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Research interests

My research expertise includes robotics, human-robot interaction, autonomous agent systems, Internet of Things (IoT) and Ambient Assisted Living (AAL). I am currently involved in EU coordination actions developing new benchmarks for assistive robots (METRICS/HEART-MET), and I lead OpenAAL, an open lab for AAL. I am also one of the co-investigators of the EPSRC Healthcare NetworkPlus EMERGENCE, developing the UK roadmap for assistive robotics for frailty.


I received a BSc (110/110 Cum Laude) degree in Computer Science from Bologna University, in 1999, and worked as a software developer and project manager in the software industry before returning to academia and receiving a PhD degree from University College Dublin (UCD), in 2009. Between 2009 and 2011 I was a postdoctoral researcher in UCD, where I worked in the Adaptive Information Cluster (AIC) and in the Insight Centre for Data Analytics. I have been co-principal investigator on a number of European/National projects in the area of embedded sensor systems, wireless sensor networks and intelligent buildings spaces including the EU projects FIEMSER (http://www.fiemser.eu/) and HOBNET (http://hobnet-testbeds.eu/). In 2011 I initiated the FP7 project RUBICON (Robotic UBIquitous Cognitive Network, http:/www./fp7rubicon.eu), a 2.5 million EUR project (completed in 2014) that has posed the foundations for self-adaptive ecologies of robotic and sensing devices. From 2014 to 2016 I was a Research Fellow with the Distributed Systems Group (DSG), School of Computer Science and Statistics. 

I joined Heriot-Watt University, in 2016, as Assistant Professor, and I co-direct the MSc Robotics programme. At Heriot-Watt I, set up the Robotic Assisted Living Tested, a 'Living lab', part of the UK National Robotarium, designed to facilitate design and testing of innovative and practical solutions for healthy ageing and indipendent living. I have also initiated the Cognitive Assistive Robotic Enviroment (CARE) group, with a focus on enabling IoT and robotic, autonomous and interactive systems (RAIS) to provide user-centred assisted living support.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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