Guest-Lecture: Lola Cañamero

Affective Autonomous Robots and Interdisciplinary Research on Emotion

18.02.2021 - 18.02.2021

Lola Cañamero is professor Chaire Robotique et Neurosciences
Equipe Néurocybernetique, Laboratory ETIS, CY Cergy Paris Université


Due to their complex nature, emotions cannot be properly understood from the perspective of a single discipline.  

In this talk, I will discuss how the use of autonomous robots as embodied models of affect can be beneficial for interdisciplinary emotion research, addressing this issue through the perspective of my own research. I will discuss concrete ways in which embodied robot models can be used to support and carry out interdisciplinary emotion research (e.g., as operational models of specific emotional phenomena, of general emotion principles, and of specific emotion “dimensions”), and the advantages of using embodied robot models over other models.

However, in stressing the interest of affective autonomous robots as embodied models for interdisciplinary research, I am not restricting their role to that of tools to support other disciplines. On the contrary, giving robots emotions makes sense in its own right, from the perspective of both affective sciences and autonomous robotics. Modeling emotions in robots can, at the same time: (a) contribute to understanding emotions and their functions from a perspective that encompasses both biological systems (humans and other animals) and artificial systems (autonomous robots and agents); and (b) help to build robots that are more adaptive and better “coupled” with their physical and social environment.


Prof. Lola Cañamero is Chair of Robotics and Neuroscience at CY Cergy Paris University, where she is a member of the Neurocybernetics Group in the ETIS Laboratory, since September 2020. Since 2007, she has been a Reader in Adaptive Systems and Head of the Embodied Emotion, Cognition and (Inter-)Action Lab in the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, which she joined as faculty in 2001. She holds an undergraduate degree (Licenciatura) in Philosophy from the Complutense University of Madrid and a PhD in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) from the University of Paris-XI, France. She turned to Embodied AI and robotics as a postdoctoral fellow in the groups of Rodney Brooks at MIT (USA) and of Luc Steels at the VUB (Belgium). Since 1995, her research has investigated the interactions between motivation, emotion and embodied cognition and action from the perspectives of adaptation, development and evolution, using autonomous and social robots and artificial life simulations. Some of this research has been carried out as part of interdisciplinary projects where she has played Principal Investigator and coordinating roles, such as the EU-funded HUMAINE (on emotion-oriented information technology), FEELIX-GROWING (investigating emotion development in humans, non-human primates and robots), and ALIZ-E (development of social companions for children with diabetes), or the UH-funded Autonomous Robots as Embodied Models of Mental Disorders. She has played a pioneering role in nurturing the emotion modeling community. She is author or co-author of over 150 peer-reviewed publications in the above topics.

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Date : 18 February 2021 from 12h30 to 14h00

To attend the guest lecture, please connect to Zoom:

ID meeting: 957 7801 5462

The password must be requested by mail to Francesca Rondina:

The video will be online on CYAS YouTube