Thursday 03 May 2012Embodied Language Learning with the Hum

Prof. Angelo Cangelosi - Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Plymouth

Harrison 170 15:00-16:00

Recent theoretical and experimental research on action and language processing clearly demonstrates the strict interaction between language and action, and the role of embodiment in cognition. These studies have important implication for the design of communication and linguistic capabilities in cognitive systems and robots, and have led to the new interdisciplinary approach of Cognitive Developmental Robotics. In the European FP7 project "ITALK" ( we follow this integrated view of action and language to develop cognitive capabilities in the humanoid robot iCub. This will be achieved through experiments on object manipulation learning, and on cooperation and communication between robots and humans (Cangelosi et al., 2010). During the talk we will present ongoing results from iCub experiments. These include iCub experiments on embodiment biases in early word acquisition ("Modi" experiment; Morse et al. 2010), studies on word order cues for lexical development and the sensorimotor bases of action words (Marocco et al 2010), and recent experiments on action and language compositionality. The talk will also introduce the simulation software of the iCub robot, an open source software tool to perform cognitive modeling experiments in simulation (Tikhanoff et al. in press).


Cangelosi A., Metta G., Sagerer G., Nolfi S., Nehaniv C.L., Fischer K., Tani J., Belpaeme B., Sandini G., Fadiga L., Wrede B., Rohlfing K., Tuci E., Dautenhahn K., Saunders J., Zeschel A. (2010). Integration of action and language knowledge: A roadmap for developmental robotics. IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, 2(3), 167-195

Marocco D., Cangelosi A., Fischer K., Belpaeme T. (2010). Grounding action words in the sensorimotor interaction with the world: Experiments with a simulated iCub humanoid robot. Frontiers in Neurorobotics, 4:7.

Morse A.F., Belpaeme T., Cangelosi A., Smith L.B. (2010). Thinking with your body: Modelling spatial biases in categorization using a real humanoid robot. Proceedings of 2010 Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Portland, pp 1362-1368

Tikhanoff V., Cangelosi A., Metta G. (in press). Language understanding in humanoid robots: iCub simulation experiments. IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development.

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