Tiago Guiomar Ribeiro

Animation Scientist | Robot Animation | Human-Robot Interaction Technology

Lisbon, Portugal

I am an eclectic scientist and engineer who’s major pursuit is the connection between arts and intelligent, interactive technology.

My major work has been on robots that interact with people, in various contexts such as entertainment, education, personal- or labour- assistance, etc.
Within those fields, I have accumulated 9 years of expertise in animation and behaviour management technology for autonomous social robots.

Technically my expertise includes programming lower-level software that controls robots, to high-level animation tools and plug-ins that are suitable for non-technical personnel and end-users, such as artists and psychologists, and also all the middleware that is required to integrate such tools and robots with socially-aware artificial intelligence that drives the interaction.

More recently I moved back into the Intelligent Virtual Characters field by joining an award-winning team at Soul Machines, where I’m developing animation systems and technology that allow such agents to convey the same Illusion of Life while interacting with humans in smart environments.

In summary, my job is to create technology that allows creating such artificial intelligence creatures.

My connection with the arts is very personal, and is driven in most part by my passion for animation, but also for digital film and photography, three particular fields on which I am mostly self-taught and also explore as a hobby. These creative abilities and understanding, allied with my technical background, have allowed me to stand together with both artists, roboticists and software-engineers, to bring them together and build a bridge between all those worlds.

By working together and in multi-disciplinary settings, we are better able to materialize our imagination into real, physical achievements, and to push all those fields forward into the future.



Animation Scientist
Soul Machines, Auckland, NZ


Robot Animation and Unity Engine
Consultor & Developer
Gagosian Gallery, NYC, USA

HRI Architecture
Högskolan Väst, Sweden


Robot Animation & HRI
Technical Direction, R&D
GAIPS Lab @ INESC-ID, Portugal


EMOTE EU FP7 Project
Research Assistant,
Architecture Design & Development,
Behaviour Management & Animation

GAIPS Lab @ INESC-ID, Portugal


LIREC EU FP7 Project
Research Assistant,
Robot Animation System

GAIPS Lab @ INESC-ID, Portugal




PhD in Computer Science & Engineering
Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon
Thesis: Creating the Illusion of Life in Autonomous Social Robots (PDF)


MSc in Computer Science & Engineering
Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon
Major in Multimedia Systems / Game Development
Minor in Intelligent Systems / Artificial Intelligence
Dissertation: Animating a highly articulated virtual human skeleton with biomechanically-inspired movement constraints in realtime


BSc in Computer Science & Engineering
Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon

Check out my Portfolio here.