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. Recent work has included desk-size projected displays and tangible interfaces.
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.
He has also pursued a parallel line of research into inclusive user interfaces. Collaboration with the Engineering Design Centre has investigated questions of physical handicap, and research students have considered visual handicaps. This has broader applications for interaction with ubiquitous computers, where the input and output devices themselves impose limitations.
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.
- Curriculum vitae
- Photograph by Howard Guest for the Fitzwilliam Museum's exhibition On the shoulders of giants.