Ron Petrick's Webpages


My research is centred around artificial intelligence, in particular the areas of automated planning, knowledge representation and reasoning, and cognitive robotics. I am particularly interested in problems related to epistemic planning, with a focus on reasoning about knowledge and action, especially under conditions of incomplete information and uncertainty involving multiple agents. My work is often applied to multiagent planning and robotics applications, as well as human-robot interaction, social robotics, and natural language dialogue. My recent work has also explored explainable planning and machine learning techniques for learning the symbolic structure of actions and control knowledge for planning.

For more information about my research, please visit my publications or invited talks pages. You can also see a word cloud of my publication titles through Scholar Goggler.


I have been involved in a number of research projects funded by the European Commission (EC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Here's a list of some of my current and past projects:

HUman-machine teaming for Maritime Environments (HUME)

In 2023, I took over from Helen Hastie as the academic Principal Investigator of this 3-year Prosperity Partnership project funded by EPSRC investigating machine-machine and human-machine collaboration, robot perception, and explainable autonomy for underwater robotics in extreme environments.
 Website   Grant No. EP/V05676X/1   2021-2024

Using AI-Enhanced Social Robots to Improve Children's Healthcare Experiences

I am a Co-Investigator of this 3-year Canada-UK project, funded in the UK by ESRC, investigating the use of social robots in medical settings to improve the experiences of children undergoing clinical procedures.
 Coming soon   Grant No. ES/T012986/1   2020-2025

Start Making Sense: Cognitive and Affective Confidence Measures for Explanation Generation using Epistemic Planning

I was the Principal Investigator of Start Making Sense, a 1.5-year project funded by EPSRC investigating explanation generation using automated planning techniques.
 Website   Grant No. EP/R031045/1   2018-2020

Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets (ORCA Hub)

I am a Co-Investigator on the ORCA Hub, a 3.5-year project funded by EPSRC investigating robotics and autonomous systems for extreme environments in the energy sector.
 Website   Grant No. EP/R026173/1   2017-2021

Sustainable and Reliable Robotics for Part Handling in Manufacturing Automation (STAMINA)

I was a Principal Investigator on the STAMINA project, a 3.5-year project funded by the EC's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) investigating applications of robotics for part handling in automotive automation.
 Website   Grant No. 610917   2013-2017

Joint Action for Multimodal Embodied Social Systems (JAMES)

I was the Scientific Coordinator and a Co-Investigator on the JAMES project, a 3.5-year project funded by the EC's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) investigating robotics for socially-appropriate task-based interaction.
 Website   Grant No. 270435   2011-2014

Robots Bootstrapped Through Learning From Experience (XPERIENCE)

I was a Co-Investigator on the XPERIENCE project, a 5-year project funded by the EC's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) investigating generative methods and models for robots to learn about their environment through interaction.
 Website   Grant No. 270273   2011-2015

Perception, Action and Cognition through Learning of Object-Action Complexes (PACO-PLUS)

I was a research fellow on the PACO-PLUS project, a 5-year project funded by the EC's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) investigating how the interaction of actions and objects can give rise to learning techniques for robotics, and the concept of Object-Action Complexes (OACs).
 Website   Grant No. 027657   2006-2010