The Robots in Groups (RIG) lab explores social and technical issues surrounding the placement of robots within groups and teams.

How do robots shape the dynamics of work groups and teams in existing settings?

It is not clear how robots affect core group processes such as conflict, emotion regulation or power dynamics, and how the impact of a robot on these processes shapes short and long-term group outcomes. One of our key research questions is to better understand how robots affect these processes and outcomes, which is increasingly pressing as several companies have announced autonomous robots for group settings.

How does a robot’s behavior shape how humans interact with each other in dyads and in larger groups and teams?

Little is known about how robots impact the ways in which people interact with each other and even less is known about how robots impact or should impact the way people interact with each other in more complex group settings. To investigate this question we perform behavioral studies that examine how a robot’s behavior shapes human-human interactions in dyads, teams and larger groups.

How can robots improve the performance of work groups and teams by acting on social processes?

Given that the social and emotional functioning of groups and teams has been shown to be crucial for group performance, we see an opportunity for robot to improve group performance by acting on teamwork processes that ensure the social functioning of teams. We use iterative design approaches to develop robots that employ social behaviors to improve team performance.

About Us

The Robots in Groups (RIG) lab explores social and technical issues surrounding the placement of robots within groups and teams..

We conduct research through design, behavioral science approaches, and field observations. Our work seeks to contribute to our basic understanding of group dynamics and how group dynamics can be shaped by robots implicitly and by design. . Of our research is conducted within the Information Science Department on Cornell's Ithaca campus.. If you are interested in working with us, please get in touch below.


  • 8/2018

    We are about to be opening the doors of our lab to kids from 7 to 11 years old. From 8/20 trough 9/9 we are going to run a robot design workshop. Parents, educators and younger and older siblings can tag along too and the event is completely free as it is part of our research on designing developmentally appropriate toy robots for children. You can sign up at this link or contact Cristina Zaga (

  • 6/2018

    Gabe has succesfully defenced his thesis, congratulations Gabe! Best of luck in your new role at Google.

  • 5/2018

    Rei passed her A-exam and will continuing building her sketching robots into the fall, congratulations!

  • 12/2017

    Solace's paper on cultural differences in the behaviour of telepresence robot operators got accepted into CHI 2018! Congratulations Solace.



We're located in Cornell's Information Science department.

343 Campus Rd
Room 220
Ithaca, NY, 14853
Cornell Information Science