Furhat Conference on Social Robots in Research

8th June 2021

‘Social Robots in Research’ – the theme of June 8th 2021 that marked the launch of the very first international Furhat conference. Held virtually, we became inspired during the half-day session by industry experts using the Furhat platform for ground-breaking research studies.

Each of the keynotes were recorded, which you can watch below. And as an added bonus, you can access our Research Resources Zone, a collection of the best material for social robots in research and innovation. Happy viewing!

A magical welcome

Our Interactions Developer, who also happens to be a renowned international magician, made an appearance during the conference opening along with his trusty sidekick Furhat! Or was he Furhat’s sidekick? Nobody really knows…

Please allow cookies to watch this video.


Listen in to Roger Moore, Sarah Gillet, Ronald Cumbal and Helen Hastie as they talk about their research with the Furhat platform. Co-founder Jonas Beskow also presents our brand new face engine, and CEO Samer Al Moubayed who shares his vision on where social robots are heading in the future.

Samer Al Moubayed
CEO, Furhat Robotics

Samer Al Moubayed is Co-founder & CEO at Furhat Robotics. He is also an Affiliate Faculty at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, from which he holds a PhD in Speech Technology and a Masters degree in AI and Language. Samer started Furhat Robotics with colleagues from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, one of the worlds most renowned institutes that has been advancing the area of conversational AI and interactive characters over the last 4 decades.

Roger K. Moore
Professor of Spoken Language Processing

Prof. Roger K. Moore is Chair of Spoken Language Processing at the University of Sheffield, as well as Visiting Chair at Bristol Robotics Laboratory and University College London. Prof. Moore has over 40 years experience in Speech Technology R&D and was Head of the UK Government’s Speech Research Unit from 1985 to 1999, where he was responsible for the development of the Aurix range of products and the formation of 20/20 Speech Ltd. He is a past President of the International Speech Communication Association, and in 2017 he organised the first international workshop on ‘Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals and Robots (VIHAR)’.

Sarah Gillet
Ph.D. student, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Sarah is a Ph.D. student at the division of Robotics, Perception and Learning at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Sarah’s research aims to answer whether we could make use of social robots to help us overcome the phenomenon of in-group favoritism and improve the quality of social interaction in everyday groups. Her research goal is to use social robots to support and improve human group interactions.

Ronald Cumbal
Ph.D. student, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Ronald is a Doctoral Student at the division of Speech, Music and Hearing at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. He obtained a Master’s degree in Mechanical and Control Engineering from the Delft University of Technology. His research focuses on social robots used for educational purposes, in particular second language learning. He currently works on the collaborative aspects of learner interaction in robot mediated activities.

Jonas Beskow
Co-founder and Senior R&D Engineer, Furhat Robotics

Jonas is a co-founder of Furhat Robotics and Senior R&D Engineer. He is also a professor in speech communication with specialisation in multimodal embodied systems at KTH in Stockholm. His interests cover modelling, synthesis and understanding of human communicative signals and behaviours, from speech, facial expression and gaze to the dynamics of face-to-face interaction. In particular, he is passionate about making all of these ingredients available to machines so they can finally start acting a little more human.

Helen Hastie
Professor in Computer Science

Helen Hastie is a Professor of Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University, Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotic and Autonomous Systems at the Edinburgh Centre of Robotics, and Academic Lead for the National Robotarium, opening in 2022 in Edinburgh. She is currently PI on the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Node on Trust and HRI theme lead for the EPSRC ORCA Hub, and recently held a Royal Academy of Engineering/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship. Her field of research is multimodal and spoken dialogue systems, human-robot interaction and trustworthy autonomous systems. She was Co-ordinator of the EU project PARLANCE, has over 100 publications and has held positions on many scientific committees and advisory boards, including recently for the Scottish Government AI Strategy.

The Research
Resources Zone

Access the recently updated collection of whitepapers, customer spotlights, blogs, articles, webinars, publications, downloads and videos, all tailored towards research and innovation!

Access the zone