News

23 Feb 2021

Nominee for INESC-ID Best PhD Student Award

INESC-ID just announced the nominees and winners for the annual prizes of phd student, junior researcher and senior researcher. I am proud to tell you that I was nominated for student prize, which feels like a warm recognition of my dedication. Thanks!

23 Dec 2020

Merry Christmas!

I just helped programming the robots to record this video at the lab. Written and directed by my colleague and dear friend Miguel Vasco, great job Miguel!

I hope you like it and Happy Holidays!

15 Jul 2020

I am at RSS'20

I have just attended my first virtual conference! Weird, but ok... I was really looking forward to present to the huge audience of RSS once again, but instead I had to simply record this video.

In any case, I am very proud of this paper! And writting it during the whole month of September was a fun and joyful task. I particularly enjoyed doing the related work because I learned a lot about robots' embodiment.

8 Apr 2020

Managing the Social Media of GAIPS Lab

I accepted the challenge of managing the Social Media of my lab together with Carla Guerra. I am so excited! Our lab is quite big, but also quite amazing! Advertising the achievements of all my close peers will keep me motivated. Check out our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and website.

13 Mar 2020

COVID-19: Quarantine!

Evacuation from the university campus followed by an announcement of remote work for at least two weeks...

10 Jan 2020

I defended my PhD thesis proposal!

Today I successfully defended my PhD thesis proposal! I am so so happy about it! The jury members were Malte Jung and Hugo Nicolau that both gave me positive feedback for my last year of PhD.

19 Dec 2019

I was Program Chair of HRI Pioneers'20!

I was a Program Chair for the HRI Pioneers Workshop, together with Bob Schadenberg, Aaquib Tabrez, and Daniel Rea.

It was my first time as program chair of something. I know it is just a small workshop... But if it was as important for the current applicants as it was for me last year (and the year before), I wanted to do a good job. I particularly enjoyed picking the reviewers for each submission and I was extremely happy when I realised that most reviews were great (full of constructive feedback!). The saddest part is definitely the decision as it may be unfair for some submissions... I did our best! I really enjoyed this experience.

28 Nov 2019

I was at Future Digileaders!

I went to Stockholm, Sweden, to attend the Future Digileaders workshop. It was organized by KTH and the goal was to promote female researchers in digitalization.

19 Oct 2019

I was at RoMAN'19!

I just attended the International Conference on Robot & Human Interactive Communication that was in New Delhi, India. I presented my paper "Walk the Talk! Exploring (Mis)Alignment of Words and Deeds by Robotic Teammates in a Public Goods Game" that was the result of a collaboration with many wonderful people. Our paper won a Distinguished Interdisciplinary Research Award!!!

12 Oct 2019

I was at a Dagstuhl Seminar!

I attended a Dagstuhl Seminar on "Social Agents for Teamwork and Group Interactions" that was organized by Elisabeth André, Ana Paiva, Julie Shah, and Selma Šabanovic.

18 Jul 2019

I was at InGroup'19!

I attended the International Conference on Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research that was in Lisbon, Portugal.

10 Jul 2019

I was a tutor at SummerAcademy'19!

The students' group called TreeTree2 organized every year a set of academies for teenagers to learn and "play" with science. I was part of their team of tutors for the summer academy. It was a great experience! I had to accompany a group of kids around 10-12 years old and analyse a scientific paper!

15 Jun 2019

Doing TA of Computing and Society for the Spring Semester!

I have done TA for the Computing and Society (CS) at Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon. Ana Paiva taught the theoretical classes, while I, Miguel Vasco and Diogo Rato were supervising the practical classes. Because this is a BSc course, we got ~300 students enrolled.

18 May 2019

I was at AAMAS'19!

I went to the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems that was in Moneral, Canada. At the conference, I was responsible for doing a live demo of our For The Record game with the robots.

