Marcel Heerink had an early career in psycholinguistics, copywriting, and language training before he started research on social robots. He obtained his PhD at the University of Amsterdam on a study of acceptance of social robots by older adults and later set up a research group on social robots at Windesheim University in the Dutch city of Almere.
His interests include not only the psychological and social aspects of human-technology interaction (especially concerning AI and robotics), but also philosophical considerations and emerging ethical issues. His work includes, besides academic publications, popular books and articles, mostly in Dutch but increasingly in English.
He initiated and co-organized a series of international conferences on this and the New Friends multidisciplinary conference association on social robots in therapy and education.