Robots for Education and Rehabilitation

About robots at CHILI

At CHILI, we investigate new forms of human-robot interaction (HRI) for personal service robots at home and for education. The Robots for Daily Life theme studies new forms of embodiment of robotic systems and interaction techniques with an aim to improving acceptance and performance of robots in assistive robotics. In particular, we are interested in rehabilitation and motor learning. The project is part of the NCCR robotics and builds on strong interdisciplinary research based on collaboration among various laboratories in and outside EPFL.

Current Projects


ANIMATAS is a MSCA – Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions project that aims to give researchers with the necessary skills and international experience for a successful career, either in the public or the private sector. The project is an Innovative Training Network (MSCA ITN) implemented by a partnership of high profile universities, research institutions and industrial research partners that are located in 8 different countries.


Cellulo for Education

In the Cellulo Project, we are aiming to design and build the pencils of the future’s classroom, in the form of robots. We imagine these as swarm robots, each of them very simple and affordable, that reside on large paper sheets that contain the learning activities. Our vision is that these be ubiquitous, namely a natural part of the classroom ecosystem, as to shift the focus from the robot to the activity. With Cellulo you can actually grab and move a planet to see what happens to its orbit, or vibrate a molecule with your hands to see how it behaves. Cellulo makes tangible what is intangible in learning.


Cellulo for Rehabilitation



The CoWriter Project aims at exploring how a robot can help children with the acquisition of handwriting, with an original approach: the children are the teachers who help the robot to better write! This paradigm, known as learning by teaching, has several powerful effects: it boosts the children’ self-esteem (which is especially important for children with handwriting difficulties), it get them to practise hand-wrtiing without even noticing, and engage them into a particular interaction with the robot called the Protégé effect: because they unconsciously feel that they are somehow responsible if the robot does not succeed in improving its writing skills, they commit to the interaction, and make particular efforts to figure out what is difficult for the robot, thus developing their metacognitive skills and reflecting on their own errors.


Past Projects