Bahar Irfan

About Me

Bahar İrfan: Spring Wisdom

My research focuses on creating personal robots that can continually learn and adapt to help everyone in their daily lives. I am a Postdoctoral Researcher and Digital Futures Fellow at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), working with Prof. Gabriel Skantze (co-founder of Furhat Robotics) and Dr. Sanna Kuoppamäki, on personalisation and lifelong learning in open-domain dialogue for long-term elderly care. Previously, I was an Research and Development Associate at Evinoks Service Equipment Industry and Commerce Inc. (Turkey), working on the development of customisable software for industrial robots, smart buffets, and virtual reality applications. I was an Research and Development Lab Associate at Disney Research Los Angeles in 2019, where I worked on dynamic emotional language adaptation in multiparty interactions.

I received my PhD as an Early-Stage Researcher at the University of Plymouth (UK) and SoftBank Robotics Europe (France) in the EU H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks project APRIL (Applications of Personal Robotics for Interaction and Learning). My research focused on multi-modal personalisation in long-term human-robot interaction in rehabilitation and service robotics, under the supervision of Prof. Tony Belpaeme, Dr. Michael Garcia Ortiz and Dr. Natalia Lyubova. I received my MSc degree in computer engineering, specialising in robotics and AI from Boğaziçi University (Turkey), where I was also a research and teaching assistant. My Master thesis focused on user-centred task and motion planning for a dishwasher loading robot, under the supervision of Prof. H. Levent Akın and Prof. Albert Ali Salah. I was a member of the Cerberus RoboCup team, designing motions and behaviours for robot football (2013-2015). I received my BSc degree as 3rd in class in mechanical engineering from Boğaziçi University, specialising in mechatronics. As a senior year project, I designed and built mobile educational robots, that are still being used after 10 years for the robotics control course of the university. I also attended Purdue University (USA) as an exchange student. More information is available in my CV.

Design and Explore

My name fits me well, because I love nature, animals and exploring, which shows itself in my artwork and photos. Up to this day, I have traveled to over 30 countries and I plan to visit much more in the future! I have a rescue husky named Sky that I adore. I also love reading (sci-fi and fantasy novels), writing (a sci-fi novel), acting, equitation, archery, singing, playing the piano, and baking.