Research Topics and Projects: Overview


Why would we give emotions to robots? Our research has two goals:

1) Understanding emotions in biological systems (humans and other animals) and their functions. We ask questions such as:

  • What are the key features of human and animal emotions that can be shared by autonomous robots in similar environments?
  • How do emotions affect behaviour and cognition?
  • How did emotions evolve?
  • How do they develop through life?

2) Building better robots. We ask questions such as:

  • How can emotions help robots to make “good” decisions?
  • How can emotions make robots interact with people better?

Answering these questions requires giving robots internal models of emotions in addition to skills to express emotions and recognize emotions.

Some of my (funded) Projects:

Current Projects:

  • Pain and Pleasure in the Motivation-Emotion-Cognition Loop: Robots as Tools and Models, as part of my Paris-Seine INEX Chair Neuroscience and Robotics.
  • Computational modeling of language learning in robots: the development of meaning potentials in social and emotional contexts (in collaboration with Dr Laura Cohen at CYU and Prof. Ann Nowé at VUB), as part of the EUTOPIA European University project.
  • Autonomous Robots as Embodied Models of Mental Disorders (in collaboration with Dr Matthew Lewis and Prof. Naomi Fineberg at University of Hertfordshire).

Past Projects:

  • ROBIN The autonomous robot toddler to support self-management in children with diabetes.
  • The EC-funded FP7 project ALIZ-E (Adaptive Strategies for Sustainable Long-Term Social Interaction) in which I led the thematic area Non-Verbal Interaction (COMPLETED).
  • The EC-funded FP6 project FEELIX GROWING (FEEL, Interact, eXpress: a Global appRoach to develOpment With INterdisciplinary Grounding), which I coordinated (COMPLETED).
  • The EC-funded FP6 Network of Excellence HUMAINE (Human-Machine Interaction Network on Emotion), in which I led the thematic area Emotion in Cognition and Action (COMPLETED).