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Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems


The centre, part of the Cognition Institute, builds on the world-leading and international excellence performance in the field of computer science, cognitive robotics and neural computation. Staff at the Centre coordinate large UK and FP7/H2020 projects (e.g. COGNOVO, APRIL, L2TOR) and collaborate with the major international centres in cognitive robotics and computational neuroscience. The main areas of research carried out by the Centre are:
  • The application of mathematical and computational modelling, brain imaging, visualisation and cognitive modelling
  • The investigation and understanding of the interaction between humans and intelligent systems, with an enphasis on language and non verbal communication
  • The use of computational and robotics modelling methods to investigate cognitive functions
  • Humanoid robotics and human-robot interaction
  • The application of these models into the real-world robotic and interactive applications such as robot companions for hospitalised children and for elderly care.

CRNS Contact

Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems
University of Plymouth
A311 Portland Square
PL4 8AA Plymouth
United Kingdom

Director: Professor Angelo Cangelosi

Reception: Dr Elena Dell'Aquila

T: +44 (0)1752 586238








Lecturer in robotics. See advert

Two PhD studentships for CRNS projects are available as part of the general Faculty studentship call. One studentship is open to any topic in robotics and neural systems, whilst teh second must be relate dto autonomous marien systems. We reccomend you contact a specific member of staff (see People page) to manifets your interest and when applying, indicate in the form the supervisor surname and reserach topic. See advert

In September, two Marie Curie ESR studentships within the SECURE ETN will be publsihed (one in cognitive robotics, one in psychology). Five more ESR studentships will be advertised in the autumn (APRIL and DCOMM ITNs). Contact Angelo Cangelosi for informal enquiries. 



Plymouth robotics research featured as Top Story in the US NSF Science260 News


The recently published PLoS ONE paper on developmental robotics and psychology modelling of posture influence in word learning (in collaboration with Linda Smith at Indiana University, USA) has been featured at a Top Sttory (20 March 2015) in the USA NSF Science306 News​





New MIT Press book on Developmental Robotics


Cangelosi's volume Developmental Robotics: From Babies to Robots​, co-authored with Matt SChlesinger (SIUC) has been published by MIT Press. Visit the publisher website for more details on the book and the endorsement by Jay McClelland, Giulio Sandini, John Spencer and Gerard Sagerer.





CRNS staff in the news


The BBSRC project on neurobiology of the tadpole has featured in national and regional news, as with Professor Borisuyk's interviews on BBC News, and on the newspapers Plymouth Herald and This is Devon​.
Robin Read's PhD work has also appeared in the New Scientist​.



Launch of CogNovo Marie Curie IDP


CogNovo is an Innovative Doctoral Programme, funded by the EU Marie Curie initiative and Plymouth University, to foster research training in the emerging field of Cognitive Innovation. The programme is currently advertising 14 Early career Reserach fellow position and 12 additional PhD studnetship. See​

New Projects

Three new Sklodowska Marie Curie ITN grants awarded in the Spring of 2015: APRIL EID, SECURE ETN and DCOMM ETN

The APRIL European Industrial Doctorate, led by Cangelosi, Belpaeme and Dahl, will look at personal robotics applications through interaction and leanring. This is in collaboration with Aldebaran Robotics.  
Angelo Cangelosi and Jeremy Goslin will be supervising tow ESR PhD students in the new H2020 SECURE ETN to look at the role of language, non-verbal behaviour and affordances in human-robot interaction. 
Cangelosi will also lead the CRNS partnership of the DCOMM ETN on Deictic Communications.

DECORO: Developmental Context-driven Robot learning

A 2 year Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships (IEF) has been awarded to the reseracher Martin Stolen with the supervision of Prof. Angelo Cangelosi. 

ENACT: Enhancing Negotiation skills through on-line Assessment of Competencies and interactive mobile Training

Davide Marocco has been awarded a 2 year LLP KA3 Multilateral funded project with the aim to achieve a new milestone towards the provision of innovative pedagogy and assessment methods for helping people to enhance and (self-)assess their negotiation competences based on recent psychological modelling and the application of current ICT research (e-learning, mobility, internet, artificial intelligence).

THRIVE: Trust in Human-Robot Interaction Through Embodiment (US Air Force Office Science and Research)

Angelo Cangelosi has been awarded a contract from the US Air Force Office of Science and Research (AFSOR-EOARD) to work on trust in human-robot interaction. The $540k contract will see the hiring of two 4-year PhD students, one designing the social skills of the robots and the otehr carrying out experimenst on trust relationships between robots and human participants. 

Cross-modality integration in animal locomotion (BBSRC)

Roman Borisyuk, in collaboration with Alan Roberts & Steve Soffe of University of Bristol and Wen-Chang Li from University of St. Andrews, has been awarded a large 3 year BBSRC funded project to understand how multi-modal sensory signals are integrated and used to generate and direct locomotion. The project will use both animal (frog tadpoles) and computational models to explore the neural networks responsible for the locomotor response.

DREAM : Development of Robot-Enhanced therapy for children with AutisM spectrum disorders (FP7)

Tony Belpaeme is involved in a new, EU funded, project to support children with autism through robot therapy. The €6,600,000 DREAM project will start in 2014 and run for 4.5 years. Partners include Skövde University (Sweden), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), University of Babes Bolyai (Romania), Plymouth University (UK), University of Portsmouth (UK), University of Twente (The Netherlands) and Aldebaran Robotics (France).