Modelling Empathy in Social Robotic Companions

  • Iolanda Leite
  • André Pereira
  • Ginevra Castellano
  • Samuel Mascarenhas
  • Carlos Martinho
  • Ana Paiva
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7138)


Empathy can be broadly defined as the ability to understand and respond appropriately to the affective states of others. In this paper, we present a scenario where a social robot acts as a chess companion for children, and describe our current efforts towards endowing such robot with empathic capabilities. A multimodal framework for modeling some of the user’s affective states that combines visual and task-related features is presented. Using this model of the user, we personalise the learning environment by adapting the robot’s empathic responses to the particular preferences of the child who is interacting with the robot. We also describe a preliminary study conducted in this scenario.


social robots empathy affective user modeling adaptive interaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iolanda Leite
    • 1
  • André Pereira
    • 1
  • Ginevra Castellano
    • 2
  • Samuel Mascarenhas
    • 1
  • Carlos Martinho
    • 1
  • Ana Paiva
    • 1
  1. 1.INESC-ID and Instituto Superior TécnicoTechnical University of LisbonPortugal
  2. 2.HCI Centre, School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of BirminghamUnited Kingdom

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