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Paul's research focuses on studying how we can develop social robots for educational purposes. For instance to support second language learning (see the L2TOR project), but also concerning other domains of learning. A central theme in his research is how to design effective and meaningful interactions between robots and children based on insights from embodied cognition and usage-based theories concerning cultural, social and cognitive mechanisms that underlie the development of language and communication.
Paul has taken a multidisciplinary approach in his research: ranging from artificial intelligence and psycholinguistics to ethnographic research and developmental psychology; using a variety of methods: agent-based computer modelling, robotics, word learning experiments, naturalistic observations and cross-cultural comparisons.