Valerio Sperati

339 2685586

via Tiberina 74, 00188 Roma (ITALY)


Researcher (Fixed Term)
Short profile: 


  • 2006 M.A. in Cognitive Psychology, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
  • 2007-now: Researcher at ISTC-CNR

General research goal:

Studying the behaviour as a result of the interaction between body, nervous system and environment.

Specific Research Topics:

  1. visual attention / scene analysis.
  2. hardware implementation of a simple compliant robotic arm.

Research method used:

  1. Neural network models
  2. Genethic alghoritms
  3. Software simulations

main pubblications:

1. Sperati, V., Trianni, V., Nolfi, S. (2008). Evolving coordinated group behaviours through maximisation of mean mutual information,  in Swarm

Intelligence, Volume 2, numbers 2-4, pages 73-95, Springer New York

2. Sperati, V., Trianni, V., Nolfi, S. (2010). Evolution of self-organised path formation in a swarm of robots, in proceedings of 7th International Conference on Swarm Intelligence

3. Sperati, V., Trianni, V., Nolfi, S. (2011). Self-Organised Path Formation in a Swarm of Robots, in Swarm Intelligence, Volume 5, Issue 2, pages 97-119, Springer New York

Supplementary information on ResearchGate.



  • Robotic models of intrinsecally motivated behaviours.
  • Development of interactive devices for therapy in autism ( ).


Journal articles

Meola V. C., Caligiore D., Sperati V., Zollo L., Ciancio A. L., Taffoni F., Guglielmelli E., Baldassarre G. Interplay of rhythmic and discrete manipulation movements during development: a policy-search reinforcement-learning robot model. In: IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems, vol. 8 (3) pp. 152 - 170. IEEE, 2016.  image   image
Özcan B., Caligiore D., Sperati V., Moretta T., Baldassarre G. Transitional Wearable Companions: A Novel Concept of Soft Interactive Social Robots to Improve Social Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In: International Journal of Social Robotics, vol. 8 (4) pp. 471 - 481. Springer, 2016.  image   image

Caligiore D., Tommasino P., Sperati V., Baldassarre G. Modular and hierarchical brain organization to understand assimilation, accommodation and their relation to autism in reaching tasks: a developmental robotics hypothesis. In: Adaptive Behavior, vol. 22 (5) pp. 304 - 329. Sage, 2014.  image   image   image
Fiore V., Sperati V., Mannella F., Mirolli M., Gurney K., Firston K., Dolan R., Baldassarre G. Keep focussing: striatal dopamine multiple functions resolved in a single mechanism tested in a simulated humanoid robot. In: Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 5 (124) pp. e1 - 17. Frontiers Media S.A, 2014.  image   image
Özcan B., Sperati V., Caligiore D., Baldassarre G. Motivating Children with Autism to Communicate and Interact Socially Through the "+me" Wearable Device. In: Nea Science - Giornale Italiano di Neuroscienze, Psicologia e Riabilitazione, vol. 5 pp. 59 - 65. Neapolisanit, 2014.  image

Dorigo M., Floreano D., Gambardella L., Mondada F., Nolfi S., Baaboura T., Birattari M., Bonani M., Brambilla M., Brutschy A., Burnier D., Campo A., Christensen A. L., Decugnière A., Di Caro G., Ducatelle F., Ferrante E., Förster A., Guzzi J., Longchamp V., Magnenat S., Martinez Gonzales J., Mathews N., Montes De Oca M., O'Grady R., Pinciroli C., Pini G., Rétornaz P., Roberts J., Sperati V., Stirling T., Stranieri A., Stützle T., Trianni V., Tuci E., Turgut A. E., Vaussard F. Swarmanoid: A novel concept for the study of heterogeneous robotic swarms. In: IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, vol. 20 (4) pp. 60 - 71. IEEE, 2013.  image   image   image

Sperati V., Trianni V., Nolfi S. Self-organised path formation in a swarm of robots. In: Swarm Intellilgence, vol. 5 (2) pp. 97 - 119. Springer, 2011.  image   image   image

Sperati V., Trianni V., Nolfi S. Evolving coordinated group behaviours through maximization of mean mutual information. In: Swarm Intelligence Journal, vol. 2 pp. 73 - 95. 2008.

