Giuseppe Cotugno

Giuseppe CotugnoGiuseppe Cotugno, MSc, BSc
PhD Candidate

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Giuseppe obtained his bachelor degree in Computer Science Engineering at University of Calabria in December 2007. While studying at UniCal, he had the opportunity to join the Erasmus project visiting Vrije Universiteit Brussels. Afterwards, he moved to University of Rome, La Sapienza for his master degree. While at La Sapienza, he joined the SPQR Nao Team and took the opportunity to participate in Robocup 2009 held in Graz, Austria and other RoboCup competitions. He obtained his master degree in January 2010.

After graduation, he was visiting researcher at Humboldt Universitaet Berlin, focusing on grasping on the Nao robot, research assistant at Technical University Berlin, focusing on active segmentation and perception, and research assistant at University of Calabria, focusing on SLAM.

Since April 2012 he is working towards his PhD degree in Robotics within the Centre for Robotics Research, King’s College London.

Description of Research

Giuseppe is currently working on the DARWIN project. His research focus is on Affordance Learning for manipulation on the humanoid robot iCub. Affordances encapsulate possible ways of using an object. For example, a stick can be used to reach a far object or to mix a liquid in a cup. Those uses are called Affordances. The main topic of Giuseppe’s research is to understand how Affordances can be extracted form objects and exploited in order to accomplish structured tasks like building a stack or tidying up a desk. Another area of research is learning grasping based on demonstration. Controlling a very complex hand as the iCub’s may be a formidable task due to its high number of joints. The best approach could be to teach the robot how to grasp using demonstrations, for example, kinaesthetic demonstrations.

Giuseppe is also working on analyzing human grasping and how humans are selecting affordances for different objects in the context of building a stack and assembling a compound object. The aim of this study, is to try to understand how objects are grasped given different object positions and stages of the task. The findings will be transferred on the iCub robot to improve its grasping and cognitive capabilities.


  • Humanoid Robots
  • Learning by demonstration
  • Robotic Grasping and Manipulation
  • Grasping Synergies
  • Affordance Learning for Tool Use
  • Software Engineering for Robotics



Heinrich Mellmann, Giuseppe Cotugno, Dynamic Motion Control: Adaptive Bimanual Grasping for a Humanoid Robot, Fundamenta Informaticae, 112, 1, pp. 89-101, 2011.


Giuseppe Cotugno, Luigi D’Alfonso, Walter Lucia, Pietro Muraca, Paolo Pugliese, “Extended and Unscented Kalman Filters for mobile robot localization and environment reconstruction”, 21st Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (MED 2013), 2013.

Giuseppe Cotugno, Luigi D’Alfonso, Pietro Muraca and Paolo Pugliese, “A New Extended Kalman Filter Based on Actual Local Information for Mobile Robots”, 9th European Workshop on Advanced Control and Diagnosis, 2011.

Giuseppe Cotugno, “Particle-based SPQR Vision System for SPL Soccer Robots”, Proceedings of the 5th Austrian RoboCup Workshop, 2010.