I am a lecturer in Social Robotics at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence department of the University of Groningen (Netherlands). I investigate how we can develop intelligent, adaptive social robots that can support people effectively in a broad range of societal issues, ranging from healthcare to education. In particular, I investigate how robots and humans can communicate effectively in a natural way.

I have co-coordinated the European research project L2TOR to investigate how social robots can contribute to foster multilingualism by developing educational games for young children to support them learning a second language. This could, for instance, be Dutch for children with a migration background or English for Dutch-speaking children. Idea is that such robots could be applied at home or at schools to promote children’s development. For more information about this project, consult www.l2tor.eu.

I have investigated a broad range of research questions relating to the evolution and emergence of language, and the development of language and gestures in children and (simulated) robots. With my background in artificial intelligence and cognitive science, I take an interdisciplinary approach that also involves linguistics, psycholinguistics, ethnographic research and developmental psychology. For more information see my research page.