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Our research in the areas of artificial intelligence, robotics and artificial life as well as in assistive and rehabilitation robotics has been conducted in various national and international research projects. Many of the projects have been supported by and realised in our long-term focus areas.
EMBOA project (Affective loop in Socially Assistive Robotics as an intervention tool for children with autism) aims at the development of guidelines and practical evaluation of applying emotion recognition technologies in robot-supported intervention in children with autism. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suffer from multiple deficits, and limited social and emotional skills are among those, that influence their ability to involve in interaction and communication.
Kaspar and language: A feasibility study of using Kaspar, a humanoid robot for speech and language therapy for children with learning disabilities
Whilst a vast amount of research has investigated communication interventions and their impact on children with Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), the possibility of using state of the art robotics technology, specifically focused on SLC therapies has had very little investigation. This research will be a pioneering study, using the humanoid robot Kaspar as a therapeutic tool for children with learning disabilities in need of SLC therapies to investigate how robotic technology could help these children.
Kaspar Explains: The impact of explanation on human-robot trust using an educational platform
The project focuses on identifying how causal explanation can influence trust in an educational robotic platform, the Kaspar robot. We hypothesise that a robot’s ability to explain its educational actions would make it a more trustworthy educational tool, for the pupils, their parents and their teachers. This may in turn make the robot-mediation more successful.
The goal of this proposal was to seek funding to extend the functionalities of the robotics hardware in the University of Hertfordshire's (UH) Robot House (RH), creating the Robot House 2.0 - and, importantly, to make it accessible to other research groups. RH2.0 was to become an easily accessible hub for UK universities and industry conducting research into smart home and robotics technology.
The SocCred (Assuring safety and social credibility) project was a small feasibility project to identify and characterise the link between social credibility and safety, funded by the AAIP (Assuring Autonomy International Programme). An interactive experiment indicated that users are more likely to accept the safety assessment of a robot that they consider socially intelligent instead of one lacking social competency, which users considered necessary to cross-check these against their own experience.
CORBYS: Cognitive Control Framework for Robotic Systems
The focus of the CORBYS project is on robotic systems that have symbiotic relationship with humans. These systems have to cope with highly dynamic environments as humans are demanding, curious and often act unpredictably. CORBYS will design and implement a cognitive robot control architecture that allows the integration of 1) high-level cognitive control modules, 2) a semantically-driven self-awareness module, and 3) a cognitive framework for anticipation of, and synergy with, human behaviour. These modules will be supported with an advanced multi-sensor system to facilitate dynamic environment perception. This will enable the adaptation of robot behaviour to the user’s variable requirements.
The projects section is a work in progress list and subject to frequent changes. It is therefore incomplete and includes, at this stage, only a selection of projects. If you want to suggest an update, please send us an e-mail.