The College of Information Technology (CIT) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) at United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) organizes the “5TH JOINT UAE SYMPOSIUM ON SOCIAL ROBOTICS” (JSSR2020) as part of “INNOVATION MONTH 2020”.This event features a multidisciplinary program that brings together renowned developers, roboticists, and social scientists from across the globe to discuss the state of the art in social robotics. The theme for this year is Robotics in Education & Health.

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Jürgen Handke
Marburg University, Germany

Prof. Jürgen Handke

Jürgen Handke, Professor of linguistics at Marburg University, runs the Virtual Linguistics Campus, the world's largest learning platform for linguistic content. Its associated YouTube channel contains hundreds of freely available self-produced instructional videos and is the largest of its kind. Handke is the main German representative of the Inverted Classroom Model. He received several Teaching and Learning Awards, among them the prestigious Ars Legendi Prize for Digital Teaching and Learning, and is a member of several national advisory boards for digital teaching and learning as well as for educational robotics. Since 2017 he has been using humanoid robots in digital teaching and learning scenarios (state government funded project H.E.A.R.T), in 2019 he added the second educational robot project RoboPraX. Whereas H.E.A.R.T. explores the use of humanoid robots as partners in higher education, RoboPraX introduces humanoid robots as tools for pupils to develop and reach new stages of algorithmic thinking. 

Anastasia Bolotnikova
Montpellier Laboratory of Computer Science, Robotics, and Microelectronics, France

Anastasia Bolotnikova


Anastasia Bolotnikova received the M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Tartu, Estonia, in 2017. Later that year, she started working as a robotics researcher at SoftBank Robotics Europe (SBRE). As part of her work contract with SBRE she entered a doctoral program in the University of Montpellier, France. She joined the Interactive Digital Humans (IDH) research group in the Robotics department of the Montpellier Laboratory of Computer Science, Robotics, and Microelectronics (LIRMM). Her current research interests include humanoid robot motion planning and control in physical human-humanoid interaction for partial assistance in motion for frail and elderly, as well as social aspects and implications of such type of interaction. Anastasia has received a prestigious L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Young Talents France 2019 Award for her doctoral research project.

Paul Baxter
University of Lincoln, UK

Paul Baxter


Dr. Paul Baxter is currently a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science (Autonomous Systems) in the School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln, a member of the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems (L-CAS), and a member of the Autism Research and Innovation Centre (ARIC). His research interests include social human-robot interaction (particularly involving children), educational robotics, and cognitive robotics. He completed his PhD in developmental cognitive robotics at the University of Reading (U.K.), and followed this with two consecutive PostDoc positions at the University of Plymouth, where he worked on a number of EU-funded projects on educational and assistive social robotics.

Mohammad Obaid 
University of New South Wales, Austrailia 

 Dr. Mohammad Obaid 

Dr. Mohammad Obaid is a Lecturer at the UNSW Art and Design, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Dr. Obaid received his BSc., MSc. (First Class Honors) and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2004, 2007 and 2011, respectively. In April 2018, he received his Docent degree (Associate Prof. rank) from Uppsala University (Sweden). He worked at several international research centers including the Human Centered Multimedia Lab (HCM Lab), University of Augsburg (Germany), the Human Interface Technology Lab New Zealand (HITLab NZ), University of Canterbury (New Zealand), the t2i Lab, Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), and the Social Robotics Lab, Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University (Sweden). Dr. Obaid is one of the founders of the Applied Robotics Group at the Interaction Design Division at Chalmers University of Technology (established in 2015). He is the (co-)author of over 60 publications within the areas of his research interests on Human-Robot Interaction and Human-Computer Interaction. In recent years, he has served in organizing committees and program committees of main HCI/HRI related conferences such as CHI, HRI, HAI, VRST, and NordiCHI.


Ryuta Kawashima
S.A.R.C, Tohoko University, Japan

 Ryuta Kawashima

Ryuta Kawashima after graduating with an M.D. at the school of medicine, he emigrated to Sweden to become a guest researcher at the Karolinska Institutet. He moved back to Tohoku and is now a resident Professor with tenure. He is famous in Japan and is a former member of Japan's National Council, concerning Language and Culture. One of his primary research topics is mapping the regions of the brain to faculties such as emotion, language, memorization, and cognition. Kawashima is trained in neurophysiology and is an expert on brain imaging. His other primary topic involves applying this information to aid children to develop, aging people to retain, and patients to recover their learning facilities.

