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The goal of the MPLab is to develop systems that perceive and interact with humans in real time using natural communication channels. To this effect we are developing perceptual primitives to detect and track human faces and to recognize facial expressions. We are also developing algorithms for robots that develop and learn to interact with people on their own. Applications include personal robots, perceptive tutoring systems, and system for clinical assessment, monitoring, and intervention.

  • Introduction to the MPLab (PDF)
  • MPLAB 5 Year Progress Report (PDF)

  • NEWS


    Applications Deadline: March 1st, 2009

    Sunday June 28th – Saturday July 18th, 2009, Telluride, Colorado

    Ralph Etienne-Cummings, Johns Hopkins University
    Timothy Horiuchi, University of Maryland, College Park
    Tobi Delbruck, Institute for Neuroinformatics, Zurich

    2009 Topic Leaders:
    Cognitive Systems: Gregor SCHOENER (Ruhr-Universität-Bochum) and
    Josh BONGARD (Univ. Vermont)
    Robotics/Locomotion/Motor: Javier MOVELLAN (UC San Diego) and
    Tony LEWIS (Univ. Arizona)
    Vision: Bert SHI (HKUST) and Shih-chii LIU (INI-Zurich)
    Audition: Mounya EL HILALI (JHU) and Hynek HERMANSKY (JHU)
    Technology/Techniques/Tutorials: Paul HASLER (GA Tech) and Jon
    TAPSON (Univ. Capetown)
    Neuromorphic VLSI: John HARRIS (Univ. Florida) and John ARTHUR
    (Stanford Univ.)
    Computational Neuroscience: Terry SEJNOWSKI (Salk Institute)

    Workshop Advisory Board:
    Andreas Andreou (Johns Hopkins University)
    Andre van SCHAIK(University of Sydney)
    Avis COHEN (University of Maryland)
    Barbara SHINN-CUNNINGHAM (Boston University)
    Giacomo INDIVERI (Institute of Neuroinformatics, UNI/ETH Zurich,
    Rodney DOUGLAS (Institute of Neuroinformatics, UNI/ETH Zurich,
    Shihab SHAMMA (University of Maryland)

    We invite applications for a three-week summer workshop that will be
    held in Telluride, Colorado from Sunday June 28th – Saturday July 18th,
    2009. The application deadline is *Sunday, March 1st* and application
    instructions are described at the bottom of this document.

    The 2009 Workshop and Summer School on Neuromorphic Engineering is
    sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Institute of Neuromorphic
    Engineering, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Institute for
    Neuroinformatics – University and ETH Zurich, Georgia Institute of
    Technology, University of Maryland – College Park, Johns Hopkins
    University, Boston University, University of Sydney, and the Salk Institute.

    Previous year workshop can be found at: and last
    year’s wiki is .


    Neuromorphic engineers design and fabricate artificial neural systems
    whose organizing principles are based on those of biological nervous
    systems. Over the past 12 years, this research community has focused on
    the understanding of low-level sensory processing and systems
    infrastructure; efforts are now expanding to apply this knowledge and
    infrastructure to addressing higher-level problems in perception,
    cognition, and learning. Inthis 3-week intensive workshop and through
    the Institute for Neuromorphic Engineering (INE), the mission is to
    promote interaction between seniorand junior researchers; to educate new
    members of the community; to introduce new enabling fields and
    applications to the community; to promote on-going collaborative
    activities emerging from the Workshop, and to promote a self-sustaining
    research field.


    The three week summer workshop will include background lectures on
    systems and cognitive neuroscience (in particular sensory processing,
    learning and memory, motor systems and attention), practical tutorials
    on analog VLSI design, mobile robots, hands-on projects, and special
    interest groups. Participants are required to take part and possibly
    complete at leastone of the projects proposed. They are furthermore
    encouraged to become involved in as many of the other activities
    proposed as interest and timeallow. There will be two lectures in the
    morning that cover issues that are important to the community in
    general. Because of the diverse range of backgrounds among the
    participants, some of these lectures will be tutorials, rather than
    detailed reports of current research. These lectures will be given by
    invited speakers. Projects and interest groups meet in the late
    afternoons, and after dinner. In the early afternoon there will be
    tutorials on a wide spectrum of topics, including analog VLSI, mobile
    robotics, auditory systems, central-pattern-generators, selective
    attention mechanisms, cognitive systems, etc.


    The summer school will take place in the small town of Telluride, 9000
    feet high in Southwest Colorado, about 6 hours drive away from Denver
    (350 miles). Great Lakes Aviation and America West Express airlines
    provide daily flights directly into Telluride. All facilities within the
    beautifully renovated public school building are fully accessible to
    participants with disabilities. Participants will be housed in ski
    condominiums, withinwalking distance of the school. Participants are
    expected to share condominiums.

    The workshop is intended to be very informal and hands-on. Participants
    are not required to have had previous experience in analog VLSI circuit
    design, computational or machine vision, systems level neurophysiology
    or modeling the brain at the systems level. However, we strongly
    encourage active researchers with relevant backgrounds from academia,
    industry and national laboratories to apply, in particular if they are
    prepared to work on specific projects, talk about their own work or
    bring demonstrations to Telluride (e.g. robots, chips, software).
    Wireless internet access will be provided. Technical staff present
    throughout the workshops will assist with software and hardware issues.
    We will have a network of PCs running LINUX and Microsoft Windows for
    the workshop projects. We encourage participants to bring along their
    personal laptop.

    No cars are required. Given the small size of the town, we recommend
    thatyou do not rent a car. Bring hiking boots, warm clothes, rain gear,
    and a backpack, since Telluride is surrounded by beautiful mountains.

    Unless otherwise arranged with one of the organizers, we expect
    participants to stay for the entire duration of this three week workshop.


