IROS2015 – Workshop Keynote

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After two very relaxing vacation days with my husband, I attended the first workshop day at IROS2015. I was invited by Dr. Chris Bevan as a keynote speaker for the workshop Designing and Evaluating Social Robots for Public Settings. I presented my research performed during my PhD and postdoc at the University of Salzburg. The major part focussed on our research in the IURO project. Above all I wanted to point out the reflections we already made in 2012, published at ICSR.

  • Mirnig N., Strasser E., Weiss, A., and Tscheligi, M. Studies in Public Places as a Means to Positively Influence People’s Attitude towards Robots. In ICSR2012: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Social Robotics (2012), pp. 209-218.

And also give an overview on the overall findings of the IURO project which we could just recently publish in the Journal of Behavioural Robotics.

  • Weiss, A., Mirnig, N., Bruckenberger, U., Strasser, E., Tscheligi, M., Wollherr, D., and Stanczyk, B. The Interactive Urban Robot: User-centered development and final field trial of a direction requesting robot. Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, (2015).

The workshop was really beneficial for me for catching up with researchers exploring similar research directions as we did in ACE and IURO, plus Hamburg is just a wonderful city 🙂

RO-MAN2015: Meta Analysis on the Godspeed Questionnaire Series

This year’s RO-MAN conference took place in Kobe, Japan. Unfortunately, I could not go there even though I had a first author paper there. There is a reason, why I want to write about that one, even though I did not attend the… Christoph Bartneck and I co-authored a paper entitled: Meta Analysis Of The Usage Of The Godspeed Questionnaire Series, which he presented at the conference.

Christoph and I had the idea for that paper during RO-MAN 2014, where Christoph asked me: Is there anything you really want to write about? And my reply was: I heard so many talks already using your Godspeed Questionnaire, shouldn’t it be possible by now to accumulate findings?

Christoph loved the idea and right after the conference we started collecting and analysing the results we found. It proved to be a challenging endeavour as in the HRI community we still do not have a standardized way of reporting user study results. However, based on 18 comparable NAO study papers we could show common and contradictive findings. I really think that this paper is a valuable contribution for the community by trying to combine findings from single studies into one bigger picture.

Trip Report INTERACT 2015

INTERACT 2015Last week I attended the INTERACT 2015 conference in Bamberg, Germany. It has been a while since I have been at an HCI conference. It was interesting to listen to talks focussed on other technology than robots. I noticed that the HRI community could still profit from a lot of synergies with the HCI community, e.g. the Internet of Things does not really consider robots as “objects” in their world or the task modelling people only consider safety critical systems such as control rooms or air planes, but not robots.

My colleague Lara Lammer presented our research on educational robots (Lara Lammer, Astrid Weiss, Markus Vincze: The 5-Step Plan – Empowered Children’s Robotic Product Ideas. INTERACT (2) 2015: 557-564), which was interestingly scheduled in the HCI for education session and not in the HRI session. It extremely well, so at that point kudos to the PC for putting together the program.

It was a pleasure to meet so many colleagues, above all so many members and alumni from the University of Salzburg (chechk out the really cool new website of the Center of HCI). But also the TU Wien was well represented with Prof. Geraldine Fitzpatrick (organizing the Doctoral Consortium) and Prof. Hilda Tellioğlu presenting the presenting the Institute for Design and Assessment of Technology (the institute at TUW in which I would love to continue my research efforts in future!) in the Organizational Overview Session.

One sidemark, which has nothing to do with my academic life: The refugee crisis was a very prominent discussion topic during the breaks…the German border was closed the night before I took the train from Vienna to Bamberg. Our train was stopped in Passau, police went through the wagon a face check was done and depending on your looks the ID was checked and refugees had to leave the train. Everything ran smoothly, nobody complained, no stress, no nothing…however to be honest the situation left me with a very strange gut feeling. I am happy that my University organizes supporting measures during a very critical period of history in Europe: www.tuwien.ac.at/refugeeswelcome