Silvia Tolu

Silvia Tolu

Associate Professor

Department of Electrical Engineering

Technical University of Denmark


Building 326, room 106

2800 Kgs. Lyngby

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Keywords Bio-inspired | Motor control and motor learning | Cerebellar internal models | Adaptive control | Neuro-robotics

Field of interest: Neurorobotics - Connecting artificial brains to robots

Our goal is: to combine neuroscience, computer science, and biology towards the design of bio-mimetic control architectures for real-time motor control and learning of compliant robotic systems.

Short Bio: I am from Sardinia, an Italian island in the middle of the Mediterrean Sea. I graduated as electronic engineer from the University of Cagliari, Italy, and I got a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Granada, Spain.

My research at DTU is in the field of Neuro-robotics Engineering, in particular it is focused on an understanding of a modular approach for developing brain structures and to connect them for controlling different robotic platforms, e.g. modular robots, musculoskeletal robots, humanoids robots, and soft-robots. Most of my research has been performed in the context of European Projects (Sensopac, HBP, BioModular). Current research interests are on the following areas: Neuro-robotics, Neuromorphic Engineering, Bio-inspired control systems, Artificial Intelligence, Applied Computational Neuroscience. The work has regarded adaptive motor control, human-robot compliant control, models of cerebellar control, and machine learning algorithms.

Longer perspective: to validate our models in realistic, dynamic and rich sensory tasks and environments. The robots will be able to adapt and learn from past experiences. To open revolutionary robotics paradigms and to discover methods and technologies, which can be used for diagnosis and rehabilitation of neuro-degenerative diseases, and eventually during treatment.

Supervision: If you are interested in making a bachelor or master project in the areas above, you can get inspired from current and/or former student projects with me as supervisor. In addition, you can also find a general project suggestion here, more specific one here, or very specific here, or you can search them on the DTU projektbank.

Ongoing Research Projects and Roles:

  • 2019 - Bio-Inspired Compliant Control for Safe Human-Robot Interactions

Completed Research Project and Roles:

  • 2016 - 2017 Researcher in Human Brain Project (HBP), SGA1, Neurorobotics SP10. HBP is a 10-years European project, which aims to map the human brain and create an ICT-based research infrastructure that can be used by researchers world-wide.
  • 02/2017-01/2019 Principal investigator in Marie Curie Project BioModularBiomimetic Learning Control Scheme for control of Modular Robots. This project has been funded by the European Commission (H2020 MarieSlowdowska Curie Actions - Individual Fellowship). 
  • 2018-2020 Principal investigator in the Co-Design Project 2 (CDP2 HBP SGA2) about cerebellar implementations in robotic systems.
  • 2017 - 2020 DTU team leader and coordinator in the HBP - SGA2.

Main Ongoing International Collaborations With:

  • The BioRobotics Institute at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa (Italy), Prof. C. Laschi, Asst. Prof. E. Falotico.
  • Dept. of Brain and Behavioral Sciences of the University of Pavia (Italy), Prof. E. D'Angelo, A. Antonietti.
  • The Biorobotics Laboratory, EPFL (Switzerland), Prof. Auke Ijspeert.
  • The Technical University of Munich (TUM). Fabrice Morin.

In the news:

1. Robots contribute to mapping the brain

2. Researchers Develop an Artificial Cerebellum than Enables Robotic Human-like Object Handling

3.  ‘Results in Brief’ section of the European Commission’s CORDIS

4.  Complex model of the human brain controls robot


Links to my profiles:




Google Scholar


HBP Neuro-robotics

DTU Neuro-robotics

See profile and cv in DTU Orbit...