Cinzia Di Dio
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy

Cinzia Di Dio 

Graduated in 2002 from the University of Hertfordshire with a BSc (Hons) in Psycho

logical Sciences, obtained an MSc in Research Methods and Statistical Analysis in Psychology in 2003, also from the University of Hertfordshire. She obtained a PhD in Neuroscience from Università degli Studi di Parma, Italy, where she has worked under Prof. Giacomo Rizzolatti’s mentoring. She received training in the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in Rome at the Neuroimaging Centre of Santa Lucia Foundation. Presently, she is researcher at Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore, Milano, Department of Psychology, Unit of Theory of Mind. Her main research interest is in developmental psychology, particularly focusing on social cognition and decision-making processes in the human-human and human-robot interaction. Past and present research activities involve various national and international collaborations.

Christoph Bartneck
University of Canterbury, New Zealand

 Dr. Christoph Bartneck

Dr. Christoph Bartneck is an associate professor and director of postgraduate studies at the HIT Lab NZ of the University of Canterbury. He has a background in Industrial Design and Human-Computer Interaction, and his projects and studies have been published in leading journals, newspapers, and conferences. His interests lie in the fields of Human-Computer Interaction, Science and Technology Studies, and Visual Design. More specifically, he focuses on the effect of anthropomorphism on human-robot interaction. As a secondary research interest he works on bibliometric analyses, agent based social simulations, and the critical review on scientific processes and policies. In the field of Design Christoph investigates the history of product design, tessellations and photography.

He has worked for several international organizations including the Technology Centre of Hannover (Germany), LEGO (Denmark), Eagle River Interactive (USA), Philips Research (Netherlands), ATR (Japan), and The Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands). The press regularly reports on his work, including the New Scientist, Scientific American, Popular Science, Wired, New York Times, The Times, BBC, Huffington Post, Washington Post, The Guardian, and The Economist.

Timothy K. Shih
National Central University, Taiwan 

 Timothy K. Shih

Timothy K. Shih is a Distinguished Professor and the Vice Dean of College of EECS at the National Central University, Taiwan. He was the Dean of the College of Computer Science, Asia University, Taiwan and the Chairman of the CSIE Department at Tamkang University, Taiwan. Prof. Shih is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). He was also the founding Chairman Emeritus of the IET Taipei Local Network. In addition, he is a senior member of ACM and a senior member of IEEE. Prof. Shih joined the Educational Activities Board of the IEEE Computer Society. He was the founder and co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Distance Education Technologies, USA. He is the Associate Editor of IEEE Computing Now. And, he was the associate editors of the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, the ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, and the IEEE Transactions on Multimedia. Prof. Shih was the Conference Co-Chair of the 2004 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME’2004). He has been invited to give more than 50 keynote speeches and plenary talks in international conferences, as well as tutorials in IEEE ICME 2001 and 2006, and ACM Multimedia 2002 and 2007. Prof. Shih’s current research interests include Multimedia Computing, Computer-Human-Interaction, and Distance Learning. He has edited many books and published over 500 papers and book chapters. Prof. Shih has received many research awards, including research awards from National Science Council of Taiwan, IIAS research award from Germany, HSSS award from Greece, Brandon Hall award from USA, the 2015 Google MOOC Focused Research Award, and several best paper awards from international conferences. Professor Shih was named the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus by Santa Clara University.

Friederike Eyssel
Bielefeld University – CITEC- Cognitive Interaction Technology, Germany

 Dr. Friederike Eyssel

Dr. Friederike Eyssel is head of the research group “Applied Social Psychology and Gender Research” at the Center of Excellence in Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) at Bielefeld University. Friederike Eyssel earned her master’s degree in psychology from University of Heidelberg in 2004. She received her PhD in Psychology from Bielefeld University in 2007. Dr. Eyssel has held visiting professorships in social psychology at the University of Münster, the Technical University of Dortmund, the University of Cologne, and the New York University Abu Dhabi.  Dr. Eyssel is passionate about basic and applied social psychological research and she is interested in various research topics ranging from social robotics, social agents, and ambient intelligence to attitude change, sexual violence, dehumanization, and prejudice reduction. Crossing disciplines, Dr. Eyssel has published her research not only in the field of social psychology, but also in human-robot interaction and social robotics.         

Adel Al-Jumaily
University of Technology Sydney, Austrailia      

 Adel Al-Jumaily

Adel Al-Jumaily is Associate Professor in the University of Technology Sydney. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (AI). His research covers the fields of Computational Intelligence, Bio-Mechatronic Systems, Health and Biomedical Technology, Vision-based cancer diagnosing, and Bio-signal/image pattern recognition. Adel has developed a novel approach for Electromyogram (EMG) control of prosthetic devices for rehabilitation and contributed to signal/image processing, and computer vision. He has successfully developed many nature-based algorithms for bio-signal/image pattern recognition problems. Adel sits on the editorial boards of a number of journals and is chair or technical committee member for more than 60 international conferences. He is now Editor-in-Chief of one journal and an Associate Editor-in-Chief of two Journals. He is a senior member of IEEE and many other professional committees.

