Research Mission. Democratize health and education with social robots. Develop evidence-based interventions for social robots to promote self care and well being. Creation of methods to include minorities in social robot design.
'21 PCMag
'21 Smart Meat (humurous interview!)
'18 GQ Magazine (in Portuguese)
Organizing HRI 2022 workshop on theory-grounded HRI
Paper accepted at HRI 2022 on robot-induced emotions and creativity
Paper accepted to PLATEAU 2021 on robot programs
Paper accepted to Frontiers on VR as a collaborative robot design tool
Paper accepted to DIS 2021 on robot metaphors - video
Systematic review paper accepted at the Journal of Creative Behavior
Open-access. YOLO Robot hardware and software — FLEX Robot Kit software (hardware in preparation).
Robots for Health
EMAR is a project that aims to design, develop, and fabricate a community social robot to support youth mental health. By translating evidence-based therapeutical interventions onto a social robot, this project advances the tools to support mental health using interactive robotic technology.
Keywords: Social robot, youth, mental health. Funded by NSF NRI-1734100.

Transitions is a project about supporting the mental health of incarcerated youth who are transitioning from prison back to their communities. Youth in prision are co-designing an App that provides support through the use of mental health strategies that youth can use to cope with challenging times and increase their resilience and well-being after release. Keywords: Co-design, minorities, skill building. Funded by the UW Allen School Postdoc Research Award. In collaboration with Pierce County Juvenile Detention Center and University of Washington, School of Medicine.
Social Dining is a project that uses a feeding robot arm attached to a wheel-chair to enable bodily-disabled persons to enjoy a meal independently. We use design research methods, such as storyboarding and futurizing, to investigate successful behaviors for shared autonomy between the robot arm and the bodily-disabled person during social dining.
Keywords: Assistive robotics, design for bodily-disabled, design research.
In collaboration with Sidd Srinivasa.
PARCEIRO (means 'Partner' or 'Buddy' in Portuguese) is a project that studies how to promote an healthy independent living lifetsyle for elderly with the aid of social robots. The goal is to promote well-being and to reinforce independeent capabilities that elderly have supported by a robot.
Keywords: Participatory design, qualitative methods, community design.
In collaboration with Santa Casa da Misericordia, a Portuguese charity.
Robots for Social-Emotional Skills
The Robot-Creativity Project seeks to design, fabricate, and evaluate robots as creativity-provoking tools. I created a social robot named YOLO (or Your Own Living Object) that promotes creativity during unstructured play, evoking divergent and convergent thinking processes.
Keywords: Creativity, children, robot.
Funded by FCT SFRH/BD/110223/2015.
EMOTE project set the challenge to create empathic robotic tutors by researching how robots can respond to learners. An empathic robot can adapt to the learning pace of children, supporting their process and at the same time challenging with new curricula.
Keywords: Learning, empathy, adaptation.
European funded by the project FP7- 317923.
AMIGOS (means 'Friends' in Portuguese) is a project that investigates the role of collaboration and competition in interactions between groups of robots and groups of humans. We explored how robots can promote positive group dynamics through series of board games scenarios.
Keywords: Group dynamics, emotions, social robots.
Collaboration between IST Technical University of Lisbon and KTH.
Co-writer project explores how a robot can help children with the acquisition of handwriting, with an original approach: the children are the teachers who help the robot to write better. This paradigm, known as learning by teaching, has several powerful effects: it boosts the children's self-esteem. Keywords: learning, robot, handwritting.
Collaboration between IST and EPFL.
CUBUS is a digital tool that inspires social creativity in children during storytelling. While creating a story using Cubus, children build on each others' ideas, engaging in collective storytelling processes that have the potential to increase innovation, team play, and problem-solving.
Keywords: Creativity, children, story.
Funded by FCT SFRH/BD/110223/2015.
MODULAND is a project that creates an embodied and interactive music lesson in an urban space by turning playgrounds into music using our open-source materials. With MODULAND, playgrounds become modular synthesizers to raise curiosity, exploration, and connection to electronic music. MODULAND was created in 1-week during MIT Media Lab Berlin Workshop.
Keywords: Music, DIY, democratization.
Robotics Design Research
Robot Metaphors is a project that explores the use of metaphors for generating novel ideas, reframing existing problems, and eliciting new perspectives of human-robot interaction. Through metaphors, this project proposes new ways of using, relating to, and co-existing with the robots. We aim to inspire a new and different co-living future with robots.
Keywords: Design research, fixation, provocations.
Robot Atmospheres is a conceptual project exploring unconventional robot embodiments for alternative ways of interacting with humans. This project explored robots made of wood, silk, glass, and cottom to support dementia, immigration, pregnancy, and unemployment. The different materioals chosen for the robot embodiment akkure to different emotions, for example, silk was used for a robot for the elderly as it conveys finesse.
Keywords: Design research, form factor, concepts.
Robot Programs is a project that investigates how novice programmers naturally express robot programs. We uncovered a mismatch between natural tendencies to program robots and enforced coding structure of block-based programming, which has implications for the design of easily learned end-user robot programming interfaces and systems.
Keywords: End-user programming, visual programming, CS education
Theory in Human-Robot Interaction is a project that theoretically characterized the design space of social robots. Social robots were characterized accros 7 dimensions inclsuing appearance, social capabilities, purpose and application area, relational role, autonomy and intelligence, proximity, and temporal profile.
Keywords: Design framework, design space
Teaching                                            Service
Directed Research Group - 2020-2022 University of Washington
Robotics Colloquium - Fall 2021 University of Washington
Social Robotics - Fall 2016, 2019 IST Technical Institute of Lisbon
Learning, Motivation, and Emotions - Spring 2016 ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon
NSF Proposal Evaluation 2021 Panelist
ICRA Debates 2021 Co-Organizer
Frontiers 2021 Topic Editor
HRI 2021 SDC Co-Chair
RSS 2021 Publicity Chair
Pioneers RSS 2021 General Chair