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Department of Computer Science

Close up of Pepper the robot

Cognitive Robotics Laboratory

Work in our Cognitive Robotics Laboratory focuses on the integration of the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence methods for the training of robots' cognitive, social and linguistic skills.

The Cognitive Robotics Laboratory has collaborated with a number of companies including Honda and the US Air Force Lab.

We specialise in the use of developmental robotics, ie the design of a robot's learning capabilities taking direct inspiration from development in children. This uses a highly interdisciplinary approach, combining methods and expertise from computer science, neuromorphic engineering, psychology and neuroscience.

A 'Robot Home' - with a living lab for human-robot interaction experiments - is hosted by the lab, and we also have access to various humanoid robot platforms (iCub, Pepper, Sawyer and Nao, for instance) and other interactive robots such as Giraff.

Funded projects

We are involved in numerous projects funded by the EU H2020 programme, by the US Air Force Lab, and by companies such as Honda. Current projects include MoveCare on robot companions for the elderly, DeCIFER on the robot's understanding of human actions and goals, and the three Marie SkÅ‚odowska Curie grants DCOMM, SECURE and STRoNA on machine learning for language and action.  THRIVE++, awarded by the US Air Force Lab, is the latest funded project. It aims to understand how trust can be established between robots and people, using concepts from the development of the Theory of Mind in children.

The Lab has a strategic collaboration partnership with the AI Research Center (AIRC) of the AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) in Japan.  We also collaborate with multiple UK and international universities (eg Waseda University in Tokyo, Indiana University in the US, the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, the Universities of Hamburg and of Bielefeld in Germany) and with robotics and AI companies (including Honda, SoftBank Robotics Europe and CloudMinds).