Artificial Self in Robots

Can robots learn its own perceptual representation?
Self/other distinction in robots, the key for causality and interaction under uncertainty
Don’t miss the Interdisciplinary workshop on “the Development of the Self: from self-perception to interaction under uncertainty”

DoS 2017 WS 18 Sept Lisbon
Selfception Project

How to find a lost object: the theory behind

Have you ever lost an object and you don’t know where to start looking?
Discover probabilistic and information theoretic approaches to solve searchig lost targets applications
(e.g., search and rescue victims in ship-wreck accidents)

THE QUESTION New available source code

The Naïve Robot Thoughts

The world seen from the point of view of a robotic brain
Because robots should also have a voice


Artificial Attention Systems

Where and how robots should attend?
Understand humans to enable machines with the attention cognitive skill.

CASIR project some videos

About me


I received the M.Sc. degree in computer sciences and the Ph.D. degree in computer engineering, specialization robotics (July 2013), on the subject “minimum time search of mobile targets in uncertain environments” from Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Spain. In 2006 I joined the Department of Computer Architecture and Automatic Control, UCM, and as a PhD candidate I has been a visiting researcher at the Aerospace Control Laboratory (ACL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (LIA), Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne; and the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), University of Sydney. From 2012 to 2013 I have also been working as a researcher assistant in the optical department of the Physics faculty (UCM) developing machine learning algorithms for hand written text recognition. I have been a member of the Spanish Government funded projects: “System for surveillance, search and rescue in the sea by means of the collaboration of autonomous marine and air vehicles” and “Planning, simulation and control platform for multiple aerial and marine vehicles cooperation”.

Myself Attached to a computer 2008
Attached to a computer.
2008 Boston by Lanie Wurzel

Afterwards I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Artificial Perception team at the Institute of Systems and Robotics (ISR) of the University of Coimbra under CASIR project: Coordinated Control of Stimulus-Driven and Goal-Directed Multisensory Attention within the Context of Social Interaction with Robots and advised by Prof. João Filipe Ferreira and Prof. Jorge Dias.

I am currently a Marie Skłodowska Curie Senior Fellow (EU H2020) at the Institute of Cognitive Systems (ICS) of the Technische Universität München, leaded by Prof. Gordon Cheng, working for my funded project: SELFCEPTION

I am interested in designing aware and socially-aware robots by means of embodied perception and action. My research is focused on mimicking some neurophysiology functionalities of the human brain to develop computational models that will enable artificial systems with new cognitive capabilities. Furthermore, I am also fascinated by the idea of learning probabilistic reasoning models that could handle attention, awareness or even the intentional state of the machine and its interlocutors.

My current main research interests are: cognitive robotics, neuro-inspired and embodied perception and attention, probabilistic decision making and logical reasoning, human-robot interaction, Bayesian search, autonomous robots coordination and information fusion.

Research GateGoogle Scholar | Research ID



Goal dependant

Goal dependant

Perception is modulated depending on the task performed
(top-down modulation)

Open-ended scenarios

Open-ended scenarios

The machine abilities are designed to enforce adaptability



The cognitive skills of the robot are enabled progressively using as functional neurophysiology as the theoretical support

Perception-action loop

Perception-action loop

There is no perception with no action and vice versa



Machines should behave as expected to do and expect what is usually performed

Decision under uncertainty

Decision under uncertainty

Handling uncertain information is the core to make right decisions

Embodied mind

Embodied mind

“There is no such thing as a disembodied mind. The mind is implanted in the brain, and the brain is implanted in the body”.
A. Damasio

Multisensory perception

Multisensory perception

Several cognitive skills are multisensory in nature (e.g., attention)

Publication List


Kaboli, M., Feng, D., Yao, K., Lanillos, P., Cheng, G. (2017) A tactile-based framework for active object learning and discrimination using multi-modal robotic skin, 2017, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), vol. PP, no. 99, pp. 1–1, 2017.

Lanillos, P., Emannuel-Dean, L., Cheng, G. (2017) Enactive Self: a study of engineering perspectives to obtain the sensorimotor self through enaction. 7th Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EpiRob). Accepted.

Lanillos, P., Ferreira, J. F., & Dias, J. (2017). A Bayesian Hierarchy for Robust Gaze Estimation in Human-Robot Interaction. International Journal of Approximate Reasoning.


Lanillos, P., Emannuel-Dean, L., Cheng, G. (2016) Yielding self-perception in robots through sensorimotor contingencies. IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems.

