The objective of AlterEgo is the creation of an interactive cognitive architecture,
implementable in various artificial agents, allowing a continuous interaction with patients
suffering from social disorders, by virtue of changes in behavioural (robot-based) as well as
morphological (avatar-based) properties of that agent. The project includes research in
fundamental and clinical neurosciences, interaction modeling, development of new
computer-vision techniques and human-robot interfaces, as well as evaluation of the scenarios
with patients before, during, and after training sessions. At the end of the project, the
investigators will produce a new avatar-based clinical method able to enhance social
interaction of patients.
The first challenge of this project is to create an avatar alter ego of a patient. Based on
recent work in social robotics and neurosciences, the investigators hypothesize that if
patients face artificial agents morphologically and behaviourally similar to them, they will
increase their social interaction. The second challenge is to transform the morphology and
the behaviour of the similar artificial agent into that of a healthy and different agent. The
investigators assume that the smooth and continuous behavioural shift from similar/unhealthy
to complementary/healthy social behaviour will lead to a better social rehabilitation.
AlterEgo opens the door to a new generation of social artificial agents in service robotics.
AlterEgo is an interdisciplinary project at the interaction of Social Motor Neurosciences
(UM1), Robotics (EPFL), Complex Systems Dynamics (UOB), Computer Vision (DFKI), and
This project includes a set of experiments that started in april 2014 and will terminate in
september 2016 before undergoing a randomised clinical research.