OUDEYER_PIERRE_YVES_2013_OJPierre-Yves OudeyerI am research director at Inria, heading the Flowers team. I was previously a permanent researcher in Sony Computer Science Laboratory for 8 years (1999-2007).

I study mechanisms by which humans and robots can progressively discover their bodies, and learn how to interact with their physical and social environment. In particular, I study the developmental processes which guide organisms to acquire and expand continuously a large and cumulative repertoires of skills across their lifespan. This includes mechanisms of curiosity-driven learning, imitation, multimodal statistical inference, body maturation and self-organization.

Of particular interest to me is the formation of repertoires of sensorimotor and interaction skills as well as their relation with the acquisition and evolution of languages.

I consider cognitive development as a complex dynamical system which needs to be understood through systemic thinking, leveraging tools and concepts from human sciences, living sciences, and mathematical/computational sciences. Further, I consider algorithms and robotics models as powerful scientific languages to express theories of cognitive development in the living.

In practice, this has led me to follow two mutually reinforcing research activities (yet with two different epistemological perspectives):

  • Understanding human cognitive development, where computers and robots are used as conceptual and experimental tools in constant dialog with developmental psychology, neuroscience and linguistics;
  • Constructing machines and robots, inspired by mechanisms of the living, which are capable of lifelong development and adaptation to the physical and social world.

Selected publications:

Cognitive Science: Modeling Child Development with Robots

Developmental Robotics: Lifelong Learning of Sensorimotor and Social Skills

Adaptive Human-Machine Interfaces, BCI, Emotional Speech Processing

Educational Technologies

  • Developmental Active Learning for Personalization and Optimization in Online Educational Software

Outreach Projects

Poppy: an Open-Source 3D Printed Robotic Platform

Link to information about the Poppy humanoid robot Poppy Project web site. Poppy is an open-source 3D printed robot for science, education and art designed by the Flowers team. It was built to study the impact of the body on sensorimotor development and cognition: it makes it possible to really consider the body as an experimental variable. See article at Humanoids 2013 conference.

Poppy Overview from Poppy Project on Vimeo.

Education: Un parcours pédagogique pour la découverte de la robotique en primaire et au collège

Avec mon équipe Flowers, nous développons des activités de découverte et d'apprentissage de la robotique pour l'école primaire et le collège. En particulier, nous avons créé et animons le site web http://dessinemoiunrobot.fr

Ce site a pour objet d’accompagner les enseignants, les animateurs, dans leurs projets d’activités robotiques en classe ou dans le temps périscolaire. Il concerne en priorité l’enseignement primaire et l’enseignement secondaire, et ses contenus sont:

  • Des activités clés en mains pour enseigner la robotique en classe ou en dehors de la classe.
  • Des reportages issus d’établissements.
  • Des liens sélectionnés et commentés.
  • Des actualités de la robotique.
  • Des conseils techniques et pédagogiques.
  • Des questions/réponses sur la robotique.
  • Une liste de diffusion
  • Un forum d’échanges techniques et pédagogiques (prochainement).

Art and Science

I collaborate regularly with artist within project that explore the frontiers between art and science. This has been the opportunity to create original connections between the general public and our scientific projects, in particular by bringing people to ask themselves and to ourselves stimulating questions about the position of such scientific projects within society at large.

Examples of such projects include:


Academic talk

Pour le grand public

Vidéo Lift: "Quand les robots nous aident à comprendre l'homme" , avec présentation de Poppy, robot humanoide open-source et imprimé en 3D.

Book Cover

Septembre 2013: publications du livre "Aux sources de la parole" chez Odile Jacob.

France Culture
(oct. 2013) 
La parole et l'ordinateur, Interview avec Stéphane Delogeorges, émission Continent Sciences

France Inter
(oct. 2013)
Le langage: une auto-organisation ? Interview avec Stéphane Paoli, émission 3D, le journal

RFI (Sept. 2013) Comment s'invente le langage ? Emission "Autour de la question" de Caroline Lachowsky.

Fondation Cartier

L'expérience Ergo-Robots, expostion "Mathématiques un Dépaysement Soudain", Fondation Cartier, Paris