The Project


Living with Robots and Interactive Companions.

The challenge: building long-term relationships with artificial companions

How do we create a new computer technology that supports long-term relationships between humans and synthetic companions? To date, artificial companions have had limited abilities to support long-term, meaningful social interactions with users in real social settings.

Whether embodied physically as a robot or as a virtual character on a screen, the LIREC network is developing methods that allow a companion to perceive, remember and react to human users, thus enabling a new generation of socially aware companions.

LIREC objectives: a focus on both robots and virtual companions

The LIREC network aims to create a new generation of interactive, emotionally intelligent companions that is capable of long-term relationships with humans.
The research team focuses on both virtual companions and physical embodiments such as robots. They also examine how people react to a familiar companion when it migrates from a robot body into a virtual form, for example on a mobile PDA screen.

A broad collaboration of skills

LIREC is a collaboration of 10 European partners specialised in psychology, ethology, human-computer interaction, human-robot interaction, robotics and graphical characters.

The project has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 215554.