I was born in the city of Pordenone, Italy, and I moved to Rome when I was two. I studied physics with mayor in Theoretical Physics at the Sapienza Rome University, from which I received a Laurea degree in 1998. I then took a master degree in Medical Image Processing from La Sapienza University (2000), while working as a junior researcher at the Italian National Research Council (CNR). In 1999 I moved to Erlangen, Germany, to join the Chair for Pattern Recognition led by Prof. H. Niemann to work on my PhD.

I continued my PhD work at the Smith­-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, CA (2002) and at the Royal Institute of Technology of Stockholm, Sweden, where I received my PhD in Computer Science in 2005. From 2006 till 2013 I was a senior researcher at the Idiap Research Institute in Martigny, Switzerland, where I founded the Artificial Cognitive Systems group.

Since summer 2013 I am Associate Professor at the Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering of the University of Rome La Sapienza, where I founded the Visual Learning and and Multimodal Applications Laboratory (VANDAL). I also hold an adjoint senior researcher position at the Idiap Research Institute.My research on life long learning applied to visual and multimodal data in artificial cognitive systems like robots, wearable devices and sEMG controlled prostheses has been funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (NinaPro, 2011­-2014; vision@home, 2012­ -2015; Megane­Pro, 2016­-2018), the Hasler foundation (EMMA, 2008-­2011), the European Commission (FP6 DIRAC project, 2006-­2010; FP7 SS2­Rob, 2010), the European Research Council (ERC StG RoboExNovo, 2015­-2020) and the Italian Ministry for University and Research (CHIST­ERA ALOOF, 2015-­2017).