Contribution to Book/Monograph

Sperati V., Trianni V., Nolfi S. Mutual Information As a Task-Independent Utility Function for Evolutionary Robotics. In: Guided Self-Organization: Inception. pp. 389 - 414. M. Prokopenko (ed.). (Emergence, Complexity and Computation, vol. 9). Berlin: Springer, 2014.  image   image   image


Sperati V., Baldassarre G. Learning where to look with movement-based intrinsic motivations: a bio-inspired model. In: ICDL-EpiRob2014 - 2014 Joint IEEE International Conferences on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-Epirob) (Genoa, Italy, 13-16 October 2014). Proceedings, pp. 461 - 468. IEEE, 2014.  image   image

Marraffa R., Sperati V., Caligiore D., Triesch J., Baldassarre G. A bio-inspired attention model of anticipation in gaze-contingency experiments with infants. In: ICDL-EpiRob 2012 - 2012 International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (San Diego, CA, 7-9 November 2012). Proceedings, pp. 1 - 8. IEEE, 2012.  image   image
Tommasino P., Caligiore D., Sperati V., Baldassarre G. A McKibben muscle arm learning equilibrium postures. In: BioRob 2012 - The Fourth IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (Roma, 24-27 June 2012). Proceedings, pp. 1229 - 1234. E. Guglielmelli (ed.). IEEE, 2012.  image   image

Sperati V., Trianni V., Nolfi S. Evolution of self-organised path formation in a swarm of robots. In: 7th International Conference on Swarm Intelligence (ANTS2010), (Berlin, ). Proceedings, 2010.

Gigliotta O., Sperati V., Nolfi S. Robotics Attack!. In: WIVACE 2009 - Modelli, sistemi e applicazioni di Vita Artificiale e Computazione Evolutiva, WIVACE 2009. Atti del VI Workshop Italiano di Vita Artificiale e Computazione Evolutiva (Napoli, 23-25 novembre 2009). Atti, pp. 109 - 115. O. Miglino, M. Ponticorvo, A. Rega, F. Rubinacci (eds.). Fridericiana Editrice Universitaria, 2009.  image

Sperati V., Baldassarre G. Usare l'entropia come indice per evolvere una coppia di robot simulati in grado di esibire comportamenti auto-organizzati. In: AISC 2006 - Terzo Convegno Nazionale dell'Associazione Italiana di Scienze Cognitive (Genova, 26-27 Ottobre 2006). Atti, pp. 147 - 152. A. Greco, C. Penco, G. Sandini, R. Zaccaria (eds.). Erga Edizioni, 2006.  image

Technical reports

Caligiore D., Sperati V., Baldassarre G. Project web-site and logo. Deliverable D5.1 of the EU-funded Project "GOAL-Robots - Goal-based Open-ended Autonomous Learning Robots", Call identifier H2020-FETOPEN-2014-2015-RIA Grant Agreement n. 713010. Technical report, 2016.  image
Sperati V., Ozcan B. The experimental device +me (version 1.0). Technical report, 2016.  image

Law J., Lee M., Shaw P., Huelse M., Caligiore D., Mannella F., Fiore V., Sperati V., Mirolli M., Baldassarre G., Barto A., Vigorito C., Konidaris G., Botvinick M., Niv Y., Dimitrakakis C., Lonini L., Toutounji H., Rothkopf C., Triesch J., Ring M., Schaul T., Kompella V., Pape L., Schmidhuber J., Formica D., Taffoni F., Keller F., Guglielmelli E., Lewis J., Chambers J., Redgrave P., Gurney K., Gatsoulis Y., Kerr E., Das G., Riano L., Condell J., Siddique N., McGinnity M. Hierarchical architectures. Deliverable D6.1 of the EU-funded Integrated Project "IM-CLeVeR - Intrinsically Motivated Cumulative Learning Versatile Robots", contract no. FP7-ICT-IP-231722. Technical report, 2011.


Özcan B., Caligiore D., Fosch Villaronga E., Sperati V., Moretta T., Baldassarre G. Designing Socially Assistive Robot (SAR) for Cognitive Child-Robot Interaction (CCRI) with Autism Spectrum Disorder - The Case of "+Me". In: New Friends 2016: The 2nd International Conference on Social Robots in Therapy & Education (Barcelona, 2-4 November 2016).   image   image

Baldassarre G., Mannella F., Santucci V. G., Sperati V., Caligiore D., Cartoni E., Da Silva B. C., Mirolli M. Open-ended learning of skills in robots: insights from looking at the brain. In: RLDM2015 - The Second Multidisciplinary Conference on Reinforcement Learning and Decision Making (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 7-10 June 2015). Abstract, pp. e1 - 5. University of Alberta, 2015.  image   image

Baldassarre G., Mannella F., Fiore V. G., Sperati V., Caligiore D., Mirolli M., Shaw P., Law J., Lee M., Taffoni F., Formica D., Keller F., Guglielmelli E. An experiment and a bio-constrained model of children's action-outcome learning driven by intrinsic motivations. In: ICDL-EPIROB 2011 - IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (Frankfurt am Main, 24-27 August 2011). Abstract, article n. e1-2. IEEE Xpress, 2011.  image