Bachelor Project: Social Robotics

Tutor: Dr. Matteo Zella, Carlos Medina Sánchez

Put yourself in the “shoes” of a robot meeting a person on its way… How would you understand what is the person doing and what his/her goals are? How would you plan your actions in this social context? How would you interact with others to be sure that you can achieve your own goals?

If one thinks about it, this situation is common in our everyday life. From the perspective of a robot, however, handling such a “simple” task involves: (1) the perception of the physical surrounding and of the behavior of people moving in it; (2) the planning of appropriate actions to accomplish some goal while matching the expectations of how individuals should behave in a social context; (3) the interactions between humans and robots or between robots alone to ensure that a goal can be achieved, maybe in collaboration with each other.

In this project, after an initial set of tutorials on specific programming tools and robotic platforms, the participants will (1) identify a specific social context in which a robot would need to achieve a particular goal, e.g., delivering a packet to somebody in an office, (2) implement the corresponding software services, and (3) test them in a real-world scenario. To learn how to program robots and test the implemented solutions, a simulation environment including persons will be provided.

Depending on the participants, we can extend the scope of the project to cover also web and mobile development in the context of social robotics. For programming the behavior of the robots, Java or Python can also be used in addition to C/C++. Therefore, a solid C/C++ background is not necessary in order to join the project. In any case, participants in this course are expected to be highly motivated. This project will be taught in English and it is suitable for students at the bachelor’s level.

If you want to participate in this course or you want to know more about the project, please send an email to to indicate your interest and join the kickoff meeting.

The kickoff meeting will take place in presence on Thursday 07.04. at 10am in room SA-126. During the meeting, we will discuss the topic and the organization of the project and answer your questions. After the meeting, the students who decide to join the project will be added to a Moodle course where further information will be provided.