Kerstin Dautenhahn, Dr. rer. nat.

Kerstin Dautenhahn, Dr. rer. nat.
Professor, Canada 150 Research Chair in Intelligent Robotics, and Director of the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory (SIRRL)
Location: E5 5027
Phone: 519-888-4567 x31455
Status: Active


Kerstin Dautenhahn is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo. She is a Canada 150 Research Chair in Intelligent Robotics and is cross-appointed to the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, and the Department of Systems Design Engineering at University of Waterloo. She is Visiting Professor at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. At Waterloo she is the Director of the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory (SIRRL)).

The main areas of her research are Human-Robot Interaction, Social Robotics, Assistive Technology and Health Technologies. She is Editor in Chief (jointly with Prof. Angelo Cangelosi - University of Manchester, UK) of the Journal Interaction Studies- Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems published by John Benjamins Publishing Company, Editorial Board Member of Adaptive Behavior, Sage Publications, Associate Editor of the International Journal of Social Robotics, published by Springer, and Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems. She is an Editor of the book series Advances in Interaction Studies, published by John Benjamins Publishing Company. Professor Dautenhahn is on the Advisory Board of the journal AI and Society (Springer). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), IEEE Fellow, member of ACM, and a Lifelong Fellow of AISB, as well as a member of the Executive Board of the International Foundation for Responsible Robotics. Since 2006 she has been part of the Standing Steering Committee of the IEEE conference RO-MAN (Human and Robot Interactive Communication).

Graduate students or postdocs who wish to join my lab are asked to first consult this information:

I will not be able to respond to emails unless applicants have the required research background.

Research Interests

  • Human-robot Interaction, Social Robotics, Robot-Assisted Therapy, Robot-mediated Instruction, Assistive Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Life


  • 1993, Dr. rer. nat. Natural Sciences, University of Bielefeld, Germany
  • 1990, Diploma Biology, University of Bielefeld, Germany


  • 2018 Lifelong Fellow of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour
  • 2019 IEEE Fellowship awarded for contributions to social robotics and human-robot interaction
  • 2022 35 Women in Robotics Engineering and Science (WiRES) honoree @ IEEE IROS 2022


  • ECE 493 - Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Taught in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • ECE 750 - Special Topics in Computer Software
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • SYDE 599 - Special Topics in Systems Design Engineering
    • Taught in 2021

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Moojan Ghafurian, Colin Ellard, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2023) An investigation into the use of smart home devices, user preferences, and impact during COVID-19. Computers in Human Behavior Reports, Volume 11, 2023, ISSN 2451-9588.
  • Pourya Aliasghari, Moojan Ghafurian, Chrystopher Nehaniv, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2023) How Do We Perceive Our Trainee Robots? Exploring the Impact of Robot Errors and Appearance when Performing Domestic Physical Tasks on Teachers' Trust and Evaluations. ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction (THRI) 12.3 (2023): 1-41.
  • Melanie Jouaiti, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2023) Robot-Assisted Therapy for Upper Limb Impairments in Cerebral Palsy: A Scoping Review and Suggestions for Future Research. Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, 14(1), 20220104
  • Moojan Ghafurian, Kang Wang, Isha Dhode, Mannat Kapoor, Plinio P. Morita, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2023) Smart Home Devices for Supporting Older Adults: A Systematic Review, in IEEE Access, vol. 11, pp. 47137-47158, 2023, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2023.3266647.
  • Abhinav Dahiya, Alexander M. Aroyo, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Stephen L. Smith (2023) A Survey of Multi-Agent Human-Robot Interaction Systems. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol 161,
  • Mahsa Golchoubian, Moojan Ghafurian, Kerstin Dautenhahn and Nasser L. Azad (2023) Pedestrian Trajectory Prediction in Pedestrian-Vehicle Mixed Environments: A Systematic Review. IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, doi: 10.1109/TITS.2023.3291196.
  • Sami Alperen Akgun, Moojan Ghafurian, Mark Crowley, and Kerstin Dautenhahn (2022) Using Affect as a Communication Modality to Improve Human-Robot Communication in Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue Scenarios. IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, doi: 10.1109/TAFFC.2022.3221922.
  • Garima Gupta, Shruti Chandra, Torrey Loucks, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2022) Stuttering Treatment Approaches from the Past Two Decades: Comprehensive Survey and Review. Journal of Student Research, 11(2).
  • Hamza Mahdi, Sami Alperen Akgun, Shahed Saleh, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2022) A survey on the design and evolution of social robots — Past, present and future, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, ISSN 0921-8890,
  • Shruti Chandra, Garima Gupta, Torrey Loucks, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2022) Opportunities for social robots in the stuttering clinic: A review and proposed scenarios, Paladyn- Journal of Behavioral Robotics, vol. 13, no. 1, 2022, pp. 23-44.
  • Samira Rasouli, Garima Gupta, Elizabeth Nilsen, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2022) Potential Applications of Social Robots in Robot-Assisted Interventions for Social Anxiety, Int J of Soc Robotics (2022).
  • Marcus Scheunemann, Christoph Salge, Daniel Polani, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2022) Human Perception of Intrinsically Motivated Autonomy in Human-Robot Interaction, Adaptive Behavior, First published 22 February 2022,
  • Moojan Ghafurian, Gabriella Lakatos, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2021) The Zoomorphic Miro Robot's Affective Expression Design and Perceived Appearance. Int J of Soc Robotics (2022).
  • Pourya Aliasghari, Moojan Ghafurian, Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2022) Impact of Nonverbal Robot Behaviour on Human Teachers’ Perceptions of a Learner Robot. Interaction Studies 22(2). pp. 141-176
  • Kheng Lee Koay, Matt Webster, Clare Dixon, Paul Gainer, Dag Syrdal, Michael Fisher, and Kerstin Dautenhahn (2021) Use and Usability of Software Verification Methods to Detect Behaviour Interference when Teaching an Assistive Home Companion Robot. Paladyn – Journal of Behavioral Robotics 12: 402–422
  • Moojan Ghafurian, Jesse Hoey, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2021) Social Robots for the Care of Persons with Dementia: A Systematic Review. ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction 10(4): 1-31
  • John Edison Muñoz, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2021) Robo Ludens – A game design taxonomy for multiplayer games using socially interactive robots. ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction (THRI), 10(4), Article 32.
  • Lakatos, Gabriella, Wood, Luke Jai, Syrdal, Dag Sverre, Robins, Ben, Zaraki, Abolfazl and Dautenhahn, Kerstin. "Robot-mediated intervention can assist children with autism to develop visual perspective taking skills" Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, vol. 12, no. 1, 2021, pp. 87-101
  • Dag Sverre Syrdal, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Ben Robins, Efstathia Karakosta, Nan Cannon Jones (2020) Kaspar in the wild: Experiences from deploying a humanoid robot in a school for children with autism. Paladyn- Journal of Behavioral Robotics 11(1):301-326
  • Silvia Rossi, Alessandra Rossi, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2020) The Secret Life of Robots: Perspectives and Challenges for a Robot's Behaviours During Non-Interactive Tasks, International Journal of Social Robotics, issue 6.
  • Kheng Lee Koay, Dag Sverre Syrdal, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Michael L. Walters (2020) A narrative approach to human-robot interaction prototyping for companion robots, Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, 11(1), 66-85. doi:
  • Luke Jai Wood, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Austen Rainer, Ben Robins, Hagen Lehmann, Dag Sverre Syrdal (2019) Robot-Mediated interviews: A field trial with a potential real world user. Interaction Studies 21(2), pp. 243-267.

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