11 August 2010

FP7 Grant success for Tony Prescott (PI), Kevin Gurney, John Porrill and Charles Fox

Tony Prescott (PI) together with Kevin Gurney, John Porrill, and Charles Fox have been awarded a grant of ~520,000 Euros from the European FP7 ICT programme as part of a multi-centre project (total value ~3M Euros) to develop socially intelligent humanoid robots (abstract below).

The project, which is based on the iCub robot platform, will be lead by the SPECS lab of the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, with additional partners in Genoa, Lyon, and Imperial College London.

The project will start in spring 2011, run for three years, and fund two post-docs and one postgraduate student.

The role of the Sheffield group will be to:
(i) develop active touch sensing capabilities for robot hands (building on our past work on active vibrissal sensing, see www.sheffield.ac.uk/psychology/research/groups/atlas)
(ii) contribute to the model of the human brain architecture that will control the robot (building on our past work on action selection by the basal ganglia, see www.abrg.group.shef.ac.uk), and
(iii) establish mechanisms for grounding symbolic interactions (language) in perception and action (in collaboration with the Lyon group).

Although the project is primarily robotics, the goal is to endow robots with some human-like perceptual, motor, cognitive, and social abilities, therefore the hope is to have a strong interaction with psychologists and neuroscientists in Sheffield and elsewhere.

Please contact Tony Prescott (t.j.prescott@sheffield.ac.uk) for further information.