KOVAN Research Lab is a center for state-of-the-art autonomous robotics research, located at the Modelling and Simulation Center (MODSIMMER) at Middle East Technical University (METU) – the leading technical university in Turkey. Led by three faculty members with the support of around 20 graduate-level students, KOVAN is known for its expertise in swarm robotics, and cognitive robotics. In swarm robotics, KOVAN has made a name for modeling of goal-directed swarming of small robots inspired from birds’ homing behaviors.
In cognitive robotics research, KOVAN has made a name on affordance-based robotic control, tool use, concepts and planning. Towards this end, METU-KOVAN was awarded an iCub humanoid robot platform by the RobotCub project and has received national funding to study the acquisition of tool affordances, and grounding of language concepts in humanoid robots.