He has the friendly, inquisitive face of a child and about the same height. He can get up, keep his balance while standing on only one leg, detect the presence of people and wave with his hand: These are just some of the capabilities of iCub, the robot. He could be useful across a range of activities: manufacturing, health-care and helping older people live at home for longer.

Researchers working on the AnDy project are also developing facial expressions for iCub, to allow him to be more empathetic. “The vision that we have of this type of robot is the personal assistant, which can be adapted in different ways, from the rehabilitation robot to the one for assisted living,” says Giorgio Metta, Vice Scientific Director at IIT, the Italian Institute of Technologies in Genoa.

Project coordinator Daniele Pucci goes into more details about the technical functions: "The robot has several sensors to understand how the human is moving,” he explains. “The presence of the human being is detected, first, by sight. Secondly, during the interaction, the robot is able to sense contact with the human being through his ‘skin’. Then, to allow the robot to be aware of the human’s actions, it needs to be equipped with sensors”.

The AnDy-project runs for 4 years until the end of 2020. Its budget of close to 4 Million Euros is entirely met by the EU. 

A report on the AnDy-project has been produced for Futuris, the science programme of the pan-European television channel Euronews. It was shown on TV more than a dozen times between 29 January and 4 February 2018 and can still be watched online:

Euronews video (4:00) - also available in DE, EL, ES, FR, HU, IT, PT and further languages

Project website

Additional videos on the website of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Cordis factsheet