Marie Babel

Marie Babel 

Associate professor, Hab.

INSA Rennes




Associate professor in Institut National des Sciences Appliquées – INSA since 2006, I  received a Ph.D. degree in image processing in 2005 within the IETR lab.  I then joined the Rainbow (ex Lagadic) team within IRISA / Inria laboratory in November 2011 and have defended an habilitation thesis in Signal Processing in June 2012.

My research focuses on assistive robotics, in line with Inria Project Labs PAL (Personnally Assited Living). In December 2011, I obtained fundings for two projects (APASH – Images et Réseaux cluster, HandiViz – SATT Ouest Valorisation). The objective was to develop solutions to assist the navigation of an powered wheelchair by applying a smooth and intuitive correction of the wheelchair’s trajectory. The very fruitful collaboration with Ergovie, the rehabilitation center Pôle Saint Hélier (Rennes), and the Réseau Breizh Paralysie Cérébrale allows us to test the solution with patients with disabilities. The proposed technology, directly compatible with standard electric wheelchairs, and has been the subject of a technology transfer (SATT/INSA funding).

My current work focuses on multimodal sensor servo-control referenced, as well as on the integration of haptic interfaces with force feedback in order to obtain intuitive control of the chair. This work is supported by a strong collaboration with Tom Carlson and Catherine Holloway (University College of London, Aspire CREATe team) as part of an associated ISI4NAVE (Inria International Program) team, for which I am the lead. In addition, my research work tackles social navigation.

As part of the European Interreg VA France (Channel) England ADAPT project (2017-2021), I am responsible for the work module dedicated to the design of a virtual reality wheelchair simulator and scientific manager on behalf of INSA for work related to the design of a connected and intelligent wheelchair (14 people involved, budget of €1.6 million). I am also involved in the European project H2020 Crowdbot (2018-2021) which deals with robot navigation in a crowd, and the PRISME project (AAP PME 2017-2018) on the prevention of falls in hospitals. I have supervised 8 theses (defended) and currently supervise 4 doctoral students.

Keywords : robotics, assistive robotics, sensor-based servoing, robotic vision, social navigation, physical HRI



  • 2016-…  : Leader of Inria Associate Team ISI4NAVE
  • 2017-2021 : Scientific leader for INSA of Interreg VA France (Channel) England ADAPT – Budget of €1.6 million for INSA
  • 2017-2019 :Leader of pôle Images et Réseaux PRISME project – Fall prevention
  • 2018-2021 : Member of project H2020 Crowdbot – Robot navigation in crowded areas
  • 2014-2015 : Leader of HandViz project – Intuitive driving assistance for electrical wheelchairs
  • 2012-2014 : Leader of APASH project – Assitance au Pilotage
    pour l’Autonomie et la Sécurité des personnes Handicapées
  • 2009-2011 : Scientific responsible of IETR lab works within ANR VERSO CAIMAN – Advanced image coding and transmission
  • 2006-2009 : Scientific responsible of IETR lab works within ANR TSAR project – Safe Transfer of high Resolution Art images

PhD Students

Guillaume Vailland

Fabien Grzeskowiak

Louise Devigne
Jason Chevrie
Vishnu Karakkat-Narayanan
Rafik Sekkal, PhD in 2014, PhD in 2014
François Pasteau, PhD in 2011

Clément Strauss, PhD in 2011
Fabien Racapé, PhD in 2011
Matthieu Urvoy, PhD in 2011
Yohann Pitrey, PhD in 2009
Jean Motsch, PhD in 2008


I teach various courses at INSA Rennes (Graduate engineering school), within Computer Science department.

  • Robotics
  • Mathematics for Engineers
  • Image processing and analysis
  • Machine language compilation oriented



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