haptic interfaces.






Collaboration with IIT                                    

SIRSLab actively contributes with other universities and research institutes around the world.However, our group has a permenant presence in Italian Institute of Technology, to collaborate with them in there various on-going projects of mutual interest.