A Nao equipped with a tactile sensitive fingertip performing a stroke on another tactile sensitive NaoGreat news indeed! I will be spending the summer in Plymouth University at the Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems. In what seems to be an amazing collaboration built on the ROBOSKIN project you will be able to track my progress through this page.

This research visit is intended on performing experiments for learning tactile gestures on real humanoid robots using a novel hierarchy of Self-Organizing maps that has been developed during my PhD.

In the past, similar hierarchical models were introduced by developmental psychologists; however, these computational models have only been demonstrated in abstract domains to relate their learning features to infant cognition, e.g., understanding of causal events, or for gesture recognition. By extending these models, we have made it possible to learn motor skills via imitation in a real humanoid robot.

During this visit, I will have the opportunity to explore social motor skills in tactile sensitive robots and whether it is possible to further extend it in the Reinforcement Learning domain. An extensive analysis will not only help me support the contributions of my PhD, but will also establish the applicability of these algorithms on a field as complex as humanoid control.