Emily Collins

Emily Collins


Personal profile


Dr. Emily C. Collins is an interdisciplinary, experimentally rigorous, Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) researcher. Her experise span biomimetic, brain-based, therapeutic, and industrial, robotics; HRI methodology development; and ethical and theoretical consideration of Robotics and AI (RAI). Her key research themes include trustworthiness and verification; responsibility and accountability; and the centrality of human psychology and socio-political factors to effective RAI deployment in the real world.

She holds a Philosophy BA Honours degree from Cardiff University, UK. Before retraining as a scientist, Dr. Collins worked in the international cultural and heritage sector, in Kenya, and then Japan. She was awarded a distinction in her Master Of Science degree in Experimental Psychology from Sussex University, UK, and received her PhD in psychology and social robotics from Sheffield Robotics at The University Of Sheffield, UK, entitled ‘Towards Robot-Assisted Therapy: Identifying Mechanisms of Effect in Human-Biomimetic Robot Interaction.’ She spent a portion of her PhD at Osaka University, Japan, translating psychology metrics from English into Japanese to conduct cross-cultural HRI research. She is a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist.

After completing a UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Prize Research Fellowship at Sheffield Robotics, Dr. Collins moved to the University of Liverpool, UK, and then to the University of Manchester, UK, to work as an HRI specialist for EPSRC-funded UK-wide Research Hubs tackling Verifiable Autonomous Robotics and AI for Extreme and Hazardous Environments, in particular for the nuclear and off-shore oil industries (a.k.a. the RAIN and ORCA Projects respectively). At Liverpool she also worked at the Home Robot Lab for the Centre for Autonomous Systems Technology, where she developed robot demos for home robot activity.

In 2021 Dr. Collins started work for Northeastern University, USA, as an Associate Principal Research Scientist. Initially based at the Northeastern London campus (formally the New College of Humanities) as the University's first transatlantic interdisciplinary research specialist, before moving to Boston, USA, to work at the University's Institute for Experiential Robotics. 

Dr. Collins returned to the University of Manchester in 2023, after being awarded a Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Fellowship in the Department of Computer Science. Her current HRI research employs methods from various disciplines, e.g., deception psychology, trust in social robotics, verification and validation techniques, and the psychological and cultural literature around which she built a framework for exploring Human-Robot relationships by looking at Human-Other relationships. She is especially interested in extraneous variables which mediate effective HRI design and deployment. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute


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