Erol Sahin

Erol Sahin

Gibson’s affordances from a roboticist’s perspective

The notion of affordances, proposed by J.J. Gibson in 1980’s, has generated much interest in autonomous robotics during the last 15 years. In 2007, we had discussed the contemporary background against which Gibson conceived the notion, as well as its evolution in time and reviewed the use of the notion across different fields, with focus on robotics. In my talk, I will first remind the audience about the conception of the notion by Gibson, and then review the use of the notion in robotics during the last 12 years, by putting them its original context.


Dr. Sahin received his PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University in 2000, after getting his BS and MS in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bilkent University, and Computer Engineering from METU in 1991 and 1995 respectively. Dr. Sahin worked as a post-doctoral researcher at IRIDIA of Universite Libre de Bruxelles, before assuming his faculty position at the Dept. of Computer Engineering of METU in 2002.

He founded the KOVAN Research Lab., which hosts 4 faculty members and 12 graduate students at the moment. The Lab. has received more than 2,000,000€ of funding from EU, TUBITAK and industry. Dr. Sahin’s has focused on swarm robotics, robotic learning and manipulation during the last decade. Besides publishing in major conferences and journals, Dr. Sahin has edited three journal special issues, three conference proceedings, two books (one published as the State-of-the-Art series of Springer as the “first book on swarm robotics”). In 2007, he was awarded a free iCub humanoid platform from the RobotCub consortium for his research in robotic learning. Between 2013 and 2015, Dr. Sahin visited the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, USA through a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship project about learning in robotic manipulation. Dr. Sahin is serving as an Associate Editor for the Adaptive Behavior journal since 2008 and as Editorial Board member of the Swarm Intelligence journal since 2007.