Affective Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory (AFAR)

Current Projects

In this project, we propose to design and implement a Socio-emotionally Adaptive Robotic (ARoEQ) platform that can foster wellbeing through coaching and psychologically-proven interventions. For this purpose, we aim to collaborate with experienced coaches and psychotherapists to conduct intervention sessions (a) in person and (b) by teleoperating a robot.

An integrated digital solution, the WorkingAge of Wellbeing (WAOW) Tool, will support this by studying three types of working environments: Office, Driving and Manufacturing. These environments are being made fit for workers over 50, and validated in extensive pilots.



Hatice Gunes

Leader of Affective Intelligence & Robotics Lab

My current research vision is to embrace the challenges present in the area of health and empower the lives of people through creating socio-emotionally intelligent technology. This vision is currently supported by three new projects funded by prestigious and competitive grants via the WorkingAge Project funded by the EU H2020 Programme (2019–2021), the EPSRC Fellowship Programme (2019–2024) and the Turing Fellowship Programme (2019-2021).

Current Members (November 2021)

Sinan Kalkan

Associate Professor

Visiting academic Oct 2019 - Sep 2020

Siyang Song

Postdoc Research Associate

Postdoctoral researcher working on the WorkingAge Project

Chaudhary Muhammad Aqdus Ilyas

Postdoc Research Associate

Postdoctoral researcher working on the WorkingAge Project

Micol Spitale

Postdoc Research Assistant -

Postdoctoral researcher working on the EPSRC ARoEQ Project

Abbas Kan

Research Assistant

Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge. ML for analysing expressions in sculptures

Nikhil Churamani

PhD Student

I am a third year PhD student working under the supervision of Dr Hatice Gunes in the Affective Intelligence and Robotics lab. My current research focusses on Lifelong or Continual Learning of Affect in Social robots, aimed towards enabling lifelong human-robot relationships. I am funded by the EPSRC International Doctoral Scholarship and the Premium Research Studentship of the department. My other research interests include Deep Learning, Computer Vision, Neuro-inspired AI, and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI).

Alex Raymond

PhD Student

PhD student funded by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851 Industrial Fellowship

Jiaee Chong

PhD student

PhD student funded by the Alan Turing Institute

Minja Axelsson

CPGS Student -

I am a PhD student (2020 – ) working in the Affective Intelligence and Robotics Lab, under the supervision of Dr Hatice Gunes. My research focuses on creating robots for human wellbeing. I work together with experts from different disciplines (such as psychology and computing), as well as prospective users of such robots. My research interests include Human-Robot Interaction, Social Robotics, Affective Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Design Research, Participatory Design, and User Experience. I am funded by the Osk. Huttunen foundation and the EPSRC.

Nida Itrat Abbasi

CPGS student

I am a first year PhD student at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. I completed my masters in Biomedical Engineering from the National University of Singapore. My research interests include human-robot interaction, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence.

Toshiharu Igarashi

PhD student

Euodia Dodd

M.Phil student

MPhil student funded by DeepMind Cambridge Scholarship, University of Cambridge, Oct 2021 - Jun 2022

Past Members

Indu P Bodala

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Cambridge. I received her Ph.D. from NUS Graduate School of Integrative Sciences and Engineering at the National University of Singapore where I studied human attention and trust during human interactions with autonomous agents. My research interests include human-robot interaction, affective computing, machine learning and cognitive neuroscience.

Luke Geurdan

M.Phil student

I am an MPhil student in the Affective Intelligence and Robotics Lab, where I am focusing my MPhil thesis on combining continual learning and federated learning for personalized, privacy-preserving human-robot interaction. Previously, I graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in computer science and psychology.

Millie McQuillin

M.Phil student

My name is Millie and I am an MPhil student in the AFAR group. In my work I am most interested in using computer vision and machine learning techniques to improve existing methods social robotics and pro-social computing. I am a previous recipient of the Google Women Techmakers Scholarship, and am able to study at Cambridge thanks to the support of DeepMind. When I'm not working I can usually be found at the ice rink or reading a good book!

Samuil Stoychev

M.Phil student

Hi! My name is Samuil. I have recently graduated from UCL with BSc Computer Science. I am currently studying towards an MPhil Advanced Computer Science here at Cambridge where I am researching resource efficiency in continual learning


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Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, 15 JJ Thomson Ave, Cambridge CB3 0FD.

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