Professor Robinson

Peter Robinson is a Professor of Computer Technology in the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, where he is part of the Rainbow Research Group working on computer graphics and interaction.

Professor Robinson’s research concerns problems at the boundary between people and computers. This involves investigating new technologies to enhance communication between computers and their users, and new applications to exploit these technologies. The main focus for this is human-computer interaction, where he has been leading work for some years on the use of video and paper as part of the user interface. The idea is to develop augmented environments in which everyday objects acquire computational properties through user interfaces based on video projection and digital cameras. This led to early work on desk-size projected displays and tangible interfaces.  Recent work has explored applications of vision to enhancing driver experiences in semi-autonomous vehicles.

With rapid advances in key computing technologies and the heightened user expectation of computers, the development of socially and emotionally adept technologies is becoming a necessity. He has led investigations of the inference of people’s mental states from facial expressions, vocal nuances, body posture and gesture, and other physiological signals, and also considered the expression of emotions by robots and cartoon avatars.  This has led to work on analysing facial expressions of domestic animals and also to more general consideration of what it means to be human in an age of increasingly human-like machines.

Professor Robinson is a Fellow of Gonville & Caius College where he previously studied for a first degree in Mathematics and a PhD in Computer Science under Neil Wiseman. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the British Computer Society.