Project Description

EFAA [2011-2014]

efAA Experimental Functional Android Assistant

As the introduction of robots into our daily life becomes a reality, the social compatibility of such robots gains importance.

In order to meaningfully interact with humans, robots must develop advanced real-world social intelligence that includes novel perceptual, behavioural, emotional, motivational and cognitive capabilities. The Experimental Functional Android Assistant (efAA) project will contribute to the development of socially intelligent humanoids by advancing the state of the art in both single human-like social capabilities and in their integration in a consistent architecture.

The efAA project proposes a biomimetic, brain-inspired approach. The central assumption of efAA is that social robots must develop a sense of self as to overcome the fundamental problem of social inference. It is only in possessing the core aspects of a human-like self, that inferences about others can be made through analogy. The efAA Biomimetic Architecture for Situated Social Intelligence Systems, called BASSIS, is based on our growing understanding of the neuronal mechanisms and psychological processes underlying social perception, cognition, and action and will exploit the availability, amongst the members of the consortium, of a number of complementary prototype robot-based perceptual, cognitive and motor architectures. By integrating across these existing architectures, by directing focused effort on specific core problems, and by exploiting the availability of unique advanced real-time neuronal simulation and hardware, the impact of the efAA project is assured.

The efAA project will apply and benchmark BASSIS on a mobile humanoid assistant based on the iCub platform. The resultant system, efAA, will actively engage in social interactions and interactive cognitive tasks. To facilitate the realization of these game-like interactions and the performance analysis will be facilitated through a mixed-reality interaction paradigm using a table-top tangible interface system.

efAA is funded by FP7-ICT- Challenge 2 Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics

– Project number: 270490
– Starting date: 01/01/2011
– Duration: 36 mths

UPF: Paul Verschure  (coordinator)  (
USFD: Tony Prescott  (
IIT: Pietro Morasso     (
Imperial: Yiannis Demiris  (y.
INSERM: Peter Dominey  (