Guillem Alenyà

Perception and Manipulation Group
Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial
CSIC-UPC Llorens Artigas, 4-6
08028, Barcelona
+34 93 4011901
galenya (at)
Institutional page

Guillem Alenyà is Researcher and Director at the Institut de Robotica i Informàtica Industrial (IRI), a joint centre of the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC) and Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). He received a PhD degree (Doctor Europeus) from UPC in 2007 with a work on mobile robot navigation using active contours, which he partly developed at the Robosoft company in France, where he was supported by a EU-FP6 Marie-Curie scholarship. He has been visitor at KIT-Karlsruhe (2007), INRIA-Grenoble (2008) and BRL-Bristol(2016). He has participated in numerous scientific and technological transfer projects involving image understanding, next-best-view, rule learning from human examples and planing execution tasks. His current research is devoted to facilitate the introduction of robots in human environments, principally in the fields of assistive robotics and garment manipulation. He is coordinator of various projects on developing enabling technologies for assistive robotics: ROB-IN about personalization and explainability, CLOE-GRAPH about high-level representation of tasks and explainability (coIP J. Borras), and principal investigator in the SeCuRoPS project, about privacy and safety in HRI, and BURG, about benchmarking and repeteability. He has been coordinator of the SIMBIOTS project on cooperative robots and HuMoUR (on human-to-robot skills transfer, co-IP F. Moreno), and principal investigator of the SOCRATES project (on quality of interaction for social robots).

Research interests & selected recent publications

  • Robot adaptation for assistive robotics

  1. A. Andriella, C. Torras, and G. Alenyà, “Short-Term Human–Robot Interaction Adaptability in Real-World Environments,” International Journal of Social Robotics, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 639–657, 2020.
  2. A. Andriella, C. Torras, and G. Alenyà, “Cognitive System Framework for Brain-Training Exercise Based on Human-Robot Interaction,” Cognitive Computation, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 793–810, 2020.
  3. G. Canal, G. Alenyà, and C. Torras, “Adapting robot task planning to user preferences: an assistive shoe dressing example,” Autonomous Robots, vol. 43, no. 6, pp. 1343–1356, 2019.
  4. A. Suárez, C. Torras, and G. Alenyà, “Practical Resolution Methods for MDPs in Robotics Exemplified with Disassembly Planning,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 2282–2288, 2019.
  5. A. Andriella, G. Alenyà, J. Hernandez-Farigola, and C. Torras, “Deciding the different robot roles for patient cognitive training,” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, vol. 117, pp. 20–29, 2018.
  • Learning from Human robot interaction in tasks involving contact

  1. A. Olivares-Alarcos, S. Foix, and G. Alenyà, “On inferring intentions in shared tasks for industrial collaborative robots,” Electronics, vol. 8, no. 11, p. 1306, 2019.
  2. A. Andriella, A. Suarez, J. Segovia-Aguas, C.Torras, and G. Alenyà, “Natural teaching of robot-assisted rearranging exercises for cognitive training,” in International Conference on Social Robotics, no. 11876, Springer, 2019, pp. 611–621.
  3. D. Martínez, G. Alenyà, and C. Torras, “Relational reinforcement learning with guided demonstrations,” Artificial Intelligence, vol. 247, pp. 295–312, 2017.
  4. D. Martínez, G. Alenyà, T. Ribeiro, K. Inoue, and C. Torras, “Relational Reinforcement Learning for Planning with Exogenous Effects,” Journal of Machine Learning Research, vol. 18, no. 78, pp. 1–44, 2017.
  5. D. Martínez, G. Alenyà, and C. Torras, “V-MIN: Efficient reinforcement learning through demonstrations and relaxed reward demands,” in Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2015, pp. 2857–2863.
  • Decision making and knowledge representation in HRI

  1. A. Andriella, C.Torras, and G. Alenyà, “Learning robot policies using a high-level abstraction persona-behaviour simulator,” in IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 2019.
  2. A. Suarez, G. Alenyà, and C. Torras, “Interleaving hierarchical task planning and motion constraint testing for dual-arm manipulation,” in IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2018, pp. 4061–4066.
  3. G.Canal, G. Alenyà, and C. Torras, “A Taxonomy of Preferences for Physically Assistive Robots,” in IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 2017, pp. 292–297.
  • Benchmarking, vision and grasping of deformables

  1. J. Borràs, G. Alenyà, and C. Torras, “A grasping-centered analysis for cloth manipulation,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 924–936, 2020.
  2. I. Garcia-Camacho, M. Lippi, M. C. Welle, H. Yin, R. Antanova, A. Varava, J. B. Sol, C. Torras, A. Marino, G. Alenyà, and D. Kragic, “Benchmarking bimanual cloth manipulation,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 1111–1118, 2020.
  3. S. Donaire, J. Borràs, G. Alenyà, and C. Torras, “A Versatile Gripper for Cloth Manipulation,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 6520–6527, 2020.
  4. A. Ramisa, G. Alenyà, F. Moreno-Noguer, and C. Torras, “A 3D descriptor to detect task-oriented grasping points in clothing,” Pattern Recognition, vol. 60, pp. 936–948, 2016.
  5. E. Corona, G. Alenyà, T. Gabas, and C. Torras, “Active garment recognition and target grasping point detection using deep learning,” Pattern Recognition, vol. 74, pp. 629–641, 2018.

Recent projects

  • ROB-IN is an AEI “Lineas Estrategicas” project about robots for continual personalized assistance and explainability.
  • SeCuRoPS is a project funded by the Research Council of Norway about privacy in HRI.
  • CHLOE-GRAPH is an AEI “Retos” project about high level representation of complex actions.
  • BURG is a CHIST-ERA about benchmarking in robot manipulation.
  • COHERENT is a CHIST-ERA about explainability in robotic manipulations of textiles.
  • CLOTHILDE is an ERC Advanced Grant (granted to Carme Torras) where the aim is to establish the foundations of versatile cloth manipulation by robots.

Current Students

  1. Antonio Andriella (PhD student - Marie Curie grant) Robot personalization
  2. Alejandro Suarez (PhD student - FI grant) Planning system for disassembling sequences with a recycling robotic arm
  3. Alberto Olivares (PhD student - project grant) Reconfiguració intuïtiva de robots col·laboratius
  4. Alberto San Miguel (PhD student - FPI MdM grant) Supervision and Fault Tolerance for Assistive Robotics
  5. Enric Corona (PhD student - FPI grant) Learning representations for human motion understanding
  6. Irene Garcia (PhD student - project grant) Benchmarks for garment manipulation
  7. Sergi Ponsa (PhD student - Industrial doctorate) Aprenentatge de tasques i programació fàcil per robots industrials
  8. George Tzelepis (PhD student - project grant) Recognition and Learning of Garment Manipulation
  9. Silvia Izquierdo (PhD student - Vicente Lopez grant (EURECAT)) Assistive cognitive co-workers
  10. Bruno Lopes (PhD student - VIPEX company) AI to improve plastic molding processes