Situated and embodied dialogues with the Furhat human-like robot head


Samer Al Moubayed
Samer Al Moubayed
Samer Al Moubayed is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Speech, Music and Hearing, at KTH, Stockholm, Sweden. He received his PhD from KTH in 2012, for his studies and developments on human-avatar face-to-face interaction. Samer has been part of several EU projects, including H@H, MonAMI, and IURO, focusing on multimodal spoken dialogue systems in public spaces. His main work and interest are embodied dialogue systems, multi-modal synthesis, audiovisual prosody, and social signal processing. Samer is also the main developer of the award winning Furhat robot head, a novel approach that integrates facial animation and visual speech synthesis to provide a platform for research on situated and multiparty face-to-face interaction.
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  • 14:00, Friday, July 19th, 2013
  • Room 020, INESC-ID


  • Samer Al Moubayed, KTH, Stockholm, Sweden


Spoken dialog systems have for a long time neglected the physical space in which the interaction takes place. Applications such as ticket booking over the telephone assume that the system interacts with a single user, and that the system and the user are not physically co-located. As several capture technologies and devices have become more mature and accessible, there is an increasing interest in situating the interaction in a physical space where there might be several users talking to the system at the same time, and where there might be physical objects in the surroundings that the users and system might refer to. In face-to-face multi-party interaction, humans typically use head pose and gaze to signal attention and to regulate turn-taking. One of the major application areas where this becomes important is human-robot interaction. In this talk, I will briefly present some of the research we have done at KTH over the last years. As part of this, we have developed a back-projected animated robot head, called Furhat. Using this head as a research tool, we have investigated how the 3D design affects the interaction in different multi-party dialogue settings in public spaces, and the different technologies that enabled this interaction.