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Personal profile

Research interests

I work in the overlap of AI, graphics and robotics, with a focus on autonomous synthetic characters; this has led to interests in affective computing, interactive narrative and human-robot interaction. Underlying this is work on action-selection systems: the merging of AI planning with biologically-inspired low-level systems and emergent behaviours.


I moved into computing from a degree in Mathematical Economics and Econometrics when I went to work for the then international Computers Ltd in 1977. In 1980 I moved to the micro-computing lab of University of Sheffield, and in 1983 became an academic in Computing at the then Sheffield Polytechnic. I came to Scotland for the first time in 1989 when I worked for the University of Edinburgh AI Applications Institute as a Knowledge Engineer, and followed this with a move to Advanced Robotics Research Ltd in Salford as a Senior Software Engineer. In 1992 I became a lecturer in the University of Salford IT Institute, and in 1998 moved as a Senior Lecturer to Salford’s Centre for Virtual Environments, where I became a Professor in 2000. In 2004 I moved to Heriot-Watt as a Professor of Computer Science.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Robots Engineering & Materials Science
Data storage equipment Engineering & Materials Science
Human robot interaction Engineering & Materials Science
Robotics Engineering & Materials Science
exclusion Social Sciences
Autonomous agents Engineering & Materials Science
Feedback Engineering & Materials Science
Intelligent virtual agents Engineering & Materials Science

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2005 2018

Cultural Social Signal Interplay with an Expressive Robot

McKenna, P. E., Ghosh, A., Aylett, R., Broz, F. & Rajendran, G., 15 Jul 2018, (Accepted/In press) 18th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access

Endowing a Robotic Tutor with Empathic Qualities: Design and Pilot Evaluation

Obaid, M., Aylett, R., Barendregt, W., Basedow, C., Corrigan, L. J., Hall, L., Jones, A., Kappas, A., Kuester, D., Paiva, A., Papadopoulos, F., Serholt, S. & Castellano, G., 16 Oct 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : International Journal of Humanoid Robotics.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Investigating social vulnerability in children using computer mediated role-play

Fallon, T. L., Aylett, R., Minnis, H. & Rajendran, G., Oct 2018, In : Computers and Education. 125, p. 458-464

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Role Playing
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Research Personnel

Robot-assisted Social Skill Training for Adults with ASD

Broz, F., Ghosh, A., Keller, I., McKenna, P. E., Rajendran, G. & Aylett, R., Mar 2018

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Human robot interaction

Robot Expressive Behaviour and Autistic Traits

McKenna, P. E., Ghosh, A., Aylett, R., Broz, F., Keller, I. & Rajendran, G., Jul 2018

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster