Nikhil Churamani


Postdoctoral Research Associate
Affective Intelligence and Robotics (AFAR) Lab
Department of Computer Science and Technology
University of Cambridge


William Gates Building

15 JJ Thomson Avenue

Camgbridge CB3 0FD, UK

I am a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, working with Prof Hatice Gunes at the Affective Intelligence and Robotics (AFAR) Lab. My research focusses on Continual Learning for Social and Affective Robots, aimed towards enabling lifelong adaptability in robots operating in real and open-world settings. In particular, my work focuses on embedding robots with a personalised and continually adaptive understanding of human behaviour, allowing them to learn socially and contextually appropriate behaviours in human-centred environments.

My current post-doctoral work, funded by Google under the GIG Grant, focuses on Federated Continual Learning of Socially Appropriate Robot Behaviours where I am exploring how social robots can adapt to differences in social norms, learning from each others’ experience, in a federated manner.

I completed my PhD at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. My doctoral work titled, Continual Learning for Affective Robotics was funded by the EPSRC International Doctoral Scholarship and the Premium Research Studentship of the Computer Lab, University of Cambridge. My other research interests include Deep Learning, Computer Vision, Neuro-inspired AI, and Human-Robot Interaction.

I completed my MSc in Intelligent Adaptive Systems from Universität Hamburg where I was supervised by Prof Dr Stefan Wermter. My MSc dissertation titled, Modelling Affective Cores for Behaviour Modulation in Social Robots, advised by Dr Pablo Barros, focused on embedding intrisic affective motivations in social robots as an Affective Core that enables different personalities in their behaviour modelling in Human-Robot collaborative tasks.


Dec 2, 2023 Happy to announce the Causal-HRI Workshop to be held at ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 2024.
Dec 2, 2023 Happy to announce the Leap-HRI Workshop to be held at ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 2024.
Jun 2, 2023 Paper accepted at IEEE RO-MAN 2023: Affective Computing for Human-Robot Interaction Research: Four Critical Lessons for the Hitchhiker.
May 10, 2023 New preprint on Continual Facial Expression Recognition: A Benchmark.

selected publications

  1. Churamani2020CL4AR.png
    Continual Learning for Affective Robotics: Why, What and How?
    Nikhil Churamani, Sinan Kalkan, and Hatice Gunes
    In 2020 29th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), 2020
  2. McQuillin2022RoboWaiter.png
    Learning Socially Appropriate Robo-Waiter Behaviours through Real-Time User Feedback
    Emily McQuillin, Nikhil Churamani, and Hatice Gunes
    In Proceedings of the 2022 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 2022
  3. Churamani2022DICL4Bias.png
    Domain-Incremental Continual Learning for Mitigating Bias in Facial Expression and Action Unit Recognition
    Nikhil Churamani, Ozgur Kara, and Hatice Gunes
    IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, 2022
  4. Stoychev2023LGR.png
    Latent Generative Replay for Resource-Efficient Continual Learning of Facial Expressions
    Samuil Stoychev, Nikhil Churamani, and Hatice Gunes
    In 2023 IEEE 17th International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG), 2023
  5. Churamani2023ContinualCausality.png
    Towards Causal Replay for Knowledge Rehearsal in Continual Learning
    Nikhil Churamani, Jiaee Cheong, Sinan Kalkan, and Hatice Gunes
    In Proceedings of The First AAAI Bridge Program on Continual Causality, 2023
  6. Churamani2023ConFER.png
    Continual Facial Expression Recognition: A Benchmark
    Nikhil Churamani, Tolga Dimlioglu, German I. Parisi, and Hatice Gunes