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SPECS is involved in teaching activities such as master programs, summer schools and workshops

CSIM - Interdisciplinary Master in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media 

This interdisciplinary master in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media (CSIM) is succesfully   running since 2008. Orientation: Research and professional Objectives:  The mission of CSIM is to train the future generation of researchers and professionals that will investigate, develop, engineer, deploy and analyze the cognitive systems and interactive media that will populate our future societies. CSIM will achieve this goal through a fundamental interdisciplinary approach that combines science, engineering, arts and humanities to instil a deep understanding of the design, construction, deployment and analysis of cognitive systems and interactive media combined with the practical skills to realize them. Master projects

More information on how to apply can be found at UPF masters 


BCBT - The Barcelona Cognition, Brain and Technology summer school 

The Barcelona cognition, brain and technology summer school is a platform for both student training and the development of a common research agenda.
This summer school at the interface between neuroscience, future and emerging technologies and cognitive systems is supported by a number of European research consortia. BCBTs principal aim is to promote a shared systems-level understanding of the functional architecture of the brain and its possible emulation in artificial systems. With respect to FP7 this means that BCBT is catering to the research communities that address the “cognitive systems”, “bio-ict convergence” and related FET calls. BCBT is aiming at making a positive contribution to the development of an active and integrated multi-disciplinary research environment in these areas. 


Course on Neuro-Robotics 

To understand brains we need to start from the simplest animals: take for example the worm C-Elegans with only 350 neurons, able to look for food, remember food locations and mate. Brains originally evolved for movement: consider as an example phototaxis, the movement away or towards a stimulus or light which can be easily implemented with a robot by directly connecting sensors and motors. This behaviours are considered to be reactive a direct mapping from sensors to actuation. You will consider how we can build up more complex behaviours introducing learning and memory into play.
You will be able to add more complex layers of behaviour following the structure of the Distributed Adaptive Control (DAC, biologically based control Architecture developed at SPECS). DAC assumes that behaviour is organized in layers from reactive, to adaptive (simplest learning) and contextual (including memory and learning). You will learn how to implement using robots a series of increasingly complex animal tasks that go in the direction of solving a general foraging task following the structure of a neuro-biological control strategy based on DAC.

Introduction to neuro-robotics.

  • Localization and mapping from a neuroscience perspective.
  • Motor control, learning and adaptive reflexes.
  • A practical case: self-regulation and foraging.
  • Social coordination components of behaviour.
  • A practical case: a robot coordination task.
  • Robotics, music, programming and education.

In 2015, this course was sponsored by La pedrera Foundation. More information at


Robotics for Kids 

Thanks to robotics we can study aspects of brain function, such as for instance learning and social behavior. We have educational programs were children get to know the world of robotics and learn how to program them. For this we use 3D printed robots, such as the balancing robot and CODIBOT made in SPECS, as well as the NAO robot.

Through these programs children also learn and discover aspects of our own behavior. These programs are also part of research carried out by our group within the European projects : EASEL and WYSIWYD.



Course on "Personalities for Robots

In this course, participants will learn how to program a small humanoid robot and make it behave according to personalities expressingdifferent emotions. This course was offered in several occasions to children age 10-12. in collaboration with Cosmos Caixa and primary schools of Barcelona as well as the GirlsHack day event held at UPF Barcelona, 13th March 2016.

Supported by EASEL 




Living Machines Workshops 












These workshops are directed to students and  researchers active in biomimetic and biohybrid systems and related fields. They take place during the Living Machines conference series supported by the Convergent Science Network of Biomimetics  and Neurotechnology 

Image: NewScientist Magazine issue 3013Me, myself and iCub: Meet the robot with a self. 18 March 2015 by Tony Prescott.