Keynote Speaker:

Angelo Cangelosi, University of Plymouth, UK
Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems
School of Computing and Mathematics
University of Plymouth

Title: Human-Robot Interaction for Embodied Language Learning


Growing theoretical and experimental research on action and language processing and on number learning and space representation clearly demonstrates the role of embodiment in cognition and language processing. In psychology and neuroscience this evidence constitutes the basis of embodied cognition, also known as grounded cognition (Pezzulo et al. 2012). In robotics, these studies have important implications for the design of linguistic capabilities in cognitive agents and robots for human-robot communication, and have led to the new interdisciplinary approach of Developmental Robotics (Cangelosi & Schlesinger 2014). During the talk we will present example of developmental robotics models and results from iCub experiments on the embodiment biases in early word acquisition studies, on word order cues for lexical development and number and space interaction effects. The presentation will also discuss the implications for the “symbol grounding problem” (Cangelosi, 2012) and how embodied robots can help addressing the issue of embodied cognition and the grounding of symbol manipulation use on sensorimotor intelligence.


  • Cangelosi A. (2012). Solutions and open challenges for the symbol grounding problem. International Journal of Signs and Semiotic Systems, 1(1), 49-54 (with commentaries)
  • Cangelosi A, Schlesinger M (to appear, 2014). Developmental Robotics: From Babies to Robots. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Pezzulo G., Barsalou L.W., Cangelosi A., Fischer M.H., McRae K, Spivey M.J. (2011). The mechanics of embodiment: a dialog on embodiment and computational modelling. Frontiers in Psychology, 2(5), 1-21

Short Bio:
Angelo Cangelosi is Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Cognition and the Director of the Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems at Plymouth University (UK). Cangelosi studied psychology and cognitive science at the Universities of Rome La Sapienza and at the University of Genoa, and has been visiting scholar at the University of California San Diego and the University of Southampton. Cangelosi's main research expertise is on language and cognitive modelling in humanoid robots, on language evolution in multi-agent systems, and the application of bio-inspired techniques to robot control (e.g. swarm of UAVs). He is the coordinator of the Marie Curie ITN "RobotDoC: Robotics for Development of Cognition" (2009-2013) and the UK EPSRC project “BABEL: Bio-inspired Architecture for Brain Embodied Language” (2012-2016), and of the FP7 project "ITALK” completed in 2012. Cangelosi has produced more than 200 scientific publications, is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Interaction Studies, and has chaired numerous workshops and conferences including the IEEE ICDL-EpiRob 2011 Conference (Frankfurt, August 2011). In 2012 he was nominated Chair of the International IEEE Technical Committee on Autonomous Mental Development.