Research Overview

Our research focuses on developing robots that shape human interactions in complex and dynamic environments throughout day-to-day tasks. We do this by building robots that create user models and give personalized feedback for long-term skill acquisition. Our work mainly focuses on educational robotics, but we also do research in eldercare robotics, user modelling, and robotic social influence. 

The lab is led by Dr Nicole Salomons. Her personal website can be found at: 

Our Research Themes

User Modelling

We create computational models of user skills enabling robots to optimally select actions to benefit the user.
Sample publications:
* BKT-POMDP: Fast Action Selection for User Skill Modelling over Tasks with Multiple Skills
* Continuous Bayesian Knowledge Tracing - Robots that Model User Skills Over Time
* A thermal emotion classifier for improved human-robot interaction

In-the-wild Tutoring Systems

Our lab brings robots out of controlled lab settings into homes and schools, so we can analyze the effects of robots in more realistic scenarios.
Sample publications:
* The Impact of an In-Home Co-Located Robotic Coach in Helping People Make Fewer Exercise Mistakes
* Improving social skills in children with ASD using a long-term, in-home social robot

3 columns

Robotic Social Influence

We study how groups of robots exert social influence on people and how they can positively influence them.
Sample Publications:
* A minority of one against a majority of robots: Robots cause normative and informational conformity
* Prompting prosocial human interventions in response to robot mistreatment
* Humans conform to robots: Disambiguating trust, truth, and conformity

Multi-User Robotic Tutoring

We develop robotic systems that tutor multiple users at once.
Sample Publications:
* Autonomous disengagement classification and repair in multiparty child-robot interaction
* Comparing models of disengagement in individual and group interactions
* Emotional storytelling in the classroom: Individual versus group interaction between children and robots

Perception of Robots

We investigate how a robot's behavior impacts people and how people perceive different types of robots.
Sample Publications:
* We Make a Great Team!”: Adults with Low Prior Domain Knowledge Learn more from a Peer Robot than a Tutor Robot
* Perceived Agency of a Social Norm Violating Robot