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The Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics

The advent of artificial intelligences and robots is inducing profound transformations in our societies. Isir researchers help to anticipate them by working on the autonomy of machines and their ability to interact with human beings.

Gathered in multidisciplinary teams, they create drones, micro-tweezers, bionic prostheses, social robots, surgical arms and all kinds of intelligent and interactive systems, physical, virtual or mixed reality. Their applications address major societal challenges: health, industry of the future, transport, personal services.

Our research

We develop models from these:

Engineering, to characterize the dynamic behavior of high mobility robots in complex physical interaction with their environment.

Neurosciences or human movement sciences, to describe the cognitive and sensory-motor functions of living beings and to exploit them in the control of robots.

Psychology, for the characterization of the socio-interactive behaviors of human beings, among themselves or with machines.

We design and produce:

Robotic systems, real or simulated, equipped with algorithms for the control and processing of information, to achieve sensorimotor, learning, or interaction capacities superior to those of the state of the art.

Interfaces, to optimize the interaction between people and their environments, digital, physical, or mixed.

We validate these proposals:

Through experiments which realistically reproduce the environment of the targeted applications, in order to verify their robustness (for example: health, factory of the future, all-terrain mobility).

Through experimental campaigns involving human people. For this, we define rigorous protocols to guarantee the scientific value of the results, in compliance with ethical rules and laws protecting the person.


ISIR is under the dual supervision of Sorbonne University, which is a world-class multidisciplinary university, and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), which is one of the most important research institutions in the world.

The National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm) is also the supervisor of the AGATHE team for its medical research.

Because of these three institutions, ISIR is attached to:

Valuation and transfert

Partnership research

The ISIR is involved in numerous collaborations with companies. We support our partners to strengthen their innovation capabilities and gain competitiveness on new markets opened by robotics and artificial intelligence in many sectors.

Our partners


ISIR researchers are also at the origin of several start-ups, either because they are personally involved in their operation, or because they transfer technologies through the assignment of rights to exploit inventions or know-how.

Start-ups resulting from the Isir

Equipment and platforms

With more than 800 m² dedicated to experimental activities, the ISIR maintains one of the largest robot parks in Europe.

The experimental platforms support the activities of all teams. They are made up of commercially available devices, or made by the technical department in our workshops. You wish to use them for your R&D studies? It is possible, contact us.

Three platforms support federating projects selected by its Scientific Council and supported via shared resources at the ISIR:

Other platforms:

Our 6 teams

Making a surgeon’s gesture safer and more precise, improving the mobility of a disabled patient, completing the limb of an amputee with a bionic prosthesis, these are the objectives of the researchers of the AGATHE team. Their approach: comanipulation, when the possibilities of the Human and the robot are combined in the realization of a gesture or a task.

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Equipping robots with intelligence means, among other things, enabling them to learn to interact with their environment. As physical agents, they are confronted with problems similar to those faced by living beings. As a result, within the AMAC team, researchers from complementary disciplines collaborate: artificial intelligence and modeling of living things, including computational neuroscience. On the one hand, we allow robots to adapt, learn or evolve; on the other hand, we build and validate, thanks to the robot, theories explaining certain cognitive functions of living beings.

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Working on the development of statistical learning algorithms is the objective of the researchers in the MLIA team. Their work is largely motivated by developments in the application areas of Deep Learning, in particular related to the analysis of semantic data, user interactions and the modelling of complex systems in physics.

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The objectives of the researchers of the IME team are to enable the manipulation of objects in digital, virtual, distant or microscopic worlds, to increase our perception of reality via visual or haptic stimuli, and to optimize multimodal interactions between a machine and the human. They produce interfaces, models and interaction scenarios for numerous applications, intended to enrich the vision of what the intelligent workshop of the future could be.

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To be able to interact naturally with a human being, an avatar, whether physical or virtual, must integrate perception and communication skills that involve social interaction. The researchers of the PIRoS team are working on this with a focus on applications in the field of assistance for people with disabilities.

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The main objective of the researchers of the SYROCO team is to equip high mobility robotic systems that will evolve in unfamiliar environments, with the capacity to adapt to these uncertainties. Their work is based on optimal mechanical design and automation, while integrating the numerical tools of simulation and artificial intelligence.

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