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The Team

Daniele MazzeiEng. Daniele Mazzei, PhD

Daniele Mazzei is the Scientific Director of the FACE team. He is Assistant Professor at the computer science department of the University of Pisa. His actual research focuses on social and affective interaction between humans and machines. Daniele’s research aims at understanding what happen when computers, machines, objects and devices become able to communicate emphatically with humans pivoting the typical human-machine GUI based interaction paradigm. He received a Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Pisa and in May 2010 he graduated PhD in Automatic Robotic and Bioengineering at  University of Pisa. His PhD research focused on the design and development of a control system for tissue engineering apparatus with high-throughput capabilities. Daniele Mazzei has also attended the 8th ESA Student Parabolic Flight Campaign held in Bordeaux in July 2005 and the results of this work were published on “Verification of Fitts law in microgravity and hypergravity environments”. Daniele is co-founder of Zerynth and TOI, two companies focused on the development of tools and solutions for the Internet of Things and for the Industry 4.0 paradigm.

Prof. Danilo De Rossi
Prof. Danilo De Rossi

Full Professor of Bioengineering. He received the “Laurea” degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Genoa in 1976. He had appointments for teaching and research in Australia, Brazil, France Japan and USA. He joined the Faculty of Engineering in the University of Pisa in 1982. He is currently Full Professor of Bioengineering. His scientific activities are related to the physics of organic and polymeric materials, and to the design of sensors and actuators for bioengineering and robotics. He is author of over 270 peer reviewed papers on international science journals and peer reviewed proceedings, coinventor of 14 patents and co-author of 8 books.

Antonio Cisternino
Dr. Antonio Cisternino, PhD

Antonio Cisternino received the M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees from the University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, in 1999 and 2003, respectively. He was an Intern in the fall of 2001, working on generics and runtime code generation for the .NET Common Language Runtime. From 2003 to 2006, he was a Fellow Researcher with the Department of Computer Science, University of Pisa, where he has been an Assistant Professor since 2006. He has collaborated with the Microsoft Robotics Studio team and visited Redmond, WA, in May 2006. He has coauthored the Expert F# book and published in several international journals and conferences. His research interests are domain-specific languages and self-evolving software infrastructures. Dr. Cisternino is the recipient of three research grants from Microsoft Research and has actively collaborated with Microsoft Corporation since 2001.

avatar_genericoEng. Roberto Garofalo

Roberto Garofalo is technical supporter and developer with the FACETeam at Research Center “E. Piaggio”, University of Pisa. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Engineering at the University of Pisa in June 2014 with a thesis aimed at developing of a modular platform for controlling the humanoid robot FACE during human-robot social interaction. His main activities are focused on robotic developing for both hardware and software, in particular Robert designs and integrates robot body parts,and implement software architecture for its control.

avatar_genericoEng. Lorenzo Cominelli
PhD Student

Lorenzo Cominelli is a PhD student in Automation, Robotics and Biomedical Engineering at Dipartimento dell’Ingegneria dell’Informazione (DII) of the University of Pisa and he is working with the Research Center “E. Piaggio”. He received a Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Pisa in April 2014. His main research interests are AI and Cognitive Systems for Social Robotics. Now he is designing and developing the FACE Cognitive System exploiting a rule-based expert system that process high-level information on the state of the robot body and its social context. The goal is to represent emotions and feelings in an artificial intelligence and to ensure their influence on the social behavior of the robot.


Nicole Lazzeri
Dr. Nicole Lazzeri

Nicole Lazzeri is a PhD student at Interdepartmental Research Center “E. Piaggio”, University of Pisa. In October 2007, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from University of Pisa and in October 2010 she received her Master’s Degree in Computer Science Technologies from University of Pisa. At the moment, she is working on the development of a software modular platform for controlling a humanoid robot. In particular, her PhD research is oriented towards Human-Robot Interaction studies with a particular focus on social robots which can interact and communicate with people in human-centric approaches. Until now the main case study has been related to control humanoid robots in order to help people with social disabilities.

Abolfazl ZarakiAbolfazl Zaraki

Abolfazl Zaraki is currently pursuing his PhD in Automatic Robotic and Bioengineering at the Interdepartmental Research Center “E. Piaggio” University of Pisa – Italy, since January 2011. He graduated with a B.S. Degree in Electronics-Electrical engineering from University of Dezful – Iran, in 2006. He received his Master of Engineering in Mechatronics and Automatic Control from University Technology of Malaysia in 2010. His current work focuses on developing a multimodal context-aware attention system for a humanoid robot which regulates the dynamic attention of the robot, according to the both saliency of low-level features and human relevant features presented in the visual-auditory scene.

Michael Pieroni
Eng. Michael Pieroni
PhD Student

Michael Pieroni is a PhD student in Automation, Robotics and Bioengineering at Research Center “E. Piaggio”, University of Pisa. At the same university, he received the M.S. Degree in Biomedical Engineering with honors in April 2012. His research activity concerns the modelling and developing technology inspired by mammalian vision system. Michael is involved, within the FACETeam, in developing a context-dependent attention system to endow the humanoid robot with a visual perception system. In particular, he is focusing on implementing and evaluating computational models of attention inspired by the early visual processing occurring in the human vision system.