On this photo, from the left to the right, there is: Ana Paiva, Fernando P. Santos, Mojgan Hashemian, Silvia Tulli, I, Manuel Guimarães and Miguel Vasco.

15 Mar 2019

I was at HRI'19!

I went for the second time to the International Conference on Human Robot Interaction that was in Daegu, South Korea. This year, besides preseting my full paper "Exploring Prosociality in Human-Robot Teams", I also participated in the Pioneers Workshop and I had a video on the traditional Video Competition (which won the award "People's Choice").

On this photo, from the left to the right, there is: Rui Prada, Patrícia Alves-Oliveira, Raquel Oliveira, Ana Paiva, I, and Samuel Mascarenhas.

29 Jan 2019

TA of Social Robotics Course for the Fall Semester

I have done TA for the Social Robots and Human-Robot Interaction (SRHRI) at Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon. Ana Paiva taught the theoretical classes, while I, Miguel Faria and Samuel Mascarenhas were supervising the practical projects with the robots. This year, we got 23 students enrolled and all of them brought their best ideas to create really cool projects.

Besides all the work I had, I am glad I did this TA for the second time...

10 Dec 2018

HRI Reading Group

The semester is about to finish and so is our second edition of the HRI Reading Group. I have been helping Kim Baraka organizing these sessions for the past two semesters. All the papers were great but some of my favourites were: "Communication: The context of change" (Barnlund, D.C., 2011) or "Usability evaluation considered harmful" (Greenberg, S. and Buxton, B., 2008).

Our sessions go beyond presenting the papers as they try to extrapolate meaning to other fields, or even discuss further applications. The goal is to understand better what Human-Robot Interaction was, currently is, and how it can evolve in the future.

It has been an incredible experience and I honestly feel I grew up as a researcher. Most of the insightful discussions forced me to view different perspectives that are not so obvious when reading a paper in a straightforward manner. Obviously, this was not possible without the brilliant mind of (my dear friend and) my colleague Kim.

7 Dec 2018

I was at Geeks and Groupies' Symposium!

I have just attended the Symposium on Interdisciplinary Insights into Group Dynamics in Delft, The Netherlands. As the name of the symposium says, the goal was to bring together interdisciplinary fields. In this case, computer scientists, informally called "The Geeks", and researchers from social sciences, informally called "The Groupies". Attendees were asked to mark their badges with either a blue dot (geek) or a red dot (groupie). The following photo shows me and Patrícia, both happy to belong to these two worlds!

The organization of the symposium was great, thanks to Hayley Hung, Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, Zeena Harakeh, Josette Gevers, and Dirk Heylen. The amazing keynote speakers were Steve Kozlowski, Jean-Marc Odobez, Michaela Kolbe, Matthew Cronin, and Hatice Gunes. My personal goals of attending this symposium were totally met: to understand some of the challenges of Group Dynamics, and to meet leading researchers working on the field, to acquire guidelines for my future research.

27 Nov 2018

Presentation at Talk N'Play#4

Last tuesday I presented a talk about "Playing Games With Robots" at an event called Talk N'Play organized by LabJogos. The goal of this event is to share the news about the latest releases of games with live demos, both commercial ones and developed by the students.

24 Out 2018

Paper presented at ASSETS'18

One of my most recent papers is "What My Eyes Can't See, A Robot Can Show Me: Exploring the Collaboration Between Blind People and Robots", which has been presented at ASSETS conference in Galway, Ireland. The paper was presented by Prof. Tiago Guerreiro, who I had the great pleasure to meet and work with. This project was born at the Social Robotics course by the idea and motivation of the students Mayara Bonani and Michał Ostapowicz. Prof. Tiago Guerreiro and his current PhD student André Rodrigues were invited to collaborate on this project due to their knowledge and expertise on the accessibility literature, in particular related to blind people. Their dedication was undoubtedly crucial for the success of this work (thank you both once more!). Briefly, the paper reports the results of two user studies: (1) a set of focus groups to understand perceptions and expectations of robots; and (2) user study where Baxter provided assistance in an assembly task — a Tangram puzzle.

