Emmanuel Senft



I am currently Research Associate at the University of Wisconsin Madison, working with Bilge Mutlu on collaborative robotics for aircraft manufacturing.

In my PhD, I researched and developed Interactive Machine Learning systems for robots interacting socially with humans. I developed SPARC (Supervised Progressively Autonomous Robot Competencies), a framework of interaction allowing humans to teach robots to interact with humans in the real world. My research lies at the intersection between social Human-Robot Interaction, Interactive Machine Learning and Learning from Demonstrations.

Over summer 2019, I was working at ATR with a JSPS Summer Fellowship with Prof. Takayuki Kanda and Dr. Satoru Satake on robotic navigation in dense human environments.

Until April 2019, I was working as a Research Fellow at Plymouth University on the EU FP7 DREAM Project, which aimed to develop new Robot-Enhanced Therapies for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


  • 10/19 - Check out for our new paper in Science Robotics, it even made the cover of the issue!

  • 10/19 - I have just started a new position at UW Madison.

  • 06/19 - I was shortlisted for the the Queen Mary UK Best PhD in Robotics Award. With a presentation at TAROS, however, I will have to stay in Japan, so I cannot attend. But you can see here the video I presentation for the award.

  • 02/19 - I received a research grant for the JSPS to work with Prof. Takayuki Kanda at ATR over the summer 2019, I will be collaborating on a project exploring how robots' approach strategies impact their efficiency in HRI!

  • In November 2018, I completed my PhD at Plymouth University (U.K.), under the supervision of Professor Tony Belpaeme, Dr. Paul Baxter, and Dr. Séverin Lemaignan. This thesis, titled "Teaching Robots Autonomy from In Situ Human Supervision'', can be downloaded here.

Google scholar profile

Github Account

ORCID Account


Emmanuel Senft
email: esenft[...]wisc.edu