Dr Giovanni Pioggia

Messina's Section Manager

Giovanni Pioggia

Giovanni Pioggia, Electronic Engineer with specialization in Bioengineering, PhD in Robotics, is a senior researcher of the National Research Council (CNR), Institute for Biomedical Research and Innovation (IRIB), section manager of Messina secondary unit. His research activities are focused on health challenges. The aim is the development of innovative diagnostic approaches and innovative therapeutic solutions, directly or indirectly related to clinical activity, using bioengineering methods and technologies, as sensors, modelling, machine learning, artificial intelligence, humanoid robots, wearable devices, virtual reality and serious games. Health challenges are mainly related to autism spectrum disorders, children disabilities and co- morbidities, cardiopulmonary disabilities, psychological stress related disorders. He adopts a bottom-up approach exploring basic research, biomarker discovery, implementation and assessment of clinical prototypes towards technological transfer. The domains of his research are biomedical sensing, early diagnosis and treatment, digital therapeutics, social robotics and computational science. Biomedical sensors and wearable devices are used to non-invasively investigate the link among behavioural, neuro-psychological and neuro- functional discoveries. The overall objective of early diagnosis and treatment is to identify the most effective protocols for prevention and screening, generalisation of skills and maximisation of child’s adaptive functioning. The exploration of digital therapeutics and social robots is dedicated to social-emotional processing, rehabilitation and evidence-based software intervention, often using augmented psychology, in order to help people with communication difficulties to learn, identify and use emotional information, and to adapt to social context. He has sought to extend knowledge of higher mental functions by building biomorphic electronics. His experimental research studies aim to improve knowledge on the physiological and behavioural substrate of neurodevelopmental disorders and neurosensory, neuromotor, socio-emotional and cognitive deficits. In particular, he is exploring the use of robotic technologies for the assessment of social-emotional processing and rehabilitation. Activities based on human-computer interaction, imitation and the pragmatic use of social and emotional reciprocity, as well as the study of the system of recognition and regulation of emotions, intersubjectivity and the social mind, aim to provide robotic solutions to improve assessment, and rehabilitation techniques. He has also focused on neuromotor and neurosensory analysis, bioengineering of affective and emotional development and social interactions.
Research Area: Bioengineering