ICRA Plenary

“The Embodied Intelligence Aporia” with Antonio Bicchi, senior scientist of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)

The Embodied Intelligence philosophy sees cognition as determined and anticipated by the physics of the body which mediates our interaction with the world. Bio-inspired robotics – and probably all robotics – looks at natural systems and tries to reproduce their functions in artifacts. But how can we learn any lesson on the intelligent control of machines made of silicon and steel or polymers, by studying a completely different body, made of neurons and muscles?

I will discuss this paradox through few examples, showing how mathematical models of reality can help us abstract from the complexity of natural systems and bring these ideas to bear on novel robotic technologies. These innovations are moving today the research frontier from human-robot cooperation to human-robot integration. Examples will show how artificial hands and haptics, prostheses and avatars can be conceived and realized that can better serve humans by integrating with our bodies and minds.

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