Trip report: RO-MAN2010

RO-MAN 2010 took place in Viareggio, Italy. It was the 19th IEEE International Symposium in Robot and Human interactive Communication. The specific focus of this year’s conference was on synergistic systems between human and machines who are thinking and acting together.


I presented two papers at the conference: “A Methodological Adaptation for Heuristic Evaluation of HRI” (Astrid Weiss, Daniela Wurhofer, Regina Bernhaupt, Martin Altmaninger and Manfred Tscheligi) and “User Perception of Usability Aspects in Indirect HRI-A Chain of Translations” (Astrid Weiss, Judith Igelsböck, Paolo Pierro, Roland Buchner, Carlos Balaguer, and Manfred Tscheligi). The first one was nominated for a best paper award, unfortunately we did not get it, but probably net time ;-).

The special session on “Rethinking HRI” (organized by Prof. Marti and Prof. Dautenhahn) was most informative for my personal research.

In general I had a nice time in Italy (28 degrees compared to 15 in Salzburg …) and discussions about everything under the sun (thanks to colleagues from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology).

Visiting Ilmenau University of Technology

Ilmenau University of Technology

From 5th until 8th of September I stayed as an invited guest researcher in the team Media Design /Media Psychology, which is led by Prof. Nicola Döring, at the Institute of Media and Communication Science (Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany).

I was invited by Yvonne Ludewig, who is currently starting her PhD studies on “Social Acceptance for HRI with a Service Robot”. She interviewed me regarding my expertise in acceptance studies in HRI and I hope I could give her some literature tips and recommendations for theoretical and empirical work in that area, that will be useful for her research.

Besides the interview, I had the possibility to visit METRALabs and talk with Andreas Bley about their ongoing work and the Neuroinformatics and Cognitive Robotics Lab, led by Prof. Groß, and talk with Christof Schröter about their work on vision and navigation for HRI and the CompanionAble project.

Overall, I had a great time in Ilmenau. Special thanks go to Sandra Pöschl, Alexander Bohn, and Kristin Probstmeyer for the worm welcome at their institute and Yvonne for perfectly organizing my stay and introducing me to traditional “Thüringer” dishes.

Data mining workshop

WEKA for Data Mining

Last week I took part in a workshop on “data mining” which was held during the Ditact Summer University in Salzburg. The workshop was held by Kathrin Kirchner, who showed us 3 different data mining techniques: Nearest neighbour, decision trees, clustering, and association rules. Even though I have quite a good background in statistics, this course gave me a great insight in suitable data analysing techniques for huge sample sizes, e.g. looging data.

Moreover, Kathrin introduced us to the open-source data mining tool WEKA;  a tool, which I will try to use frequently in my future data analysis phases.

Looking forward to a “Robotic Society”?

The International Journal of Social Robotics

This is the question my co-authors (Judith Igelsböck, Daniela Wurhofer and Manfred Tscheligi) and I are discussing in our article of the same name, which will soon be published in the International Journal of Social Robotics. In this article we compare the notions on the future society  of novice users and experts (from research and industry). A major conclusion drawn from this comparison was that the  interrelationship between the materiality (e.g. the embodiment of robots and mass media) and the notions of future human-robot relationships is complex and that the degree of involvement
in the development process of robotic systems  has a major influence on the notions.