ANIMATAS Symposium on
Human-Machine Interaction: Perception, Social Learning, Personalised Adaptation in Educational Settings

12–14 October 2021

Virtual Event


As emerging technologies continue to grow in complexity and availability, the question of how to successfully integrate such technologies into our society is attracting growing research interest. Social robots, virtual agents, and (explainable) artificial intelligence models are increasingly being implemented in healthcare systems, in entertainment or retail, or in educational settings as a means to reduce burden on human workers and maximise user experience.

Education is a particularly relevant context for the implementation of advanced robotic, virtual, or AI systems. Teachers around the world suffer from overcrowded classrooms, limited resources, and diverse student needs. These challenges are being especially highlighted in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, there is a clear need to develop and implement effective technological solutions into both virtual and physical classroom settings. If successful, such systems could help in reducing teacher burden, providing personalised learning experiences, and minimising costs.

The ANIMATAS project is aimed at understanding human-machine interaction in the context of education. Three broad research areas are targeted:
1) understanding
perception of robotic or virtual agents,
2) development of
social learning mechanisms, and
personalised adaptation of agents to unstructured social interactions.

The goal of this symposium is to bring together the outcomes of each of these areas and present relevant research findings. Through this symposium, we hope to foster interdisciplinary discussions on topics relevant to embodiment, social learning, and personalisation and adaptation within the context of education.


You can participate by registering here!

The schedule is updated here!

We will have keynote talks from Alessandra Sciutti, Tony Belpaeme, and Jonathan Gratch.
We will also have a panel discussion with Arvid Kappas, Mohamed Chetouani, Ana Paiva, and Pierre Dillenbourg, moderated by Barbara Bruno;
and a second panel with Brian
Scassellati, Kerstin Dautenhahn, and Maja Mataric, moderated by Severin Lemaignan.


The symposium will be fully virtual.

Important Dates

Symposium submission deadline: 31 August 2021

Decision notification: 23 September 2021

Camera-ready deadline: 1 November 2021

Symposium date: 12–14 October 2021


Please register here to participate!


Topics for submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Quantitative and/or qualitative research methodology to assess human-machine interaction in educational settings

  • Theoretical reflections on the conceptualization or operationalization of educational scenarios for human machine interaction

  • Ethical reflections on settings and methods in/by which to assess human-machine interaction in education

  • Design and technical implementation of systems and scenarios by which to evaluate human machine interaction (e.g., machine-learning models, semi-autonomous or autonomous robot systems, Wizard of Oz) scenarios

Keynote Speakers

Alessandra Sciutti

(Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Italy)

Tony Belpaeme

(Ghent University, Belgium & Plymouth University, England)

Jonathan Gratch

(USC Institute for Creative Technologies, USA)

Organisers / ESRs

Rebecca Stower (Jacobs University Bremen, Germany)

Sooraj Krishna (Sorbonne Université, France)

Natalia Calvo-Barajas (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Karen Tatarian (SoftBank Robotics Europe, France)

Sahba Zojaji (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)

Sina Shahmoradi (EPFL, Switzerland)

Utku Norman (EPFL, Switzerland)

Sebastian Wallkötter (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Manuel Bied (Sorbonne Université, France)

Ramona Merhej (INESC-ID, Portugal)

Tanvi Dinkar (Télécom Paris Institut Polytechnique de Paris, France)

Jauwairia Nasir (EPFL, Switzerland)

Sera Büyükgöz (SoftBank Robotics Europe, France)

Silvia Tulli (INESC-ID, Portugal)

Maha Elgarf (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)