Colloquium Cognitive Systems

Developmental robotics - robots with a sense of self

Prof. Dr. Verena V. Hafner, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Abstract. Developmental robotics is a research field that extracts principles of human development and learning and applies them to robotics. This allows for adaptive robots with open-ended learning capabilities, but also can provide valuable insights to developmental psychology. In this talk, I will discuss prerequisites for developing an artificial minimal self, namely a sense of agency and a sense of ownership. This will be demonstrated with computational models of sensorimotor prediction and robotics experiments.

Relevant publications: Schillaci, G., Hafner, V.V., Lara, B. (2016), Exploration behaviours, body representations and simulation processes for the development of cognition in artificial agents, Frontiers in Robotics and AI, section Humanoid Robotics, 3:39. doi: 10.3389/frobt.2016.00039  Bechtle, S., Schillaci, G., Hafner, V.V. (2016), On the Sense of Agency and of Object Permanence in Robots, Proceedings of the 6th Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EpiRob), pp. 166-171, Paris, France

Bio. Verena Hafner is Professor of Adaptive Systems at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Head of the Adaptive Systems Group at the Department of Computer Science. She holds a Master with distinction in Computer Science and AI from the University of Sussex, UK, and a PhD from the Artificial Intelligence Lab, University of Zurich, Switzerland. Before moving to Berlin, she worked as an associate researcher in the Developmental Robotics Group at Sony Computer Science Labs in Paris, France. She has published more than 80 papers in renowned scientific journals, books and peer-reviewed conference proceedings. Her work has been cited more than 1800 times. She is part of the Programme Committee of the DFG Priority Programme The Active Self (SPP 2134), PI in the graduate school on sensory computation in neural systems (DFG, 2010-2019), PI in the graduate school METRIK (DFG, 2010-2015), PI in the EU Integrated Training Network INTRO on interactive robotics (EU FP7, 2010-2014) and PI in the EU FP7 project EARS on Embodied Audition for RobotS (2014-2017). She has been reviewer for the EU, BMBF, DFG, AvH, journals and conferences. Her research interests include sensorimotor interaction and learning, joint attention, internal models, and behaviour recognition.