Finally, my official graduation ceremony took place at the University of Salzburg on the 12th of October. It was a really festive occasion and my whole family was sitting in the audience. The probably most funny moment was when the dean read aloud the title of my PhD thesis and had to pause 2 times because of the length and the difficult english words in it :-). Anyway, while shaking the hand of the dean and the University principle I realized the first time that the time of my PhD studies is really over…
At this point I would like to thank again my family, my partner Harald, and all my close friends for instilling in me confidence and a drive for pursuing my PhD.
Phibot was a workshop where philosophy met robotics. It took place from the 6th to the 7th of October at the Carl von Linde-Academy of the TU München. The goal of the workshop was to bring together senior advisors and young scientists from philosophy, cognition, social sciences, and robotics. I was invited by Prof. Mainzer to give a talk on Social interaction with machines: A sociological approach to the people-technology relationship. Interesting talks from the HRI perspective were given by Kolja Kühnlenz on the ACE robot (the pre-project of the IURO project) and by Marc Hahnheide on the Biron and the Dora robot. Moreover, the workshop closed with an instructive talk by Aimee van Wynsberghe on value-laden design of care robots for the elderly.
Besides the scientific part, it was really nice that the DFG, which funded the whole workshop, also came up for dinner and lunch. Above all the traditional Bavarian dinner (and the beer ;-)) offered a perfect opportunity for follow-up discussions and chit-chat.