Phuong D.H. Nguyen

Autonomous learning of visuo-tactile peripersonal space representation in humanoid robots

Principle Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Giorgio Metta
Fondazione Istituto Italiano Di Tecnologia

Collaboration partners:

  • Universität Hamburg
  • Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

Competence Area: Situation


NGUYEN Dong Hai Phuong has attended Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) since January, 2016 as PhD Fellow and focuses on research of perceptual and sensorimotor capabilities for humanoid robotics. He also holds Marie Curie Fellowship as an Early Stage Researcher.

He got Master degree in Advanced Robotics from Ecole Centrale de Nante, France and Universita degli Studi di Genova, Italy, where he conducted the Master thesis research on Control and Planning for UAV robots. Before that he graduated from Da Nang University of Technology, Da Nang, Vietnam with Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering.

Detail CV can be found here


To develop a complex spatial representation around the iCub humanoids robot utilizing visual (stereo cameras), tactile (artificial skin) and motor signals. This representation enables control of the robot in the presence of multiple potential or actual contacts. It will e.g. determine that certain configurations are convenient to support the robot during task execution and actively seek contact with the environment rather than avoiding it. This model will be also compared with an existing neuroscience model of the so-called peripersonal space representation.

Related research and results can be found here.

A demonstration result

Peripersonal space for safety in physical Human-Robot Interaction


  • Jan, 2018: Our paper "Compact Real-time avoidance on a Humanoid Robot for Human-robot Interaction" has got accepted to HRI '18: 2018 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction in March 2018, at Chicago, US. Preprinted version can be found at this arxiv link
  • Nov 27th, 2017 - Dec 1st, 2017: Attended KUKA training on iiwa robot platform (for KUKA Innovation Award 2018 & Hannover Messe 2018) at KUKA Robotics, Augsburg, Germany.
  • Oct, 2017 - Dec, 2017: Academic visit at Personal Robotics Lab, Imperial College London with Prof. Yiannis Demiris
  • July, 2017: Our joint IIT team (iCub Facility + ADVR) got accepted to final round (best 5 teams) of the KUKA Innovation Award 2018
  • July, 2017: Got accepted to Summer School on Foundations of Robotics and Autonomous Learning hold by TU Berlin, Germany from Sept, 4th-8th in Berlin, Germany.  
  • Jun, 2017: Got accepted to Deep Learning Summer School 2017 hold by University of Montreal, Canada from Jun, 26th-July, 1st 2017 in Montreal, Canada.
  • May, 2017: Attended the Midterm review meeting of SECURE project from May, 6th-11th in Hamburg, Germany.
  • Feb, 2017: Participated in Final Review Meeting of WYSIWYD project in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Feb, 2017: Attended iCub Winter School 2017 (VVV17) from Jan, 31st-Feb, 8th in Santa Magherita, Italy. Our team demo won the 1st Prize Award.  

Contact & Social Network

Email: phuong [dot] nguyen [at] iit [dot] it

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