    Notification of acceptances will be mailed out around mid March 2009.
    The Workshop covers all your accommodations and facilities costs. You
    areresponsible for your own travel to the Workshop. For expenses not
    covered by federal funds, a Workshop registration fee is required. The
    fee is $550 per participant, however, due to the difference in travel
    cost, we offer a discount to non-US participants. European registration
    fees will bereduced to $300; non-US/non-European registration fees will
    be reduced to $150. The cost of a shared condominium will be covered for
    all academicparticipants but upgrades to a private room will cost extra.
    Participants from National Laboratories and Industry are expected to
    pay for these condominiums.

    —— HOW TO APPLY: ——-

    Applicants should be at the level of graduate students or above (i.e.
    postdoctoral fellows, faculty, research and engineering staff and the
    equivalent positions in industry and national laboratories). We actively
    encourage women and minority candidates to apply.

    Anyone interested in proposing specific projects should contact the
    appropriate topic leaders directly.

    The application website is (after January 1st, 2009):

    Application will include:

    * First name, Last name, Affiliation, valid e-mail address.
    * Curriculum Vitae.
    * One page summary of background and interests relevant to the workshop,
    including possible ideas for workshop projects.
    * Two letters of recommendation (uploaded directly by references).

    The application deadline is March 1, 2009.
    Applicants will be notified by e-mail.

    1 January, 2009 – Applications accepted on website
    1 March, 2009 – Applications Due
    mid-March – Notification of Acceptance


    Ralph Etienne-Cummings
    Associate Professor
    Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    105 Barton Hall/3400 N. Charles St.
    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, MD 21218
    Email: E

    Tel: 410 – 516 – 3494
    Fax: 410 – 516 – 5566

    The UCSD Department of Cognitive Science is pleased to announce a talk by

    Björn Hartmann

    Stanford University

    Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 12pm
    Cognitive Science Building, room 003

    “Enlightened Trial and Error – Gaining Design Insight Through New Prototyping Tools”

    “The progress of any creative discipline changes significantly with the quality of the tools available. As the diversity of user interfaces multiplies in the shift away from personal desktop computing, yesterday’s tools and concepts are insufficient to serve the designers of tomorrow’s interfaces. My research in human-computer interaction focuses on the earliest stages in UI creation – activities that take a novel idea and transform it into a concrete, interactive artifact that can be experienced, tested, and compared against other ideas. In this talk I will give an overview of different prototyping tools I have built with collaborators to address two research questions: How can tools enable a wider range of designers to create functional prototypes of ubiquitous computing interfaces? And how can design tools support the larger process of learning from these prototypes?”

    The Third International Conference on Affective Computing and
    Intelligent Interaction (ACII 2009)
    September 10-12, 2009
    Amsterdam, the Netherlands

    Sponsored by HUMAINE Association and University of Twente
    Technically Co-Sponsored by IEEE

    *** Submission Deadline — March 23, 2009 ****

    The conference series on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction is
    the premier international forum for state of the art in research on
    affective and multimodal human-machine interaction and systems. Every other
    year the ACII conference plays an important role in shaping related
    scientific, academic, and higher-education programs. This year, we are
    especially soliciting papers discussing Enabling Behavioral and
    Socially-Aware Human-Machine Interfaces in areas including psychology and
    cognition of affective and social behaviour in HCI, affective and social
    behaviour analysis and synthesis, affective and social robotics. General
    conference topics will include:

    * Recognition & Synthesis of Human Affect
    (face/ body/ speech/ physiology/ text analysis & synthesis)
    * Affective & Behavioural Interfaces
    (adaptive/ human-centered/ collaborative/ proactive interfaces)
    * Affective & Social Robotics
    (robot’s cognition & action, embodied emotion, bio-inspired architectures)
    * Affective Agents
    (emotion, personality, memory, reasoning, and architectures of ECA)
    * Psychology & Cognition of Affect in Affective Computing Systems
    (including cultural and ethical issues)
    * Affective Databases, Evaluation & Annotation Tools
    * Applications
    (virtual reality, entertainment, education, smart environments and biometric applications)


    Accepted papers will be published by IEEE Xplorer.


    Paper submission will be handled electronically. Authors should prepare an
    Adobe Acrobat PDF version of their full paper. All submitted papers will be
    judged by at least three referees. Papers must be formatted using IEEE
    Authors’ Kit ( .


    March 23, 2009: Deadline for submission of regular papers.
    April 27, 2009: Deadline for submission of extended abstracts for demos.
    June 1, 2009: Acceptance notification
    July 1, 2009: Final camera-ready papers due in electronic form.

    The 2009 conference will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in De Rode
    Hoed, a former Remonstrant church built in 1616 and located in the heart of
    Amsterdam’s historic district. One of the leading cultural centers of
    Europe, with one of the continent’s largest historical inner cities,
    Amsterdam has breathtaking architecture, an extensive web of canals and side
    streets, and many world-renowned museums and cultural attractions. The city
    offers a wide range of accommodation, from luxury hotels to modest hostels,
    and is easily accessible from the Amsterdam International Airport.


    We are looking forward to receiving your valuable contributions!

    Best wishes,

    Jeff Cohn, Anton Nijholt, and Maja Pantic
    ACII’09 General Chairs


    Jianhua Tao and Kostas Karpouzis
    ACII’09 P

    Akshathkumar Shetty, the developer of Quickserver, upon which RUBIOS is built, is going to help us out to accelerate the message passing performance of RUBIOS.

    Here is an interesting new journal to publish research on autonomous robots

    The MPLab and Hanson Robotics collaborated to demonstrate an interactive robot head. The system was presented at the TED conference on Feb 4, 2009.

    Paul and NIck hanging out with Bob and Albert

    Paul and NIck hanging out with Bob and Albert

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