Lanillos, P., Cheng, G. (2016), Robots with self-perception: objects discovery and scene disambiguation using visual, proprioceptive and tactile cues correlation during interaction. Poster at Robotics in the 21st century: Challenges and Promises International Workshop (funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and the HeKKSaGOn Network). Sept 2016.

Lanillos, P., Emannuel-Dean, L., Cheng, G. (2016), Multisensory Object Discovery via Self-detection and Artificial Attention. IEEE Int. Conf. on Developmental Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EpiRob). Sept 2016. Best paper presentation distinction award

Dianov, I., Ramirez-Amaro, K., Lanillos, P., Dean-Leon, E., Bergner, F., Cheng, G. Extracting general task structures to accelerate the learning of new tasks. IEEE-RAS Int. Conf. on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids 2016).

Emmanuel-Dean, L., Ramirez-Amaro, K., Bergner, F., Dianov, I., Lanillos, P. and Cheng, G. (2016): Robotic technologies for fast deployment of industrial robot systems. IEEE Industrial Electronics Conference (IECON). Oct 2016.

Oliveira, B., Lanillos, P., Ferreira, J.F. (2016):  Gaze Tracing in a Bounded Log-spherical Space for Artificial Attention Systems. Robot 2015, Second Iberian Robotics Conference. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, Springer International Publishing, 418, 407-419.


Lanillos, P., Ferreira, J. F., Dias, J. (2015): Designing an Artificial Attention System for Social Robots. In Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, IEEE.

Ferreira, J. F., Lanillos, P., and Dias, J. (2015): Fast exact Bayesian inference for high-dimensional models. In Workshop on Unconventional computing for Bayesian inference in Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, IEEE.

Lanillos, P., Ferreira, J. F., & Dias, J. (2015): Multisensory 3D saliency for artificial attention systems. In 3rd Workshop on Recognition and Action for Scene Understanding (REACTS), 16th International Conference of Computer Analysis of Images and Patterns (CAIP), 1-6.

Lanillos, P., Ferreira, J. F., Dias, J. (2015): Designing Social Interaction with Robots – Towards a Top-Down Articial Attention Systems. In 1st workshop on improving the quality of life in the elderly using robotic assistive technology: benefits, limitations and challenges, 7th International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR 2015).


Lanillos, P., Gan, S. K., Besada-Portas, E., Pajares, G., Sukkarieh, S. (2014): Multi-UAV target search using decentralized gradient-based negotiation with expected observation. Information Sciences, 282, 92-110. [IF: 4.038, Q1]

Lanillos, P., Besada-Portas, E., Lopez-Orozco, J. A., de la Cruz, J. M. (2014): Minimum time search in uncertain dynamic domains with complex sensorial platforms. Sensors, 14(8), 14131-14179. [IF: 2.245, Q1].

Lanillos, P., Ferreira, J. F., & Dias, J. (2014): Evaluating the Influence of Automatic Attentional Mechanisms in Human-Robot Interaction. In Workshop: a bridge between Robotics and Neuroscience Workshop in Human-Robot Interaction, 9th ACM/IEEE International Conference on, Bielefeld, Germany.


Lanillos, P. (2013): Minimum time search of moving targets in uncertain environments. Ph.D. Dissertation, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Lanillos, P., Yañez-Zuluaga, J., Ruz, J. J., Besada-Portas, E. (2013): A bayesian approach for constrained multi-agent minimum time search in uncertain dynamic domains. In Proceeding of the fifteenth annual conference on Genetic and evolutionary computation conference. ACM. 391-398.


Lanillos, P., Besada-Portas, E., Pajares, G., Ruz, J. J. (2012): Minimum time search for lost targets using cross entropy optimization. In Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on (pp. 602-609), IEEE.

Besada-Portas, E., Lopez-Orozco, J. A., Lanillos, P., de la Cruz, J. M. (2012): Localization of Non-Linearly Modeled Autonomous Mobile Robots Using Out-of-Sequence Measurements. Sensors, 12(3), 2487-2518. [IF: 2.245, Q1].


Lanillos, P., Ruz, J. J., Pajares, G., de la Cruz, J. M. (2009): Environmental surface boundary tracking and description using a UAV with vision. In Emerging Technologies & Factory Automation (ETFA), 2009. IEEE Conference on, 1-4.


Pajares Martinsanz, G., Ruz Ortíz, J. J., Lanillos, P., Guijarro Mata-García, M., Santos Peñas, M. (2008): Trajectory generation and decision making for UAVs. Revista Iberoamericana de Automática e Informática Industrial, 5(1), 83. [IF: 0.291, Q4].

The Naïve Robot Thoughts

The world seen from the point of view of a robotic brain
Because robots should also have a voice