Goldie Nejat

Goldie Nejat


  • Fellow
  • Innovation, Equity, & The Future of Prosperity


  • University of Toronto
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering


  • Canada


PhD, University of Toronto


Goldie Nejat’s research focuses on developing intelligent service robots for applications in health, elderly care, emergency response, search and rescue, surveillance, and manufacturing. She is leading the development of intelligent assistive robotic aids that can meet the challenges posed by an aging population.

The Canada Research Chair in Robots for Society, she is also a Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto, the founder and director of the Autonomous Systems and Biomechatronics Laboratory (, and an adjunct scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.

Nejat’s interactive robots, including Brian, Casper, Tangy, Blueberry, Salt, and Leia, are being designed to provide cognitive and social interventions, help with activities of daily living, and lead group recreational activities to improve the quality of life of older adults including those living with dementia. Her team collaborates with healthcare facilities in order to develop these unique social robots so that they can be effectively integrated into everyday lives.

Her work has been featured internationally in the media and she has been invited to speak about her research to scientists, healthcare professionals, policy-makers, governments and the public at many international events and institutions. She has also served on the organizing and program committees of over thirty international conferences on robotics, automation, human-robot interaction, and medical devices.


Canada Research Chair in Robots for Society, 2014

Engineers Canada Young Engineer Achievement Award, 2013

Professional Engineers of Ontario Engineering Medal, Young Engineer Award, 2012

NSERC University Faculty Award, 2008-2013

Relevant Publications

C. Moro, G. Nejat and A. Mihailidis, “Social Robots and Seniors: A Comparative Study on the Influence of Dynamic Social Features and Communication Modes on Human-Robot Interaction,” International Journal of Social Robotics, Vol. 11, Iss. 1, pp. 5-24, 2019.

D. McColl, G. Jiang, and G. Nejat, “Classifying a Person's Degree of Accessibility from Natural Body Language During Social Human-Robot Interactions,” IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, Vol. 47, Iss. 2, pp. 523-590, 2017.

M. Ficocelli, J. Terao, and G. Nejat, “Promoting Interactions Between Humans and Robots using Robotic Emotional Behavior,” IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, Vol. 46, Iss. 12, pp. 2911-2923, 2016.

D. McColl and G. Nejat, “Meal-time with a socially assistive robot and older adults at a long-term care facility,” Special Issue on HRI System Studies in the Journal of Human-Robot Interaction, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 152-171, 2013.

D. McColl, W. G. Louie, G. Nejat, “Brian 2.1: A Socially Assistive Robot for the Elderly and Cognitively Impaired,” Special Issue on Assistive Robotics, IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, Vol. 20, No. 1, March 2013.