Research and Projects

Explainable Baxter

In this work, we explore the role of explanation of failures by a robot in a human-robot collaborative task. We present a user study to incorporate common failures in collaborative tasks with human assistance as failure resolution. In the study, a robot and a human work together to fill a shelf with objects. Upon encountering a failure, the robot explains the failure, and the resolution to overcome the failure, either through handovers or humans completing the task.

Prosociality towards NAO

Despite the growing literature on human attitudes toward robots, particularly prosocial behavior, little is known about how robots’ perspective-taking, the capacity to perceive and understand the world from other viewpoints, could influence such attitudes and perceptions of the robot. To make robots and AI more autonomous and self-aware, more researchers have focused on developing cognitive skills such as perspective-taking and theory of mind in robots and AI. The present study investigated whether a robot’s perspective-taking choices could influence the occurrence and extent of exhibiting prosocial behavior toward the robot.

Virtual Maze Vs. Physical Maze

In a study with elementary school children aged 7-10 years old, we explored how playing a game with physical robots in a physical environment compared to playing the same game in a virtual environment with virtual robots can influence children’s experience of fun and their learning of the topics practiced in the game. The game is designed in the context of developing spatial perspective-taking skills, where, children need to make their moves by understanding the game from the robots’ point of view. It is a two-player cooperative game where the child guides one of the robots and tries to win the game together with the other robot that plays autonomously.

Virtual Maze

This project is dedicated to exploring adults’ spatial perspective-taking abilities emerging from the interaction of virtual robots in cooperative and competitive contexts.
Virtual robots are equipped with a cognitive model that uses automatic and cognitive-controlled processes to generate behaviors and decisions.

Cosmo Maze

The current study explores the potential of using embodied activities with robots to aid the development of children’s spatial perspective-taking abilities.
This research focuses on evaluating children’s spatial perspective-taking abilities and assessing the potential of the designed activity to practice perspective-taking.
The activity design is inspired by the dynamic and mental processes involved in remote-controlled cars and racing games, it is developed with a Cozmo robot, and it includes guiding the robot within the maze by considering the robot’s point of view.

Children’s Perspective-Taking toward robots

Spatial understanding and communication are essential skills in human interaction. An adequate understanding of others’ spatial perspectives can increase the quality of the interaction, both perceptually and cognitively. In this paper, we take the first step towards understanding children’s perspective-taking abilities and their tendency to adapt their perspective to a counterpart while completing a task with a robot. The elements used for studying children’s behaviors are the frame of reference and perspective marking, which we evaluated through a task where players needed to compose instructions to guide each other to complete the task.
We developed the interaction with an NAO robot and analyzed the children’s instructions and their performance throughout the game.


This project describes research aimed at supporting children’s reading practices using a robot designed to interact with children as their reading companion. We use a learning-by-teaching scenario in which the robot has a similar or lower reading level compared to children, and needs help and extra practice to develop its reading skills. The interaction is structured with the robot reading to the child and sometimes making mistakes as the robot is considered to be in the learning phase. The child corrects the robot by giving it instant feedback. To understand what kind of behavior can be more constructive to the interaction especially in helping the child, we evaluated the effect of a deictic gesture, namely pointing to the child’s ability to find reading mistakes made by the robot. We designed three types of mistakes corresponding to different levels of reading mastery. We tested our system in a within-subject experiment with 16 children.