Cyber-Physical Systems for PEdagogical Rehabilitation in Special EDucation

Project ID : 777720
Funded under : H2020-EU.1.3.3. - Stimulating innovation by means of cross-fertilisation of knowledge
From 2017-12-01 to 2021-11-30

Project details

Total cost: EUR 1 386 000
EU contribution: EUR 1 296 000
Coordinated in: Spain


MSCA-RISE-2017 - Research and Innovation Staff Exchange

Call for proposal


Funding scheme

MSCA-RISE - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE)


The aim of the current MSCA RISE project CybSPEED is to advance a novel framework for analysis, modelling, synthesis and implementation of Cyber-Physical Systems for pedagogical rehabilitation in special education, based on a combination of the best of experience and achievements of the partners in the domains of brain-aware robotics, cognitive biometrics, computational intelligence and reasoning in humanoid and non-humanoid robots for education.

CybSPEED project emphasizes the intrinsic-motivational approach to learning by designing human-robot situations (games, pedagogical cases, artistic performances) and advanced interfaces (brain-computer, eye-gaze tracking and virtual reality) where children and students interact with the novel technology to enhance the underlying self-compensation and complementarity of brain encoding during learning.

The CybSPEED project aspires to establish as well as to sustain an innovation network across the EU, Japan in the Far East, Chile in South America and Morocco in West Africa that will pursue top-level research on three levels – 1) analysis of cognitive biometrics signals, 2) modeling of the learner-robot interaction and 3) development of novel instruments toward an optimal design of Cyber-Physical Systems for improved pedagogical rehabilitation in education.



EU contribution: EUR 216 000

Participants from the Widening EU


EU contribution: EUR 459 000


EU contribution: EUR 108 000

Participants from the "old" EU


EU contribution: EUR 90 000


EU contribution: EUR 94 500


EU contribution: EUR 283 500


EU contribution: EUR 27 000


EU contribution: EUR 18 000

Partner organisations







The Success Story of IR-BAS in Horizon 2020

Host organization: IR-BAS
Country: Bulgaria
Organization role: coordinator; beneficiary/ WP leader/ Task leader; partner organization - beneficiary/ WP leader/Task leader
Project Acronym: CybSPEED
Project start and end date: 1.12.2017-30.11.2021
Type of MSC action, H2020: RISE

Your Story

The idea for submitting a collaborative project as CybSPEED on a topic related to using the multi-level pedagogical potential of robotic technology, including understanding social mechanisms by artificial agents/robots, was born within the "3rd European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems, Interaction and Robotics, Project no.: 269981, Coordination Action, European Commission, 7th Research Framework Programme, Information and Communication Technologies" where many of the key researchers in CybSPEED participated - from UPV/EHU (Spain), IR-BAS (Bulgaria), EMaTTech (Greece) and CVC/UAB (Spain). The core partners invited PRAXIS Ltd. (Greece) and Theater Tsvete (Bulgaria) to provide practical knowledge on work with children and adolescents possibly vulnerable due to preexisting conditions, UGA (France) and CHU (France) to provide expertise in virtual reality implemented for sensation restoring, as well as the international partners Kyutech (Japan), CEINE (Chile) and UH2C (Morocco) with whom there were previous research links in computational modelling, neurocomputation and robotics. In particular, it is worth emphasising that for a number of years IR-BAS maintained strong collaboration links with the research laboratory of Associate Professor Hiroaki Wagatsuma at the Graduate School of Life Sciences and Systems Engineering of Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan, resulting in common studies, publications and project plans. The main focus was on designing novel, smart, interactive software agents or robotic devices based on knowledge derived from most recent neurocomputational studies.

The configuration of organisations was most appropriate for a Marie Sklodovska Curie Action RISE - Research and Innovation Staff Exchange – consisting of 5 academic and 3 practical-field beneficiaries as well as 3 international academic partners. Professor Manuel Grana from UPV/EHU was elected unanimously the Coordinator of the project by the project team.

Project objectives and research field

The objective of the CybSPEED project is analysis, synthesis, modelling, evaluation and implementation of cyber-physical systems for pedagogical rehabilitation in special education. The research field is highly multidisciplinary and involves specialists from pedagogical sciences, special education, psychology, neuropsychology, medicine, computational modelling and simulation, neurocomputation, mechatronics and robotics.

Tell us why the topic is important and/ or how it brings to advancement in your research field

The topic is extremely important, in our view, because it deals with the school of the future. By bringing the most recent technological and computational advances into schools in an integrative manner, the aim of education will become more achievable - to provide individualised style of education to every student according to his learning and developmental needs.

A number of studies within CybSPEED are underway, including EEG and eye-tracking recording applied to investigating how people perceive lessons provided with the help of robots and how robots help attract and maintain the attention focus during the lesson. A group of studies will bring robotic and other interactive technology (e.g. Kinect, EmoSan) to the field - the day centers - where observations by specialists will help understand the pros and cons of technology brought to education. A number of simulations of the learning process based on high-level abstract computational models, guided by EMaTTech and UPV/EHU, are also foreseen. The final result is expected to be a novel framework for design of cyber-physical systems for pedagogical rehabilitation in special education.

What are the benefits of participating in a MSC action?

Benefits of participating in a MSC action, among others, are: Transfer of knowledge and research ideas among different continents and thus making the most for each individual researcher career; Getting to know each other more closely and learning to work in diverse teams; Bringing ideas from practice into academia and vice versa; Collaborating in a democratic research community where hierarchies among people are brought to a minimum.

