3 days in Stockholm…

Last Sunday travelled two Stockholm for two reasons (1) the first consortium meeting of the FP7 project IURO at KTH-Department for Speech, Music and Hearing, (2) to meet Dr. Henriette Cramer and get a tour at Mobile Life Center.

KTH

IURO

Besides coffee drinking in Gamla Stan, visiting the Vasa Museum, and a boat tour we were working hard on the IURO project to strengthen the common project vision and find possibilities to integrate the contributions of all partners in one architecture. Our vision is to build a robot that autonomously finds its way to pre-defined places, people or items in quickly changing environments through proactive communication with passers-by. The 2-days meeting was very fruitful and the highlight was a dinner invitation at house of Prof. Björn Ganström (I will have hard times to top that in the next meeting hosted in December in Salzburg ;-)).

Mobile Life Center

My visit at Mobile Life Center was a very-well toured trip through the broad and interesting project landscape of this research center. Henriette gave me a great overview on all the current activities (ranging from pervasive gaming over mobile health applications to HRI with companion robots) and even some of her colleagues took the time to explain me their projects in mor detail. Lucky me I was even invited afterwards by Prof. Lars Erik Holmquist to join an “after work bear” of the research group.

All in all the trip to Sweden was definitely worth it, thanks again to Henriette and Matthias at this point for showing me around in Stockholm.

RO-MAN 2010 – paper accepted

RO-MAN2010

I received the notification yesterday that my paper entitled “A Methodological Adaptation for Heuristic Evaluation of HRI” which I co-authored with my colleagues Daniela Wurhofer, Regina Bernhaupt, Martin Altmaninger, and Manfred Tscheligi was accepted for publication in the RO-MAN2010 proceedings. As HCI and HRI methods are one of my key research interests, I am really happy that this work gets published and I hope other researchers will consider this methodological adaptation in their projects as well.
See you in Viareggio, Italy in September!

Visiting AUTOMATICA in Munich

The entry of the New Munich Trade Fair Center

On the 9th of June Prof. Tscheligi and I followed the invitation of the Austrian electronics company KEBA to visit the AUTOMATICA trade fair for automation and mechatronics. It was an impressive nad very well-organized trade fair with 4 huge exhibitor halls presenting industrial robotics as well as state-of-the-art research institutes in the area of robotics and automation.
I was most impressed by a robotic art demonstration of KUKA and the service robotic area, were several service robots navigated through and interacted with the visitors.

The KUKA robot art demonstration

The service robot area

The tin can robot

My anthropomorphized tin can

Ever thought of anthropomorphizing a tin can? Me neither. However, I received a really cool birthday present from a colleague and his girlfriend three weeks ago – thanks to David and Mandy again :-). A Tin Can Robot Kit from Green Science. As X-tremeGeek.com refers “with the Tin Can Robot Kit, mad scientists can add motors, gears, legs and batteries to re-build a simple soda can. Throw the switch, and… it’s alive!” Hard to believe, but I managed to build my robot almost on my own. I guess, now it is time to evaluate its social acceptability and perceived animacy…