Yesterday I had the honour to give the opening talk at ECER2014, which is an international scientific conference for students who learn robotics in school. Researchers present their findings in engaging talks, show their robots live, and partake as judges in exciting robot competitions, including the official European Regional Botball Competition and the PRIA Open. You can find more details here: http://www.pria.at/en/ecer/.
My talk was entitled: Users in the focus: Creating service robots with and for people and mainly gave an overview of the research I did during my postdoc time in Salzburg and Vienna.
I was already invited in 2012 to give a talk there and I was more than happy to experience the engagement and spirit of the students and I would say it was even more this year. I am very happy that Gottfried Koppensteiner as general chair enables events like this and thereby encourages a next generation of researchers and engineers!
So last week I attended the Third New Frontiers in HRI Symposium at AISB2014 which was organised by Maha Salem and Kerstin Dautenhahn. My colleague Lara Lammer presented the results from our first lab user studies on Mutual Care in the Hobbit project and I gave a talk on a position paper about artificial empathy in HRI, I co-authored with Bert Baumgartner, a computational philosopher at University of Idaho.
I really enjoyed the symposium as it is a very open format that gives plenty of time for discussion and I heard very interesting approaches. Two of my favourite contributions were:
- Pervasive Memory: The Future of Long-Term Social HRI Lies in the Past (Paul Baxter and Tony Belpaeme)
- A Template Based User-Teaching System for an Assistive Robot (Joe Saunders, Dag Sverre Syrdal and Kerstin Dautenhahn)
The proceedings of the event can be found here http://doc.gold.ac.uk/aisb50/#s19
Looking forward to next year’s symposium!
I am happy to congratulate Gerald Stollnberger to his master graduation. He completed his master thesis at the ICT&S Center in Salzburg, which I co-supervised besides Prof. Manfred Tscheligi. The thesis is entitled: “The effect of input modalities, different levels of task complexity and embodiment on users’ overall performance and perception in human-robot collaboration tasks”. If you are interested in his work in the RO-MAN2013 (Full Paper) proceedings and the HRI 2013 (Late Breaking Report) proceedings. Gerald will continue his research in HRI as PhD student in Salzburg and I wish him all the best for that!