Sayako Ueda
RIKEN Center for Brain Science, Japan

 Sayako Ueda

Sayako Ueda received the Ph.D. degree in psychology from Japan Women’s University, Japan, in 2009. She has been working as a research scientist at RIKEN CBS-TOYOTA collaboration center since 2012. She was engaging in Neuro-Driving project from 2012 to 2018 and is currently engaging in Neuro-Rehabilitation project. Her current research interests include skill learning, agency, sensory augmentation, embodiment, virtual reality and social interaction. She ruptured her right Achilles tendon on December 1st, 2019 while she was playing futsal for the first time in her life. Currently, she is seeking a nice way to keep fit.

Omar Mubin
University of Western Sydney, Austrailia

 Dr. Omar Mubin

Dr. Omar Mubin a researcher and practitioner in state of the art Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Dr Mubin's research vision is to determine the impact and perception of technology in society at large. His ultimate goal is to support the design and implementation of novel user interfaces that are easier, enjoyable and efficient to use. Prior to being employed at Western Sydney University, Omar Mubin was a post-doctoral researcher in Human Computer Interaction at Ecole Polytechnic Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. Omar Mubin completed his PhD doctorate qualification in Human Robot Interaction from the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands in 2011. He was also a visiting researcher at Philips Research Eindhoven in 2007 during his 2-year tenure as a research trainee at the Eindhoven University of Technology, which resulted in him being awarded a PDEng degree in 2007. Dr Mubin has a MSc in Interactive Systems from KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm, Sweden.His research interests comprise of Human Computer Interaction, social robotics (and the perception of humans of them thereof), exploring the role of robots in education, Empirical research in Human Computer Interaction, persuasive technology, design for development and user-centered design. He has authored/co-authored more than 60 articles in peer reviewed conferences and journals in the areas of Human Computer Interaction and Human Robot Interaction. His current h-index according to Google Scholar is 13 with more than 650 citations. According to Scopus he has an h-index of 7.


Tony Belpaeme
Ghent University and University of Plymouth, United Kingdom 

Tony Belpaeme

Tony Belpaeme is Professor at Ghent University and Professor in Robotics and Cognitive Systems at the University of Plymouth, UK. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and currently leads a team studying cognitive robotics and human-robot interaction. He coordinated the H2020 L2TOR project, studying how robots can be used to support children with learning a second language, and coordinated the FP7 ALIZ-E project, which studied long-term human-robot interaction and its use in paediatric applications. He worked on the FP7 DREAM project, studying how robot therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Starting from the premise that intelligence is rooted in social interaction, Belpaeme and his research team try to further the science and technology behind artificial intelligence and social human-robot interaction. This results in a spectrum of results, from theoretical insights to practical applications.

Balqis Mubarak Al Breiki
United Arab Emirates University, UAE 
 Balqis Mubarak Al Breiki

Balqis Al Breiki is a young talented Emirate who aims to shape her skills to help in develop United Arab Emiratis. Currently  she is working in Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) in UAE University as Reporting & Data Analytics Specialist. She is also doing her Ph.D. studies in Computer Science. Balqis received her Master degree in Engineering Management  with excellent GPA and her Bachelor degree in Computer System Design in College on Information Technology (CIT) in UAE University. Her research interests lie in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. She has publications in these topics mainly in building predictive models using Machine Learning algorithms. Her projects and studies has been published in conferences, newspapers and she won the second place in “Think Science” competition at the national level in 2014 under the category of Smart and Safety System for project “Embedded system for disaster management”. She was honored by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan. She was also nominated by the University to participate in the Youth Medal in the Mohammed bin Rashid Government  Excellence Award in 2018.

Qi An
University of Tokyo, Japan 
 Qi An

Qi An received his B.E., M.E., and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering from the University of Tokyo, Japan, in 2009, 2011, and 2014, respectively.

From 2010 to 2011, he was a research intern at University of Washington, USA. From 2014 to 2015, he was a visiting researcher at Technische Universitat Munchen, Germany. He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo. His research interest is to understand how humans modulate their muscle synergies to adapt different environments and develop diagnosis system for motor impaired people.

Organizing Committee

Munkhjargal Gochoo

United Arab Emirates University, UAE


Fady Alnajjar

United Arab Emirates University, UAE


Max Cappucio

University of New South Wales, Australia



Abdelkader N Belkacem

United Arab Emirates University, UAE


Meera Shakhbout Al Kaabi

United Arab Emirates University,



Alexandra Marquis

United Arab Emirates University, UAE


Scientific Committee


May 24, 2021