Additionally, I would like to add a quick note on how insightful it was for me as the first interaction with blind people. For instance, I have learned simple but commonly (and unfortunately) unknown guidelines on how to physically guide a blind person walking.

We will hopefully have more news about this project soon... ;)

4 Out 2018

I am at IROS'18

I am currently writing this post from Madrid, where I have been for the past four days attending the IROS conference. The full paper that brought me here is "The Power of a Hand-shake in Human-Robot Interactions". This project started at the Social Robotics course of Prof. Ana Paiva (while I was doing T.A.) by a group of MSc students, João Catarino and Pedro Ribeiro. The students used the handshake developed by João Avelino to conduct a user study. My support was crucial to carefully choose an adequate experimental design, conduct the statistical analysis and refine the discussion of the results. Overall, Prof. Ana Paiva and I are extremely happy with the ideas of our MSc students and the collaborations we have been establishing on this course.

For this paper, we have collaborated with ISR lab, led by Prof. José Santos-Vitor, and more specifically João Avelino, Plinio Moreno and Prof. Alexandre Bernardino from the VisLab research group. On this photo, from the left to the right, there is Alexandre Bernardino, me, João Avelino, José Santos-Vitor, and Plinio Moreno. Moreover, on this user study, we have used the Vizzy robot (created at the ISR lab), which is btw a super cute robot with an outstanding gazing system. Look at us!

15 Jul 2018

I was at AAMAS'18

This year edition of the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems conference was in Stockholm, Sweden. I presented my full paper "Exploring the Impact of Fault Justification in Human-Robot Trust" which reveals the results of a user study me and Carla Guerra conducted for the Social Robots and Human-Robot Interaction course. It was the first time I have designed by myself the experimental design and methodology of a user study and, as you can imagine, I learned a lot...

The conference itself was great but huge, too many sessions in parallel. Especially because this year IFAAMAS organized an AI meeting with the joint conferences IJCAI/ECAI, ICML, ICCBR and SoCS. Nonetheless, the keynote speakers were really really REALLY good: Thomas Henzinger, Ana Paiva (my supervisor!), Joyce Yue Chai and Josh Tenenbaum.

Besides all that, my lab had a strong presence this year and, as usual, we met some of our former members. In the photo you can see, from left to right, top to bottom: Ana Paiva, Rui Prada, Fernando Santos, me, Iolanda Leite (with her little baby), Brian Ravenet, Joana Campos, Francisco Melo, Diogo Rato, Alexis Jacq and Rui's son.

29 May 2018

I am at the Summer School on Artificial Intelligence and Games

The 1st edition of the International Summer School on Artificial Intelligence and Games was held in Chania, Crete, Greece. The organizers Georgios N. Yannakakis and Julian Togelius decided to create this annual venue after publishing their book on AI and Games. The amazing invited speakers were Matteo Hessel, África Periáñez, Alessandro Canossa, Emily Short, Arthur Juliani, Olivier Delalleau and (my favourite) Christoffer Holmgård.

During the last two day,s we could also attend the Game Jam. Me, Diogo Rato, Leonid Berov (a friend from AIIDE'17) and Oleksiy Solyanyk tried to create a bot to play "Bots Against Humanity".

22 Mar 2018

2nd place in the Pitch Competition of PhD Open Day

The PhD Open Days is a 2-days event of talks and poster sessions that aims at motivating and revealing the importance of pursuing a PhD degree. Students have the opportunity to share their work and discuss it with researchers from different fields or backgrounds. The event also includes a Pitch Competition that challenges the communication skills, innovation and entrepreneurship of the students. Among the 19 participants, I got the 2nd place!

11 Mar 2018

I was at HRI'18!

