Dr Vishwanathan Mohan

Senior Lecturer
School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE)
Dr Vishwanathan Mohan




  • PhD


University of Essex

  • Lecturer, CSEE, University of Essex (4/10/2016 - present)

  • Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Sciecne and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex (1/10/2021 - present)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Cognitive Robotics

Open to supervise

Computational Neuroscience

Open to supervise

Industrial Manufacturing

Open to supervise

Current research

Funtional Reuse at the level of Perception, Action, Memory and Social cognition in brains and cognitive machines

Interplay between learning, memory and prospection in cumulativley developing systems (humans, robots)

Unified computational basis for action generation, imagination and understanding

Cognitive technologies and solutions especially in assistive robotics, industrial manufacTURING.

Conferences and presentations

2015 Cognitive architectures for Humanoid robots (2015), NSF workshop on Neuromotor Rehabilitation, Arenzano, Italy.

Arenzano, Italy, 2015

2014 Humanoid robots as a mirror into human cognition, (2014), Keynote at IEEE Computational Intelligence workshop, IIIT Allahabad, India.

Hyderabad, India, 2014

2014 Cumulatively learning and using knowledge of Causal relations, Simple experiments with iCub humanoid, Biologically Inspired Cognitive architectures 2014, MIT Boston, USA.

Cambridge, United States, 2014

2013 On the interplay between learning, memory, prospection and abstraction in cumulatively learning baby humanoids, Invited talk at IJCNN in the memory of Professor John G Taylor (Kings College London), Dallas, Texas, USA.

Dallas, United States, 2013

2012 Towards Acting , Learning, Reasoning humanoids: Darwin@1.5 (2012), Invited lecture at US Army NATICK soldier research centre, coinciding with the Kick Off meeting of the US DoD grant, Boston, MA, USA.


2012 Combining past experience, imitation and exploration to swiftly learn to use new tools, Speaker at Living Machines 2012, International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, La Pedera, Barcelona.

Barcelona, Spain, 2012

What does learning to draw a circle have to do with driving, cycling, unwinding and screwing? Vishwanathan Mohan IEEE Intl conference on development and learning (IEEE ICDL-EPIROB 2011) Frankfurt, Germany (2011.8)

Frankfurt, Germany, 2011

Teaching Humanoids to Imitate Shapes of Movements. Vishwanathan Mohan Morasso Proceedings of 20th International conference on Artificial neural networks ICANN, Thessaloniki, Greece (2010.9).

Thessaloniki, Greece, 2010

Teaching baby humanoid iCub to write iCub and beyond. Vishwanathan Mohan Fourth International Conference on Cognitive Science, pp. 1-3, Tomsk , Russia. (2010.6)

Tomsk, Russian Federation, 2010

Composing and Coordinating body models of arbitrary connectivity and redundancy: A Biomimetic, field computing approach. Vishwanathan Mohan IROS'2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) at St. Louis, MO, USA. (2009.10)

St. Louis, United States, 2009

Reaching Extended: Using computational force fields for Real and Mental Action Generation in Cognitive Robots. Vishwanathan Mohan (60%) Third Intl Conf on Cognitive Science. Moscow, Russia. (2008.6)

Moscow, Russian Federation, 2008

Neural Network of a Cognitive Crow: An interacting map based architecture. Vishwanathan Mohan (70%), Morasso P (2007) First IEEE International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems (SASO), Boston, Mass., USA. (2007.8)

Boston, United States, 2007

A Forward / Inverse Motor Controller for Cognitive Robotics. Vishwanathan Mohan (60%), Morasso P Int Conf on Artificial Neural Networks (ICANN 06). Athens, Greece (2006.9).

Athens, Greece, 2006

Studies on an Electronic analog of a Recurrent Neural Network with retrieval Phase weight adaptations, Vishwanathan Mohan Proceedings of Joint IInd Intl. Conf. On soft computing and Intelligent Informatics, Yokohama, Japan. (2004.09)

Yokohama, Japan, 2004

Inevitable Energy Costs of Storage Capacity Enhancement in an Oscillatory Neural Network. Vishwanathan Mohan 46th IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems, Cairo Egypt. (2003.12)

Egypt, 2003

Link between Energy and Computation in a Physical Model of Hopfield Network, Vishwanathan Mohan 9th International Conference on Neural Information processing, Singapore (2002.11)

Singapore, 2002

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Team Project Challenge (CE101)

  • Team Project Challenge (CE201)

  • Individual Capstone Project Challenge (CE301)

Previous supervision

Penelope Amelia Roberts
Penelope Amelia Roberts
Thesis title: Context Aware Proactive Robotic Companions for Home Care and Communities
Degree subject: Computer Science
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 27/6/2024
Fuli Wang
Fuli Wang
Thesis title: Abc: Adaptive, Biomimetic, Configurable Robots for Smart Farms - From Cereal Phenotyping to Soft Fruit Harvesting
Degree subject: Computing and Electronic Systems
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 13/7/2023
Francesca Bianco
Francesca Bianco
Thesis title: Theory of Mind Across Biological and Artificial Embodiment: Theory, Experiments and Computational Models
Degree subject: Electronic Systems Engineering
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 6/7/2022


Journal articles (16)

Mohan, V. and Morasso, P., Passive Motion Paradigm: An Alternative to Optimal Control. Frontiers in Neurorobotics. 5

Porichis, A., Inglezou, M., Kegkeroglou, N., Mohan, V. and Chatzakos, P., Imitation Learning from a Single Demonstration Leveraging Vector Quantization for Robotic Harvesting. Robotics. 13 (7), 98-98

