About Quori



About Quori



With support from National Science Foundation CISE Research Infrastructure (CRI)  CNS-1513275 and CNS-1513108 ten Quori platforms will be built and delivered to 10 awarded research groups. Quori is a novel, affordable, socially interactive robot platform for enabling non-contact human-robot interaction (HRI) research in both in-lab and “in the wild” experimental settings. The package will be complete with an expressive projected face, two gesturing arms,  bowing spine, and an omnidirectional base. Software is provided at the low-level to control the hardware and at the high-level, provided by Semio, to easily generate versatile social behaviors.

Advances in sensor and communication technologies have facilitated progress in computing research on physical platforms. The field of human-robot interaction (HRI) has grown significantly in the last decade and a half, and actively brings together an interdisciplinary community of researchers across computing, AI, robotics, and social science. However, progress has been limited by the lack of affordable, general-purpose, modular hardware robot platforms with available low-level software that would enable large numbers of computing researchers to enter the field and develop and test algorithms, as well as conduct statistically significant user studies by deploying systems in the real world and collecting user data to inform further computational research in HRI.


By working with the HRI community to identify the most important hardware capabilities for a socially interactive robot, some optimization can be achieved to lower cost and maximize functionality. The input of the HRI community on Quori’s design process was collected via on-line surveys, hosted workshops, and conference presentations. The data collected from our quorum (a diverse group of researchers in the broader HRI community) directed our design decisions for Quori’s hardware and software. Below is a summary of the community feedback


Expressive Hardware Modules

Quori is a low-cost socially interactive robot platform comprised of an upper-body humanoid with a rear projection head and two gesturing arms on a mobile base. Updates for the robot’s hardware are presented on this page. Each component is designed to be modular, expandable, customizable, and affordable.


Projected Head

To maximize flexibility, both in the style and apparent motion of the robot’s head, we exploited the relatively recent availability of low-cost portable projectors in a retro-projected animated face

Omnidirectional Mobile Base

The base measures 19 inches in diameter and 8 inches in height and complies with the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act. The max speeds the base is able to achieve are 0.8m/s in a straight line and 180 degrees per second with the turret.

Gesturing Arms


Gestures are a key part of natural communication in social interaction. Our arm design is low-cost, modular, safe, and expandable. Our current version of the arm has two degrees of freedom that mimic the ball joint of a human shoulder.



Gestures are a key part of natural communication in social interaction. Our arm design is low-cost, modular, safe, and expandable. Our current version of the arm has two degrees of freedom that mimic the ball joint of a human shoulder.


A. Specian, N. Eckenstein, R. Mead, B. McDorman, S. Kim, M. Mataric, and M. Yim, “Preliminary system and hardware design for quori, a low-cost, modular, socially interactive robot,” in 2018 hri workshop social robots in the wild, 2018, p. 1–6. 








 Questions and answers related to the CFP are posted to this FAQ page. The CFP can be found on the Call For Proposals page here.

Where can I forward questions that are not answered on this FAQ page?

Additional questions and requests for clarification or additional information should be submitted electronically to quori(dot)robot (at) gmail (dot)com.

Can I still apply for a Quori robot after the deadline?

Only ten Quori robots are being built and have already been awarded. We welcome anyone interested in the Quori robot and our Quori community to contact us at quori(dot)robot (at) gmail (dot)com so we can keep you posted with updates on how to participate in the Quori Community.

How will I know my Letter of Intent and Proposal were received?

An email will response will be sent acknowledging the receipt of each document. 

Can universities outside of the Unites States participate in this program?

No. Because this project is entirely funded by a US federal grant, the robots can only go to US research institutions.

What is the footprint of the Quori platform?

In a resting position the robot fits within a cylinder 1.35 meters tall and 0.61 meter in diameter. More information on the robot can be found at http://www.quori.org/about/

Is the robot robust? Is there a risk of the robot falling over?

The robot's center of mass and support polygon were designed to make sure the robot does not fall over. However, if the robot falls the main hardware of robot, the arms and base and head may still be usable.

Is it possible to get a robot with customized parts (e.g., arms add another DOF to the arm so that the robot can move the elbows) ?

The version of Quori that will ship as part of this award program will have the standard arms without articulate elbows/hands; however, Quori has a flexible design that is meant to be modular, and the standard arms could be swapped out for more expressive arms (e.g., with articulated elbows and/or hands) in the future based on feedback and designs from the community.  If your proposal requires such articulation, then we recommend offering to develop and share a design for such articulation so that others may provide feedback and/or integrate these features into their own Quori robot as well.

How loud is the robot?

No noticeable robot component noise is heard at 1 meter away from the robot.

Does Quori need to communicate with servers you host?

The developer tools Semio provides for authoring and animating conversational content for social robot skills/apps are browser-based and currently run on Semio web servers.  Any content that is created is then automatically uploaded to the robot for execution.  Therefore, a web connection is necessary when creating content for Quori, but not necessarily for execution of that content on-board Quori.

Would it be possible to connect to the robot and choose what to execute from whatever content uploaded to the robot? Or will anything uploaded to the robot will be executed automatically (so the robot is autonomous), and the robot needs to connect to the server to tele-operate the robot (e.g., the contents need to be recreated each time)?

You'll be able to choose what is executed from the Semio developer tools in the browser.  This is similar to selecting which apps are or are not installed on your phone.

How easy it is to control the robot? Would it be easy to control the joints, the wheels and speaker?

Quori may be controlled/programmed at a variety of different levels.  At the lowest level, there are ROS interfaces to control the individual joints, as well as the mobile base.  At a higher level, Semio is providing browser-based developer tools to easily create and deploy social robot applications; these developer tools include a dialog editor for writing speech-based human-robot interactions, as well as an animation editor to build expressive robot movements.

Is text-to-speech (TTS) included?

Semio is providing a software module for text-to-speech (TTS); however, the software is modular, and you are welcome to replace it with your own TTS software.

Can references be included as a separate page to the project description, or must they fit within the 6 page limit?

References do not count towards the 6-page limit.