Successes under the project are the two trainings that took place in Sofia in March and in Kavala in September 2018, integrating approaches of "hard" and soft training to bring together the participants in an informal, team building manner. The Sofia training was organised with the active involvement of Associate Professor Maya Dimitrova and Associate Professor Snezhana Kostova. Success is also the conference that took place in August in Varna on "Robotics & Mechatronics and Social Implementation", organised with the active involvement of Professor Roman Zahariev and Associate Professor Nina Valchkova, presenting the first obtained results from the implementation of the CybSPEED project.

Papers were accepted at two IEEE conferences with the valuable contribution of Professor Anna Lekova, Professor Tanio Tanev and ESR Eng. Pancho Dachkinov, with the collaboration of Professor Omar Bouattane (Morocco) and Associate Professor Hiroaki Wagatsuma (Japan).

Would you recommend others to apply? What useful advice/tips can you give them?

We definitely recommend others to apply since a MSCA is a valuable school of research communication and collaboration without frontiers. The advice we can provide is to establish a working collaboration among the participating organisations well before the submission of the proposal.

What strategies did your organisation use to attract the fellow/s? Are they in line with national strategies supporting the widening EC policy?

The benefits of participating in a MSCA-RISE were explained to each individual fellow both in terms of the rules for funding distribution among them and the potential for their career advancement by participating in CybSPEED. A team of three persons was appointed to coordinate the individual requests of the fellows for funding in relation to their secondments as well as to other research expenses like purchasing equipment, participation in conferences, etc.

The motivation for aiming at best performance, to collaborate with other institutions, to build sustainable partnerships inside EU and with the best partners from outside EU is in line with the national strategies supporting the widening EC policy.


Alexander Shamliev, Peter Mitrouchev, Maya Dimitrova. Atmospheric Boundary Layer Dynamics Evaluation Using Piezo-Resistive Technology for Unpowered Areal Vehicles. International Journal of Cyber-Physical Systems, Volume 2, Issue 1, January-June 2020 Dimitrova, M., & Wagatsuma, H. (2019). Cyber-Physical Systems for Social Applications (pp. 1-440). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-7879-6 Dimitrova, M, Wagatsuma, H., Kaburlasos, V., Krastev, A., Kolev, I. (2018). Towards social cognitive neuropsychology account of human-robot interaction. Complex Control Systems, Vol. 1, 12-16, ISSN: 2603-4697, (Gold OA) Dimitrova, M., Wagatsuma, H., Tripathi, G. N., & Ai, G. (2019). Learner Attitudes Towards Humanoid Robot Tutoring Systems: Measuring of Cognitive and Social Motivation Influences. In M. Dimitrova, & H. Wagatsuma (Eds.), Cyber-Physical Systems for Social Applications (pp. 62-85). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-7879-6.ch004
  • Ozaeta, L., Graña, M., Dimitrova, M., & Krastev, A. (2018). Child oriented storytelling with NAO robot in hospital environment: Preliminary application results. Prob. Eng. Cybern. Robotics, 69, 21-29, (Gold OA)
  • Kostova, S., Dimitrova, M. (2018). Some aspects of modeling CPS for pedagogical rehabilitation in special education. Complex Control Systems, Vol. 1, 27-31, ISSN: 2603-4697, (Gold OA)
  • Lekova, A., Dimitrova, M., Kostova, S., Ozaeta L., Bouattane O. BCI for assessing the emotional and cognitive skills of children with special educational needs. Proceedings 5th International IEEE Congress on Information Science and Technology, (CiSt’18) Marrakesh, Morocco, October, 21 - 27, 2018, (Green OA)
  • Lekova, A., Tanev, T., Kostova, S., Bouattane O., and Vassileva-Alexandrova, V. Reinforcing the attention and formation of emotional knowledge and memory of children with special educational needs, (invited paper in International Journal of Information Science and Technology)
  • Zahariev, R. Z., & Valchkova, N. (2019). Existing Robotics Technologies for Implementation of Special Education. In M. Dimitrova, & H. Wagatsuma (Eds.), Cyber-Physical Systems for Social Applications (pp. 44-61). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-7879-6.ch003 Zahariev, R., Valchkova, N., Angelov, G., Paunski, Y. (2018). Cognitive service mobile robots for help of disabled people. Complex Control Systems, Vol. 1, 74-79, ISSN: 2603-4697, (Gold OA)


    1. "First CybSPEED Training on Children, Robots, Art and the Human Brain" - Sofia, 30.03.2018 - 02.04.2018

    Training course by MSc psychologist Cristina Dardani:

    • Rationale and advantages of using social robotics and supportive technologies in current intervention approaches – 5 hours lectures and 1 hour practicum - 30.03.2018
    • Practice in working with children playing with robots - 5 hours lectures and 1 hour practicum - 31.03.2018

    Training course by Prof. Hiroaki Wagatsuma:

    • Anthropomorphic robot design – 5 hours lectures and 1 hour practicum - 01.04.2018
    • Brain-inspired robotics – 6 hours lectures - 02.04.2018
    • Bio-medical Morphological Component Analysis (MCA) combined with time series analysis of EEG and Eye Tracking data of human viewing robots – 5 hours lectures and 1 hour practicum - 03.04.2018

    2. XXIII InternationalConference "Robotics & Mechatronics and Social Implementations" 28.08 – 01.09 2018, Interhotel "CHERNO MORE", Varna, Bulgaria


    Maya Dimitrova

    • Associate Professor, PhD
    • Phone: +359 882866270
      Email: maya.dimitrova.ir@gmail.com
    • Institute of Robotics
      Bulgarian Academy of Sciences