OCTOBER 5—30, 2012


Gonçalo Lopes, André Almeida, Francisco Dias, Guilherme Martins

Despite all the considerable advances in the field of mobile robotics achieved over the last decade, the dream of a more intimate symbiosis between humans and fully autonomous artificial beings is still far from fulfilled. Our claim is that many of these ideas can actually be turned into reality with currently existing technology. We believe that creative use of existing hardware can dramatically extend the relevance and utility of robots in the world and we intend to demonstrate this within two application domains that have the potential to dramatically shift the way we interact with robots today.
The first is to exploit augmented telepresence by using an inexpensive mobile robotic platform such as Magabot ( to give wheels to computer systems. By remotely connecting via Skype to a laptop carried by the robot, the human user will be able to navigate and interact with distant environments, opening the doors to a new kind of cultural exchange in the information age.
The second domain of application is to exploit the vast amount of information our human environment naturally provides to instruct and select appropriate actions in a fully autonomous robot. Our claim is that we can extend this logic to robots to significantly enhance their ability for autonomous behavior, again relying only on currently existing technology. We intend to present a fully functional proof-of-concept of these two application domains using the Magabot robotic platform along with third party and selfdeveloped hardware and software technologies. We will demonstrate robotic telepresence and some simple automatized navigation tasks which can already take away much of the burden of remotely operating a vehicle.


Gonçalo Lopes received his BSc degree in Computer Science and Engineering at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NOVA), in 2006. In the same year, he joined the Centre for Artificial Intelligence (CENTRIA) under the supervision of Prof. Luís Moniz Pereira to study computational models of cognition. He joined the YLabs, YDreams R&D division, where he conducted applied research in man-machine interfaces, computer vision, parallel processing and autonomous agents. He was also one of the lead architects behind the YVision general purpose software composition framework. In 2010, Gonçalo joined the Champalimaud Neuroscience PhD Programme and his now working with Adam Kampff and Joe Paton to understand how brains build models of the world.

André Almeida has an extensive professional background in interaction design and software development. After seven years of working and learning at YLabs, tech company YDreams’ research laboratory, André specialized in augmented reality, computer vision and graphical computing. Since the early stages of his life and work, he has been interested in the arts, particularly theater and performance. During his period working for O Olho Theatre Company, he collaborated with some of the most renowned artists in Portugal, creating several scenic and lighting components, and developed an even deeper interest in the various steps in the creative process, from artistic conception to the final result.

Francesco Dias is a 17 years old student from Lisbon. In 2009 he was inspired by website called Let's Make Robots! ( and started making robots as a hobby. Artica ( and IdMind ( found his robot's videos on Youtube and he was invited to participate on Festival Nacional de Robótica 2011 ( with their newer robot - Magabot ( He is interested in open source technology, DIY, hacking things better, robotics, electronics, computer vision, telepresence and human-machine interaction.

Guilherme Martins is a visual artist specialized in the creation of visual contents for stage performances. Since 2007, his visual environments have been used in dance, opera, theater and performances and he has collaborated with renowned directors like Rui Horta, Tiago Guedes and Anatoly Praudin. He has also worked as a designer for several internationally renowned agencies, such as Ogilvy Interactive and YDreams. In his tireless search for new forms of artistic expression, Guilherme became interested in robotics and what he would eventually call “Creative Robotics”. More at