Qhali_ A Humanoid Robot for Assisting in Mental Health Treatment

Gustavo Pérez-Zuñiga, Diego Arce, Sareli Gibaja, Marcelo Alvites, Consuelo Cano, Marlene Bustamante, Ingrid Horna, Renato Paredes, Francisco Cuellar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, social assistive robots have gained significant acceptance in healthcare settings, particularly for tasks such as patient care and monitoring. This paper offers a comprehensive overview of the expressive humanoid robot, Qhali, with a focus on its industrial design, essential components, and validation in a controlled environment. The industrial design phase encompasses research, ideation, design, manufacturing, and implementation. Subsequently, the mechatronic system is detailed, covering sensing, actuation, control, energy, and software interface. Qhali’s capabilities include autonomous execution of routines for mental health promotion and psychological testing. The software platform enables therapist-directed interventions, allowing the robot to convey emotional gestures through joint and head movements and simulate various facial expressions for more engaging interactions. Finally, with the robot fully operational, an initial behavioral experiment was conducted to validate Qhali’s capability to deliver telepsychological interventions. The findings from this preliminary study indicate that participants reported enhancements in their emotional well-being, along with positive outcomes in their perception of the psychological intervention conducted with the humanoid robot.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1321
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • humanoid robotics
  • mental health
  • social assistive robot


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