Welcome to SIRRL


 fd.nlThis research group was founded in August 2018 when Professors Kerstin Dautenhahn and Chrystopher Nehaniv moved from the United Kingdom to University of Waterloo. Our research is situated in the fields of social robotics, human-robot interaction,  cognitive and developmental robotics and Embodied Artificial Intelligence. Read more on this site about our journey to discover fundamental principles and mechanisms that can make robots more socially intelligent, as well as enabling them to interact with people in a trustworthy and efficient but also "natural" and socially acceptable manner, e.g. in roles of co-workers, assistants or companions. The goal of our research is to advance knowledge in social and intelligent robotics and to develop robots that can make a positive contribution to human society.

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  1. Mar. 26, 2021Towards Adaptive Social Robots

    Kerstin Dautenhahn was a speaker at the AI for Social Good Stream, part of Industry Day: Co-hosted by Waterloo AI & Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (AMC). Her talk was entitled “Towards Adaptive Social Robots: Integrating Physiological Adaptation in Human-Robot Interactions” and gave a brief introduction into social robotics followed by an overview of the HRI Physio Lib project at SIRRL.

  2. Sep. 1, 2020Pandemic isolation increases acceptance of robot companions

    A new study by Moojan Ghafurian, Collin Ellard, and Kerstin Dautenhahn shows people are more open to the use of social robots after living through the coronavirus pandemic.

    Read more on University of Waterloo News and London Evening Standard.

  3. Nov. 14, 2019Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn and Hamza Mahdi in Graduate Fellowship Welcome Reception

    This event is a celebration of the Engineering Excellence Fellowship and Advanced Manufacturing Fellowship recipients who began their programs in the last 5 terms. Hamza Mahdi (MASc student in SIRRL and award recipient) and Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn (his research supervisor) were invited to join in the celebration.

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Meet our people

Moojan Ghafurian

Moojan Ghafurian

Assistant Professor, Co-Director

Moojan Ghafurian is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Prior to joining SYDE, she was a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (2020-2023) and the Inaugural Wes Graham postdoctoral fellow at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science (2018-2020) at the University of Waterloo. She got her PhD from the Pennsylvania State University in 2017, and her research interests and background are in human-computer/robot interaction, social robotics, affective computing, and cognitive science. Her research explores computational models of how humans interact with computers to inform user-centered design of socially and emotionally intelligent technologies in multiple domains, especially in healthcare and for supporting older adults, persons with dementia, and caregivers.