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New 'Quotes' album

This is a new experimental album where I am going to be posting my favorite quotes superimposed on mostly my own photos or the photos I've helped taking. Hope you will find some of them inspiring :)


click here to see the whole album

Last Updated on Monday, 08 August 2011 06:12
International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, San Jose, California, 2011

Aquila IJCNN

Aquila was successfully presented at the IJCNN conference that was this year held in San Jose, California. In a 15 minute presentation, I talked about the benefits of parallel programming using CUDA architecture, about Aquila's philosophy and its modules. I also played few videos demonstrating the Modi, MTRNN and Kinect modules, which sparked interest in the audience.

I went to few plenary talks that I found interesting, however, the last one by Michael I. Jordan was of exceptional significance. Many of you will know that David Rumelhart, one of the pioneers in the field of neural networks and a major contributor to the field's modern renaissance, died early this year and Jordan's talk was part of a David's memorial session. David's son, wife and also his first PhD student attended this event and talked about him and his life. I was impressed to hear everything they had to say, especially about his personal qualities! Luckily, I have managed to record the whole part so check it out and enjoy the rare footage :)

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click here to watch the second part
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 August 2011 15:28
Athene's Theory of Everything
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Last Updated on Monday, 25 July 2011 10:16
Dream Big

Coming back to Slovakia this year meant a lot to me, I made new friends and visited lots of places. More than anything else, I reestablished connections with friends who have shaped my life the most.

Couple of days ago, I woke up missing everything and feeling like doing something different, something crazy and inspiring. I cycled to Whitsand bay in Cornwall and wrote this with my feet. Notice the small footsteps :)


Dream Big

Last Updated on Monday, 25 July 2011 00:17
Slovakia Experience 2011 (miss you, chybate mi)

I have recently returned from a trip to my home country Slovakia where I was invited to do a talk about my PhD research, which I believe went very well. Few of my English friends attended the talk and other people came from different places in Slovakia. The talk was also attended by some of the most influential professors from Bratislava. After the presentation was finished, my friends and myself were invited for a traditional lunch, which was amazing.


Bratislava and hotel's Rolls-Royce service


At this time, my short Slovakian holidays started and I took a bus to Banska Bystrica (where I was born) while my English friends stayed an extra day in Bratislava and waited for another friend of ours (Lydia) who was arriving from Birmingham. I arrived to Banska Bystrica in the evening and met with my good friends (Jozef, Radka, Veronika, Stanka, Vivien and Matus) in a tea room called Carovna. It was really nice to see everyone after so many years. A sisha and my favorite Darjeeling tea from high mountains in India added to the great experience.


in Carovna tea room


After the meeting, Jozo and Radka drove me back to their house, which is located at a really nice place close to beautiful mountains. I got to know Jozef's parents and talked a lot with his father about carbon footprints and crediting systems. We also went to Radka's house to see new-born puppies.


At Jozef's house


Afternoon, we went to Ziar nad Hronom where we joined the rest of our group and did some shopping for the upcoming Pohoda festival. Then we all moved to Kremnica where we were temporarily accommodated at a friend's (Lucia's) flat whose mum was exceptionally hospitable. Before leaving for the festival, we explored some of Kremnica's surrounding mountains and did a bit of mushroom hunting. We did not find a great deal but definitely enough to make scrambled eggs with mushrooms for everyone. Oh, did I mention we found a rare blue slug that is only present in Slovakia and few other countries?

Next day, we got up early in the morning and went to a city called Trencin where the Pohoda festival took place. That was quite a trip, trains were completely full and lots of grumpy people were complaining about everything including the festival itself. This reminded me the usual atmosphere in Slovakia where people complain pretty much about everything for no big reason. Despite of everything, we kept the good mood and arrived on-time and safe. I did not go to any concerts the first day but many other people went to see Moby. The next day was awesome. I got up and was welcomed by other mates and we all went to a river nearby called Vah. We found a great location and later even a big tire from a tractor that we used for partying in the middle of the river. What could I add? After we returned, I went to see Magnetic Man and Rusko amongst other. I have also recorded 30 minutes from each, uploaded the videos to my YouTube channel and put them in a Pohoda 2011 playlist. This was my first festival ever and it was amazing, apart from lots of good food and things to do I came across this Dobra Cajovna tea room, which was fantastic.

After the festival was over, we rushed back to Kremnica, quickly packed everything and went to Lucia's cottage. I could not sleep the first night as I was very warm and had to protect myself from lots of insects. Did I say I lost my voice at Pohoda? The next day, we all went for a short walk through a forest and later visited a lake nearby that was full of leaches...everyone loved it.


