CASPER: Cognitive Architecture for Social Perception and Engagement in Robots

Samuele Vinanzi, Angelo Cangelosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our world is being increasingly pervaded by intelligent robots with varying degrees of autonomy. To seamlessly integrate themselves in our society, these machines should possess the ability to navigate the complexities of our daily routines even in the absence of a human’s direct input. In other words, we want these robots to understand the intentions of their partners with the purpose of predicting the best way to help them. In this paper, we present the initial iteration of CASPER (Cognitive Architecture for Social Perception and Engagement in Robots): a symbolic cognitive architecture that uses qualitative spatial reasoning to anticipate the pursued goal of another agent and to calculate the best collaborative behavior. This is performed through an ensemble of parallel processes that model a low-level action recognition and a high-level goal understanding, both of which are formally verified. We have tested this architecture in a simulated kitchen environment and the results we have collected show that the robot is able to both recognize an ongoing goal and to properly collaborate towards its achievement. This demonstrates a new use of Qualitative Spatial Relations applied to the problem of intention reading in the domain of human-robot interaction.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Social Robotics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Feb 2024


  • cognitive human-robot interaction
  • cognitive architectures
  • cooperating robots
  • social human-robot interaction
  • intention reading
  • artificial intelligence


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