Lotfi El Hafi

Lotfi El Hafi, PhD, is a Research Assistant Professor at Ritsumeikan Global Innovation Research Organization (R-GIRO) for the International and Interdisciplinary Research Center for the Next-Generation Artificial Intelligence and Semiotics (AI+Semiotics) Project. He received in 2013 his MScEng in Mechatronics from the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), Belgium, where his Master thesis explored TICO compression, now JPEG XS, for Ultra HD 4K/8K video distribution in collaboration with intoPIX SA. After working for intoPIX SA as a Sales Engineer while being trained in the AWEX International Business & Management EXPLORT Program, he joined in 2014 the Robotics Laboratory of the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), Japan, under the MEXT Scholarship Program where his Doctor thesis proposed Simultaneous Tracking and Attention Recognition from Eyes (STARE), a novel eye-tracking approach that leveraged deep learning to extract behavioral information from scenes reflected in the eyes. Today, his research interests include service robotics and artificial intelligence, with a particular interest in human-robot interaction. In this regard, he is the recipient of multiple research awards, such as the Best of IET and IBC 2016-2017 and the JST CREST Best Award for Forecasting Research Proposal 2019, as well as international robotics competition prizes, such as, among others, the 1st Place of Airbus Shopfloor Challenge 2016, the Finalist Prize of Amazon Robotics Challenge 2017, and the 1st Places of WRS Future Convenience Store Challenge 2018 & 2019, which led him to become a Specially Appointed Researcher for the Toyota HSR Community, and a Research Advisor for Robotics Competitions at the Robotics Hub of Panasonic Corporation since 2019. Finally, he is also an active member of RSJ, JSME, IEEE, and the President & Founder of Coarobo GK.


Nara, Japan


Ritsumeikan Global Innovation Research Organization (R-GIRO)

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