Human Machine Social-Emotional Interaction

Can a machine express emotions? How people feel during interaction with robots or machines able to socially act like human beings?
These are the main questionsbehind our research. We work on "Emotional Human Robot Interaction" using human-like robots which embody emotional states, empathy and non-verbal communication.
Our group uses a Life-like android and a pervasive observation platform to study what happens when human and machine establish empathic links.

Human-relevant Models

Human-Relevant Models Group

Our research is centered on the development of physiologically relevant human-based models at the milli, micro and nanoscale for application to disease models, tissue engineering, toxicity testing, and as alternatives to animal experimentation. To achive this goal we use an integrated approach, based on:


Biological tissues have highly complex and functional architectures. In order to construct engineered tissue with a high degree of complexity, cells must be provided with a suitable three dimensional synthetic or biological scaffolds upon which they can adhere and proliferate.

The Biofabrication Group aims at combining advanced fabrication technologies, including 3D printing, for creating scaffolds, in-vitro models, biosensors and actuators using smart and biomaterials. Applications are mainly focused on Tissue Engineering, regenerative medicine and biotechnologies.

ADATEC - sensing & automation

ADATEC s.r.l. progetta, sviluppa e commercializza prodotti innovativi ad alto contenuto tecnologico

ADATEC nasce nel 2009 dopo una decennale esperienza nel campo della ricerca avanzata e dello sviluppo tecnologico nei campi dell’ingegneria Elettronica, Informatica, Automazione industriale e Biomedica.

Kirkstall Ltd

Kirkstall has developed the Quasi-Vivo® system, to provide ‘in-vivo-like’ conditions for cell growth.

The system allows individual cell culture chambers to be connected together to culture individual cell types or tissue under a dynamic nutrient flow, allowing cell-to-cell signalling between and within each chamber.

NanoBioscopy Lab

The NanoBioscopy Lab, jointly run by the the Research Center E. Piaggio and the Department of Biology, is dedicated to the engineeering of microenvironments for the study of physiological and disease models. Directed by  Prof. Arti Ahluwalia , the lab houses state of the art microscopes for imaging of cells and nanomaterials.


INLIVETOX - Intestinal, Liver and Vascular Nanoparticle Toxicity

There is currently a high level of concern about the potential risks to health posed by novel substances, particularly nanoparticles. Governments and regulatory bodies are asked to set guidelines or controls that will help protect those involved in the manufacture or use of these materials. However, there are serious gaps in our understanding of the way such materials interact with the human body or the level of risk that exposure to them might involve.

ACTIBIO - Unobtrusive Authentication Using Activity Related and Soft Biometrics

ACTIBIO will research and develop a completely new concept in biometric authentication: the extraction of multi-modal biometric signatures based on the response of the user to specific stimuli, while performing specific but natural work-related activities. The novelty of the approach lies in the fact that the biometric measurements will correspond to the response of the person to specific events being however, fully unobtrusive and fully integrated in an Ambient Intelligence infrastructure.