Research groups

Research groups and projects connected to the theme of Language, Interaction, and Robotics

Research Groups

Advanced Intelligent Robotics Lab

The goal of the Advanced Intelligent Robotics (AIR) Lab is goal is to control the dynamic behaviour of a wide variety of robotic systems and to achieve human-comparable ability to move, manipulate, and grasp. The group are interested in producing skilful, agile, athletic, and well coordinated physical motions and interactions through control theories, optimization and machine learning.


Autonomous Agents Research Group

Research in the group focusses on the development of autonomous agents capable of interaction with other agents to accomplish tasks in complex dynamic environments.

Autonomous Agents Research Group

Computer Graphics and Visualization Group

The Computer Graphics and Visualization Unit researches various problems in computer graphics, computer animation, multimedia and virtual environments. Current research topics include computer animation, human animation, contents-based retrieval of 3D data, and level of detail (LOD) in graphics display, particularly in virtual environments. 

Computer Graphics and Visualization

Edinburgh-NASA Valkyrie Project

The NASA Valkyrie is one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world. The robot was constructed by NASA-JSC in 2015 and delivered to the University of Edinburgh in Spring 2016. Weighing 125 kg and standing 1.8m tall, Valkyrie will enable breakthroughs in humanoid control, motion planning and perception. PhD Students and researchers from Edinburgh Centre for Robotics will carry out research using the robot. The group is part of the School of Informatics and the centre is a joint initiative with Heriot-Watt University.

Edinburgh's NASA Valkyrie Robot


The Natural Language Processing Group at the University of Edinburgh (EdinburghNLP) is a group of faculty, postdocs, and PhD students working on algorithms that make it possible for computers to understand and produce human language. The group conduct research in all core areas of natural language processing, including morphology, parsing, semantics, discourse, language generation, and machine translation.

Edinburgh NLP group

Insect Robotics Group

Insect Robotics is research into and modelling of the sensorimotor capabilities of insects. This ranges from simple reflexive behaviours such as the phonotaxis of crickets, to more complex capabilities such as multimodal integration, navigation and learning. The group carry out behavioural experiments on insects, but principally work on computational models of the underlying neural mechanisms, which are often embedded on robot hardware.

Insect Robotics

Machine Intelligence Research Group

Led by Timothy Hospedales, the Mahcien Intelligence group study AI and machine learning, particularly efficient and robust life-long and meta-learning. Diverse applications include computer vision, reinforcement learning of robot control, language, finance and medicine.

Machine Intelligence Group

Machine Vision Unit

The Machine Vision Unit researches the transformation of raw signals into a symbolic representation, whether through initial investigation, an intermediate stage or (mainly) a final interpretation of the signal data into human concepts. Much of the research uses distance data acquired from a range finder.

Machine Vision Unit

Robust Autonomy and Decisions Group

The RAD group develop machine learning methods that enable autonomous robots to operate robustly in application domains, including: 'Programming by discussion', to teach autonomous robots to perform complex tasks; active sensing, predictive modelling and decision making; and human-robot collaborative work such as intention-aware assistance in joint manipulation tasks. These applications motivate the group to develop new models and algorithms.

Robust Autonomy  and Decisions Group

Statistical Machine Learning and Motor Control Group

Statistical Machine Learning and Motor Control (SLMC) encompasses all aspects of robot motion synthesis, from planning and representation to actuator design and control. The team employ techniques from the fields of probabilistic inference and learning, stochastic optimal control, reinforcement (and apprenticeship) learning and large-scale optimization to tackle real world, real-time problems in  anthropomorphic robotic systems. A cornerstone of their approach is data driven methods for learning and adaptation.

Statistical Learning and Motor Control

Statistical Machine Translation Group

The dream of automatically translating documents from foreign languages into English (or between any two languages) is one of the oldest pursuits of artificial intelligence research. Armed with vast amounts of example translations and powerful computers, we can witness significant progress toward achieving that dream. The Statistical Machine Translation Group exploits large datasets of translated and monolingual text to learn translation with statistical models, with a current focus on neural models.

Statistical Machine Translation group

Visual Computing Group

A dynamic research group led by Hakan Bilen, VICO are broadly interested in several topics in the intersection of computer vision and machine learning with a focus on multi-task learning, unsupervised and weakly supervised learning.

VICO Research Group

Related Institutes

Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation (ILCC)

Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour (IPAB)

Related Research Centres

Centre for Speech Technology Research

UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Natural Language Processing

Edinburgh Centre for Robotics