Dr James Law

Senior Experimental Officer, Sheffield Robotics

Dr James LawAddress:
The University of Sheffield
Rm B04 Pam Liversidge Building
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD
Tel: +44 (0)114 222 5690
E-mail: j.law@sheffield.ac.uk
Twitter: @Dr_J_Law

My personal pages
My youtube channel
My Google scholar page
My Researchgate profile


James is a roboticist with a broad background including control systems, multi-robot coordination, and psychological modelling. In addition to his research activities, James is responsible for the management of the technical team and facilities at Sheffield Robotics.

James holds an MEng degree in Electronic Control and Robot Engineering from The University of Hull (2003), and Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems from the Open University (2008). James’ early work considered the structure and complexity of emergent coordination in multi-robot teams. This led to his involvement in robot football, representing the UK from 2004-2006.  In 2009, after a period as a consultant, James moved to the Computer Science department at Aberystwyth University as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate on the EU-FP7 IM-CLEVER project. In 2014 he moved to Sheffield to take up his current post at Sheffield Robotics, and the department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering.

James is enthusiastic about public engagement. He is a TEDx speaker, has been interviewed for national and international television and radio, and is an alumnus of Science Busking, Strictly Engineering, and FameLab.

Research interests

James’ main interests are in cognitive developmental robotics, using robots to model and learn from development in human infancy. He is currently investigating the role of play in infancy as a driver for learning, along with colleagues at Aberystwyth University.  James is also leading the ROBO-GUIDE project on assistive robotics at Sheffield, an interdisciplinary investigation into factors affecting trust in human-robot interaction.


EPSRC grant No. EP/M013510/1. Developmental algorithms for robotics; Understanding the world of objects, interactions and tools', 2015-2018, £560k


Journal articles


  • Lee M, Law J & Hülse M (2013) A Developmental Framework for Cumulative Learning Robots, Computational and Robotic Models of the Hierarchical Organization of Behavior (pp. 177-212). Springer Berlin Heidelberg

Conference proceedings papers

  • Eimontaite I, Gwilt I, Cameron D, Aitken JM, Rolph J, Mokaram S & Law J (2016) Assessing Graphical Robot Aids for Interactive Co-working. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing (including subseries Advances in Ergonomics of Manufacturing: Managing the Enterprise of the Future), Vol. 490 (pp 229-240), 27 July 2016 - 31 July 2016. View this article in WRRO
  • Aitken J, Law J, Boorman , Cameron , Chua A, Collins E, Fernando S, Martinez-Hernandez U & Mcaree O (2016) ROBO-GUIDE - Lessons from an Interdisciplinary Project. Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium of Engineering Education View this article in WRRO
  • Cameron D, Collins EC, Cheung H, Chua A, Aitken JM & Law J (2016) Don’t Worry, We’ll Get There: Developing Robot Personalities to Maintain User Interaction After Robot Error. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), Vol. 9793 (pp 409-412) View this article in WRRO
  • Cameron D, Loh EJ, Collins EC, Aitken JM & Law J (2016) Robot-stated limitations but not intentions promote user assistance. 5th International Symposium on New Frontiers in Human-Robot Interaction View this article in WRRO
  • Shaw P, Lewkowicz D, Giagkos A, Law J, Kumar S, De Masson D'Autume C, Lee M & Shen Q (2015) Babybot challenge: Motor skills. 5th Joint International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics, ICDL-EpiRob 2015 (pp 47-54), 13 August 2015 - 16 August 2015.
  • Shaw P, Law J & Lee M (2015) Representations of body schemas for infant robot development. 5th Joint International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics, ICDL-EpiRob 2015 (pp 123-128)
  • Cameron D, Aitken J, Collins E, Boorman L, Chua A, Fernando S, McAree O, Martinez Hernandez U & Law J (2015) Framing Factors: The Importance of Context and the Individual in Understanding Trust in Human-Robot Interaction. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Workshop on Designing an. Hamburg, Germany, 28 September 2015 - 2 October 2015. View this article in WRRO
  • Law J, Aitken J, Boorman L, Cameron D, Chua A, Collins E, Fernando S, Martinez Hernandez U & McAree O (2015) ROBO-GUIDE: Towards Safe, Reliable, Trustworthy, and Natural Behaviours in Robotic Assistants. Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems (TAROS). Liverpool, 8 September 2015 - 10 September 2015. View this article in WRRO
  • Cameron D, Collins E, Chua A, Fernando S, McAree O, Martinez Hernandez U, Aitken J, Boorman L & Law J (2015) Help! I Can’t Reach the Buttons: Facilitating Helping Behaviors Towards Robots.. Living Machines. Barcelona, 28 July 2015 - 31 July 2015. View this article in WRRO
  • Lee M, Law J, Shaw P & Sheldon M (2012) An infant inspired model of reaching for a humanoid robot. Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL), 2012 IEEE International Conference on (pp 1-6). IEEE
  • Law J, Shaw P & Lee M (2012) Development of eye-head gaze control on the iCub robot. 5th International Conference on Cognitive Systems (CogSys 2012) (pp 52-52)
  • Law J, Lee M & Hülse M (2010) Infant development sequences for shaping sensorimotor learning in humanoid robots. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Epigenetic Robotics: Modeling Cognitive Development in Robotic Systems, EpiRob (pp 65-72)
  • Law J, Johnson J & IEEE (2008) Multilevel Hypernetworks in the Design of Complex Multirobot Control Systems. 2008 IEEE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOLS 1-5 (pp 1658-1663)
  • Law J & Johnson J (2006) The Voronoi Game in Robot Coordination. FIRA RoboWorld Congress (pp 57-62)
  • Law J (2005) Analysis of multi-robot cooperation using Voronoi diagrams. 3rd International RCL/VNIItransmash Workshop on Planetary Rovers, Space Robotics and Earth-Based Robots (pp 6-6)
  • Robinson P, Wolf JC, Law JA, Oliver JD, Young KW & Harewood-Gill DA (2004) Recent Mirosot Developments in the UK. FIRA Robot World Congress, Busan, Korea
  • Law J & Johnson J (2004) Discrete dynamics and the space time possession game. FIRA Robot World Congress, Busan, Korea
  • McAree O, Aitken J, Boorman L, Cameron D, Chua A, Collins E, Fernando S, Law J & Martinez Hernandez U () Floor Determination in the Operation of a Lift by a Mobile Guide Robot. European Conference on Mobile Robots (ECMR). Lincoln, UK, 2 September 2015 - 4 September 2015. View this article in WRRO
  • Mokaram S, Martinez U, Aitken J, Eimontaite I, Cameron D, Law J, Rolph J & Gwilt I () A ROS-integrated API for the KUKA LBR iiwa collaborative robot. Proceedings of the 20th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) View this article in WRRO

Theses / Dissertations

  • Law J (2008) Abstracting Multidimensional Concepts for Multilevel Decision Making in Multirobot Systems.