Robotics for Neuroscience and Neuroscience for Robotics: From Human Motor Control to Human-Robot Interaction in Education 4.0

22 October 2019
Versione stampabile

Venue: Polo Fabio Ferrari 2 – via Sommarive 9 - Trento, Girasole Room

Hour: 11:00 a.m.

  • Domenico Formica, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma

The era of the fourth industrial revolution brings together robotics, digital mobile devices and services, wearable sensors and IoT systems, building a highly interconnected ecosystem often intimately coupled with human beings and their body. In this scenario, humans can be no longer considered as purely biological systems, but rather being part of an artificial-organic mixed complex.

These integrated systems are nowadays essential to foster cutting edge research in a wide variety of fields, from basic science research, to medical and industrial applications, to consumers technologies.

Starting from studies on human motor control, this seminar presents how mechatronic and robotic technologies can be used to investigate basic mechanisms of motor neuroscience, to objectively assess brain pathologies, and to provide new tools to help people in everyday life learning.

Finally, exploiting the new technologies emerging from Industry 4.0, the talk will introduce a new class of customized mechatronic platforms for training children during the acquisition of new sensorimotor skills, through the use of robotics combined with wearable technologies, IoT, Augmented Reality, machine learning and man-machine interfaces, opening the field of Education 4.0.


Domenico Formica received the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering from the Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Italy, in 2002, 2004, and 2008 respectively. Since 2011 he is Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, where in 2016 he co-founded the NEXT: Neurophysiology and Neuroengineering of Human-Technology Interaction research unit, a multidisciplinary research group with focus on the study of motor neuroscience in both healthy subjects and neurological patients. His research interests lie at the intersection of robotics/mechatronics and neuroscience, and include the areas of mechatronic technologies for studying of human motor control, with particular attention to neurodevelopment, quantitative assessment of patients with neuromuscular disorders, and novel robotic devices to improve motor learning. On these topics he published 45+ peer-reviewed journal papers, 50+ peer-reviewed international conference papers, and 4 book chapters. He actively contributed to important National and EU-funded projects, and in particular he has been awarded of two national grants for young researcher: the “FIRB - Futuro in Ricerca” early career grant for researchers under 32, by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, and the “Ricerca Finalizzata / Giovani ricercatori” early career grant for researchers under 40, by the Italian Ministry of Health. Currently, he is the European Coordinator of the H2020/ICT EU project CONBOTS (CONnected through roBOTS: physically coupling humans to boost handwriting and music learning).