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AI Development > LIREC

The LIREC project (Living with Robots and Interactive Companions) is an attempt to help create interactive, emotionally intelligent, synthetic companions which are capable of long-term relationships with human users, and able to move between robot-based interaction and virtual avatar form.

The project hopes to to examine how we react to a familiar companion entity when it swaps from a robot body into a virtual form and back again - is the perception any different, or do we bond more deeply when that occurs?

The initial phase is to examine existing at-home robots to study user perception. Toy robots such as Pleo, and GlowBots are being examined. Also looked at are child like robots. Kaspar, a research robot on cognitive development being one under study.

LIREC is also looking at the manner in which humans and dogs interact, for inspiration in creating synthetic companions.


Project still underway.

Preceeding Projects:

No direct ancestor

Lead Institution:

Queen Mary, University of London

Other Institutions:

The University of Hertfordshire, UK
Heriot Watt University, UK
Otto-Friedrich - Universitat Bamberg, Germany
Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland
Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Sweden
INESC-ID - Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Investigacao e Desenvolvimento, Portugal

FoAM, Belgium
Cnotinfor Ltd., Portugal


The European Commission has awarded LIREC a £6.5m grant, for a four and a half year project, concluding in late 2012.

Further Reading

LIREC main site

Staff Comments


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