Emotional Robotics Living Lab

A theatre space of interdisciplinary study that looks at emerging social robotics.
emotional robotics banner


The Emotional Robotics Living Lab is a theatre space dedicated to the emerging research intersection of theatre arts and social robotics. The lab is home to emotional robot Pepper © and social robot NAO © from Softbank robotics, as well as, Jibo, Inc., JIBO ©, the voice assistant social robot that ushers in a “more compassionate era of technology.” (Image: NAO, Assistant Professor Dr. Julienne A. Greer, Pepper)

The Emotional Robotics Living Lab (ERLL) brings together humans and robots for significant, cutting-edge research. ERLL develops collaborations between humans and robots and envisions a future where arts and technology connect.

How is this done?

What if theatre training in voice, movement, performance, script analysis, directing, and design could be applied to robots to create more human-like personalities? The same techniques used to craft your theatre training can be applied to the “characterization” of a robot! And, these human-like robots can be applied to the fine arts as well as interdisciplinary STEM-related industries of science, business, and education.

You’ll work with theatre professor, Dr. Greer, an interdisciplinary scholar + artist utilizing human-centered and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) methods to create engagement and develop connection between humans and robots. Dr. Greer translates the human-human model of theatre engagement to a human-robot model of performance engagement, creating a uniquely authentic experience of emotion for a human-robot platform.

If you are interested in the theatre, in the future, in developing skills in research, and in bringing an artistic voice to the discussion of robot technology, you can do it at UTA’s Department of Theatre Arts, Emotional Robotics Living Lab. Interdisciplinary courses available, as well as paid undergraduate research positions.

The Emotional Robotics Living Lab is located at The University of Texas at Arlington – Preston Hall, Room 304

Dr. Julienne A. Greer, PhD in Humanities Aesthetic Studies, MA in Media Arts

Assistant Department Chair

Emotional Robotics Living Lab Director & BA Area Head


Dr. Julienne Aleta Greer, AEA

Email: jgreer@uta.edu

Phone #: (817) 272-0729

Office: Fine Arts Building Central 268B

Additional Info:: Dr. Julienne A. Greer is an Assistant Professor of Theatre; Social Robotics and Performance. She earned a BFA in Drama from NYU, an MA in Media Arts from TCU, and her Ph.D. in Humanities at UTD. Dr. Greer is an interdisciplinary scholar + artist working at the emerging intersection of theatre and social robotics. Her primary focus is examining Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) to “humanize” social robots to the nuances of human behavior and develop better human-robot relational outcomes. Dr. Greer works with interdisciplinary teams including Social Work, Education, Computer Science, and Engineering. Current work includes; Shakespeare and Robots: robots acting Shakespeare with older adults for psychological well-being, Caretaker Respite: building trust and connection between humans and robots so caretaker burden can be lessened, and Assistive Technologies for Persons with Disabilities: a National Science Foundation external grant working with undergraduate students to examine how technology can augment the capabilities of people with disabilities.

Meet the Robots!

nao robot


NAO is an interactive companion robot currently being used to speak Shakespeare to older adults for psychological well-being! Currently UTA owns the 5th version, and about 10,000 NAO have already been sold throughout the world.



Pepper is a human-shaped robot. He is kind, endearing and surprising. Softbank Robotics designed Pepper to be a genuine day-to-day companion, whose number one quality is his ability to perceive emotions.