I went for the very first time to the International Conference on Human Robot Interaction that was in Chicago, IL, USA. My goal was to present the full paper "Group-based Emotions in Teams of Humans and Robots", which was the result of a project for the course of Affect Computing. The extraordinary collaboration with Samuel Mascarenhas and Rui Prada helped me to introduce a new manipulation of group-based emotions on my card game scenario. The promising role of this type of emotions in HRI was shown in our user study and consequent results.

On this photo we joined the former and current researchers from the GAIPS lab that attended the conference, from the left to the right, Samuel Mascarenhas, Raquel Oliveira, Patrícia Alves-Oliveira, me, Kim Baraka, Ana Paiva, Shruti Chandra, Iolanda Leite and André Pereira.

5 Oct 2017

I am at AIIDE'17!

This year edition of the Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment conference was in Snowbird, UT, USA. I am going to present the full paper "A Social Robot as a Card Game Player". This paper is focused on the development of the card game player and the algorithms it uses. During the conference, I attended to amazing talks and keynotes and my favourite was Mary Lou Maher. Furthermore, I have met Prof. Michael Buro that has also used similar algorithmic approaches in his Skat agent. It was a pleasure to meet him and discuss the bunch of improvements that could still be done.

12 Sep 2017

Doing 2x TA for the Fall Semestre

This semester I had the crazy idea of accepting the challenge of doing Teaching Assistance (TA) for two courses: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Social Robots and Human-Robot Interaction (SRHRI) at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST).

AI is a BSc course and had a total of 108 students enrolled. The course is lectured by Prof. Manuel Lopes and me. This year, the course syllabus changed a little and now includes: Programming Languages in Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Agents; Solving Problems by Searching; Adversarial Search; Constraint Satisfaction Problems; Knowledge Representation; Classical Planning; Learning from Examples; and Natural Language for Communication.

SRHRI is a MSc course and had a total of 35 students enrolled. The course is lectured by Prof. Ana Paiva and me. The course syllabus includes: Social Agents architectures; Interaction design; Intentionality; Emotions; Social learning; Collaboration between humans and robots; Experimental design and evaluations of interaction between humans and robots.

8 Sep 2017

Summer School on Social Human-Robot Interaction

I went to the 3rd edition of the Summer School on Social Human-Robot Interaction in Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal. During this amazing week, I had the opportunity to meet many PhD students in my field of research but with several distinct backgrounds. Also, there was an unexpectedly wonderful workshop about Pitch and Presentation, taught by Margarida Antunes, which gave me a new perspective on how to present in a very natural and relaxed way.

12 Jul 2017

I am at RSS'17!

This year edition of the Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) in MIT, Cambridge, USA. I am going to present the full paper "Groups of humans and robots: Understanding membership preferences and team formation". This paper presents people's prefrences when partnering a robot to play the Sueca card game. The technical work was again a followup in the Sueca project, where we have put two robots autonomously playing the game with two people in a 1-hour long interaction!!! I am also particularly proud of this work due to the clean experimental design. Me, Sofia Petisca and Patrícia Alves-Oliveira took many hours discussing all the possible combinations for doing it.

The conference is so far the best I have been to, especially in terms of organization. Although there was a record of attendees (around 1000), I am glad they keep doing it in a single track version.

13 Feb 2017

Doing TA for the Spring Semestre

This semester I accepted once again the challenge of doing Teaching Assistance (TA) for the Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agents Systems course at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), which has a total of 108 students enrolled. This MSc course is lectured by Prof. Ana Paiva, Prof. Manuel Lopes and me. The course syllabus includes: Agents and Environments; Reactive Architectures; Deliberative Architectures; Hybrid Architectures; Emotion-based Architectures; Societies of Agents and Emergence; Game Theory; Communication; Coordination and Cooperation; Negotiation; Agent Development; Machine Learning in Agents; Human-agent interaction; Applications of agents and multi-agent systems.

31 Jan 2017

My PhD has just started!