Lucia's cottage


The trip went on and we happened to be traveling to the highest mountains in Slovakia known as High Tatras. Every good adventure would not be quite right without unexpected events and ours was not an exception. On our way to High Tatras one of the cars started playing up and at some point the cooling system of the car I was driving gave up on us. The car's engine completely stopped in the middle of a steep hill but we were lucky enough to make it close to a stream nearby and used its freezing water as a replacement coolant. However, this solved the problem only temporarily and every now and then we had to stop and let the car cool down again.


overheated car


After all the excitement, we arrived to High Tatras, left our stuff in a friend's flat nearby and rushed to take a telecabine to Skalnate Pleso. We walked back on a rocky footpath surrounded by a beautiful scenery and a nature full of  jewels.


High Tatras


Our next destination was Dobsinska ice cave, what a stunning place. My friend James had an awesome idea and went inside topless. I could not resist doing the same. I think we might be the first human beings in that cave who did that :D


Topless, inside Dobsinska Ice Cave


Everyone was really hungry afterwards so we went to a local restaurant and had the Slovakian national food called Halusky. The next and the last destination was going to be Slovakian Paradise, however, not everything worked out as planned so we ended up swimming in a lake nearby.


lake in Slovak Paradise


After this adventure everyone else apart from me and Lucia went to Vienna. Lucia went back to Kremnica and I went to Banska Bystrica, met my friend Veronika, Stanka and later Cwika and Vivien. The leaving was as painful as it gets but I am grateful for every single moment, for so many new friends, for so many new experiences and I do hope to see everyone soon.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this brief summary of one of the most amazing times I had in my life. If you enjoyed the photos then look here to see the whole album that contains over 400 pictures that I have collected from everyone who participated.


Thanks for reading and remember that...


"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." ~ Albert Einstein


Last Updated on Monday, 25 July 2011 00:44
Birthday Paintball Massacre 2011


Click here to see the whole album

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 14:13
New Publication for ICDL-EPIROB conference

M. Peniak, D. Marocco, J, Tani, Y. Yamashita, K. Fischer and A. Cangelosi (in press). Multiple Time Scales Recurrent Neural Network for Complex Action Acquisition. International Joint Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL) and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EPIROB) 2011. Frankfurt, Germany, August 24-27, 2011.

You can see all my publications here

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 June 2011 21:06
Aquila 1.7b features iCub teleoperation using Kinect

Aquila 1.7b has just been released and implements some cool features such as iCub teleoperation using Kinect camera. The very first demonstration of this module took place during the PCCAT2011 conference where the Aquila publication won the best paper award.

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Aquila repository now provides a dedicated brunch just to download all the dependencies and installation instructions. Check it out using: svn co Installation 

Aquila manual has also been updated and describes installation and every single module in detail (31pages).

New developers are welcome to join through this site and the latest updates are always on Aquila's FaceBook page, click here to explore it.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 17:01
Alien House Video
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 16:49
Presentation at The Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava

I was invited to present my research at The Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava and the time and venue have just been confirmed. If you are interested in the subject and live somewhere near then pop over, it would be great to meet some of my fellow Slovakians :)



Humans are able to acquire many skilled behaviors during their lifetimes. The learning of complex behaviours is achieved through a constant repetition of the same movements over and over, with certain components segmented into reusable elements known as motor primitives. These motor primitives are then flexibly reused and dynamically integrated into novel sequences of actions.

Several action learning models have been proposed that implement functional hierarchies via explicit hierarchical structures, such as the MOSAIC model or the mixture of multiple recurrent neural networks expert systems. However, it has been demonstrated that the similarities between various sensorimotor sequences result in competition between various motor primitive modules leading to a conflict between generalisation and segmentation. Generalisation requires the representation of motor primitives through many similar patterns present in the same module whereas different primitives need to be represented in different modules to achieve a good segmentation of sensorimotor patterns. Because of the conflict that arises when there is an overlap between different sensorimotor sequences, it is not possible to increase the number of motor primitives by simply adding extra low-level modules.

This talk will present novel results of complex action learning based on a multiple timscales recurrent neural network (MTRNN) model embodied in the iCub humanoid robot. This model attempts to overcome the generalisation-segmentation problem through the realisation of functional hierarchy that is neither based on the separate modules nor on a structural hierarchy but realised through multiple time-scales of neural activities. In addition, the model was implemented as part of Aquila cognitive robotics toolkit resulting in acceleration of learning experiments through the CUDA architecture, which makes use of massively parallel GPU devices that significantly outperform standard CPU processors on parallel tasks. The new experiments use extended MTRNN models to train the iCub to acquire reusable motor primitives. These will be subsequently used in experiments on the simultaneous acquisition of motor and linguistic skills, and the exploitation of compositional structure in both sensorimotor and linguistic representations. 


Venue, Date and Time

Faculty of Electronics and Informatics at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava

4th July 2011 at 10:00 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 May 2011 14:11
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