Advancing intuitive human-machine interaction with human-like social capabilities for education in schools




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Project Overview 

ANIMATAS (MSCA – ITN – 2017 - 765955 2) is a H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie European Training Network funded by Horizon 2020 (the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation), coordinated by Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris, France).


Scientific and technical objectives

ANIMATAS focuses on the following objectives:

1) Exploration of fundamental questions on the perception by people of the interconnections between robots and virtual characters’ appearance and behaviours.

2) Development of new social learning mechanisms that can deal with different types of human intervention and allow robots and virtual characters to learn in an unconstrained manner

3) Development of new approaches for robots and virtual characters’ personalised adaptation to human users in unstructured and dynamically evolving social interactions 



ANIMATAS will establish a leading European Training Network (ETN) devoted to the development of a new generation of creative and critical research leaders and innovators who have a skill-set tailored for the creation of social capabilities necessary for realising step changes in the development of intuitive human-machine interaction (HMI) in educational settings.

This will be achieved through a transnational network of universities and industrial partners that will supervise and deliver specialized training for early stage researchers (ESRs), and the cross-fertilization of state-of-the-art methods from the domains of social robotics, embodied virtual characters, social and educational sciences in order to facilitate the development of skills necessary to design machines capable of engaging in intuitive sustained encounters with teachers and children.

The ETN will ensure an integrative approach to the development of new capabilities with a view to their impact on whole system performance in terms of the complete HMI loop. This will be done by building industry–guided showcases that integrate the social capabilities developed by the ESRs. The participation of industrial partners will support the translation of new academic results to the market-place and a better transfer of knowledge between different sectors. The exposure of the non- academic sector to the ESRs has a great market potential that our industrial partners aim to capitalize upon in terms of recruiting young talents after the end of the project and adopting ANIMATAS’ advances in intuitive HMI for future product lines. This will greatly benefit the ESRs, which will be provided with new career perspectives in the social robotics and ed-tech industries.

The ETN will strengthen Europe’s capacity in research and innovation by nurturing a new generation of highly skilled ESRs with an entrepreneurial mind-set and an understanding of intuitive HMI and potential products in these emerging markets.


15 early-stage researchers (ESR) positions for a minimum of 36 months are available within the EU-funded Marie Slodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ETN-ITN) ANIMATAS, coordinated by Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris, France). The successful candidates will participate in the network’s training activities offered by the 15 European academic and industrial participating teams. 

See descriptions



Mohamed CHETOUANI (Network coordinator) mohamed.chetouani[@] 

Emily MOTU (Project manager) emily.motu[@] 


ANIMATAS – MSCA – ITN – 2017 - 765955 2