I finally received the notification from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) saying they will award me the PhD grant. It's so great news!!! Pursuing the PhD was totally dependent on this (or a similar) funding. Now I have four long years ahead...

22 Nov 2016

Advanced School on Artificial Inteligence for Games (AI4G)

Mojgan Hashemian, Diogo Rato, João Higino, and I went to the Advanced School on Artificial Intelligence applied to the development of Digital Games (EAIA'2016) in Barcelos, Portugal. Among several lectures, I would like to highlight Helder Coelho, Antonios Liapis, and Luís Paulo Reis.

5 Sep 2016

Doing TA for the Fall Semestre

This semester I accepted the challenge of doing Teaching Assistance (TA) for the Artificial Intelligence course at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), which has a total of 391 students enrolled. This BSc course is lectured by Prof. Ernesto Morgado, Prof. Fausto Almeida, Prof. Manuel Lopes, Prof. João Dias, Catarina Moreira and me. The course syllabus includes: Programming Languages in Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Agents; Solving Problems by Searching; Adversarial Search; Constraint Satisfaction Problems; Knowledge Representation; Classical Planning; Learning from Examples; and Natural Language for Communication.

28 Aug 2016

I am at RO-MAN'16!

This year edition of the IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN) in Columbia University, Teachers College in New York City, USA. I am going to present the full paper "Just follow the suit! trust in human-robot interactions during card game playing". This paper presents some of the results we got in the user study of my MSc thesis, it is the second publication of the Sueca project.

10 Mar 2016

2nd place HRI'16 Video Competition

We have created a video to show the interaction of EMYS robot in the Sueca scenario. Most of the scenes were collected from the user study of my MSc thesis. The scenario is very interactive and we believe this is a good opportunity to give visibility to our work. This extended abstract can be considered the first publication of the Sueca project, and the video won the 2nd place of the HRI'16 Video Competition (YEHEY!).

12 Feb 2016

Doing TA for the Spring Semestre

This semester I accepted the challenge of doing Teaching Assistance (TA) for the Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agents Systems course at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), which has a total of 86 students enrolled. This MSc course is lectured by Prof. Ana Paiva, the PostDoc researcher Pedro Sequeira, and me. The course syllabus includes: Agents and Environments; Reactive Architectures; Deliberative Architectures; Hybrid Architectures; Emotion-based Architectures; Societies of Agents and Emergence; Game Theory; Communication; Coordination and Cooperation; Negotiation; Agent Development; Machine Learning in Agents; Human-agent interaction; Applications of agents and multi-agent systems.

5 Nov 2015

MSc thesis defense

I finally defended my MSc thesis, the title of which being "EMYS: a social robot that plays Sueca". Sueca is a Portuguese card game, similar to (English) Whist, (German) Skat, or (Italian) Briscola. Apparently, my supervisor, Prof. Ana Paiva, used to play it a lot in her childhood with her grandfather, which motivated her to suggest this project of creating a robot that could socially play this game. Curiously, this was also the card game I have played the most and, therefore, I could not have missed this challenge.

Sueca is played by four players and has a particular and interesting property of being a team game. As a result, this scenario allows the exploration of cooperative and competitive features of the human-robot interaction. Among the technical challenges, I had to develop the AI to "solve" this imperfect information game and the robotic agent that would accommodate it in a sociable and natural way.

This was a long journey, but I am very proud of the end of this chapter. Hopefully, it may be fruitful in the future...

27 Oct 2015

I am at ICSR'15

This year edition of the International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR) was in Paris, France. I went for the very first time to an international conference (YEHEY!) to attend the poster session with the paper "Social robots for older adults: Framework of activities for aging in place with robots". This work was the result of a focus group we conducted with the elderly to explore how robots could help their daily living. During the conference I had the opportunity to attend the keynotes of Jacqueline Nadel, Gordon Cheng, and Wendy Ju.