Wang, F., Cuan Urquizo, R., Roberts, P., Mohan, V., Newenham, C., Ivanov, A. and Dowling, R., (2023). Biologically inspired robotic perception-action for soft fruit harvesting in vertical growing environments. Precision Agriculture. 24 (3), 1072-1096

Wang, F., Li, F., Mohan, V., Dudley, R., Gu, D. and Bryant, R., (2022). An unsupervised automatic measurement of wheat spike dimensions in dense 3D point clouds for field application. Biosystems Engineering. 223, 103-114

Morasso, P. and Mohan, V., (2021). The body schema: neural simulation for covert and overt actions of embodied cognitive agents. Current Opinion in Physiology. 19, 219-225

Mohan, V., Bhat, A. and Morasso, P., (2019). Muscleless Motor synergies and actions without movements: From Motor neuroscience to cognitive robotics. Physics of Life Reviews. 30, 89-111

Mohan, V., Morasso, P. and Bhat, A., (2019). The complementarity of ‘Muscleless’ motor synergies with motor control strategies in humans and robots. Physics of Life Reviews. 30, 130-133

Mohan, V. and Bhat, AA., (2018). Joint Goal Human Robot collaboration-From Remembering to Inferring. Procedia Computer Science. 123, 579-584

Sandini, G., Mohan, V., Sciutti, A. and Morasso, P., (2018). Social Cognition for Human-Robot Symbiosis—Challenges and Building Blocks. Frontiers in Neurorobotics. 12

Bhat, AA. and Mohan, V., (2018). Goal-Directed Reasoning and Cooperation in Robots in Shared Workspaces: an Internal Simulation Based Neural Framework. Cognitive Computation. 10 (4), 558-576

Bhat, AA., Akkaladevi, SC., Mohan, V., Eitzinger, C. and Morasso, P., (2017). Towards a learnt neural body schema for dexterous coordination of action in humanoid and industrial robots. Autonomous Robots. 41 (4), 945-966

Bhat, AA., Mohan, V., Sandini, G. and Morasso, P., (2016). Humanoid infers Archimedes' principle: understanding physical relations and object affordances through cumulative learning experiences. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 13 (120), 20160310-20160310

Morasso, P., Casadio, M., Mohan, V., Rea, F. and Zenzeri, J., (2015). Revisiting the Body-Schema Concept in the Context of Whole-Body Postural-Focal Dynamics. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 9

Broz, F., Nehaniv, CL., Belpaeme, T., Bisio, A., Dautenhahn, K., Fadiga, L., Ferrauto, T., Fischer, K., Förster, F., Gigliotta, O., Griffiths, S., Lehmann, H., Lohan, KS., Lyon, C., Marocco, D., Massera, G., Metta, G., Mohan, V., Morse, A., Nolfi, S., Nori, F., Peniak, M., Pitsch, K., Rohlfing, KJ., Sagerer, G., Sato, Y., Saunders, J., Schillingmann, L., Sciutti, A., Tikhanoff, V., Wrede, B., Zeschel, A. and Cangelosi, A., (2014). The ITALK Project: A Developmental Robotics Approach to the Study of Individual, Social, and Linguistic Learning. Topics in Cognitive Science. 6 (3), 534-544

Mohan, V., Bhat, A., Sandini, G. and Morasso, P., (2014). From object-action to property-action: Learning causally dominant properties through cumulative explorative interactions. Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures. 10, 42-50

Mohan, V., Sandini, G. and Morasso, P., (2014). A Neural Framework for Organization and Flexible Utilization of Episodic Memory in Cumulatively Learning Baby Humanoids. Neural Computation. 26 (12), 2692-2734

Conferences (3)

Roberts, P. and Mohan, V., Robot Episodic Memory to ‘Learn, Remember and Anticipate’ User Interactions for Proactive Assistance

Geer, L., Gu, D., Wang, F., Mohan, V. and Dowling, R., (2022). Novel Software Architecture for an Autonomous Agricultural Robotic Fruit Harvesting System

Wang, F., Mohan, V., Thompson, A. and Dudley, R., (2020). Dimension fitting of wheat spikes in dense 3D point clouds based on the adaptive k-means algorithm with dynamic perspectives

Grants and funding


ABC - Adaptive, Biomimetic, Cost-effective collaborative robots for next-gen smart farming

Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board)


Adaptive bespoke grippers for the complex high-load lettuce container manipulation

[UOE_BIAA] University of Essex (BBSRC IAA)

ARISE: Advanced AI and RobotIcS for autonomous task pErformance

European Commission


SCARLETT- SCAlable, structured and Resource efficient indoor Robotic harvesting of LETTuce

Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board)

Skyships Automotive KTP - 22_23 R2

Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board)

Soft Growing Robots Arm for Agri-Tech

[UOE_BIAA] University of Essex (BBSRC IAA)


Versatile-Configurable,Smart Indoor harvesting of 'Aubergine,Tomato and Strawberry' crops

Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board)

Industrial Robotic Solutions Ltd KTP Application

Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board)


Developing code for shape identification in dense 3D point clouds

National Physical Laboratory

Intelligent selection of objects from a cutting table for factory automation

Blackman&White Limited

Robotic automation for transferring Lettuce plants from propagation floats to final growing float

JEPCO (Globe) Limited

Functionalised Soft robotic gripper for delicate produce harvesting powered by imitation learning-based control

European Commission


CareoBot-Cognitive Robotic companion for proactive, user centric Assistance in Carehomes



The development of state-of-the-art automated motion control on a new, patented cutting machine and programming functionality for the current range of machines.

Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board)



1NW.3.21, Colchester Campus

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