AISB2016 – Sheffield April 5 and 6

robotAISB_LOGOIn a few days the 5th New Frontiers in HRI symposium will be hosted in Sheffield in conjunction with the AISB Convention. We will have an exciting keynote by Amanda Sharkey on Ethical aspects in HRI on the first day and a panel on Child-Robot Interaction on the second day. Check out the program it is already on the website:

Unfortunately, I cannot be there in person, but my colleague Markus Bajones will take over the presentations for the two submission I have co-authored. Moreover, my co-chairs Maha Salem, Paul Baxter and Kerstin Dautenhahn will do a great job in hosting the symposium also without me.

I hope many of you attend it would have been a pleasure meeting you there!

AssistMe project – Half-time

assistme_01_3c3c08954cTime flies by…the first year of the two-years project AssistMe (nationally funded project on Human-centered assistive robotics in production) is already over. We had exciting times in setting up a Universal Robots arm for two different use cases: assembly of automotive combustion engines and maching (polishing) of casting molds). We performed first user studies on teaching the robotic arm with end users (using a pupils lab eye-tracker which worked just fantastically plug and play, can only highly recommend!) and also qualitative interviews after three weeks of the robot being introduced in the assembly line. We will continue our study efforts with two more rounds of user studies for both use cases in the second year, after enhancing the robotic arm to make the teaching and collaboration more intuitive. I am already curious of comparing the data of all three studies in the end.

A first publication of our work will be presented here: (session 3 paper #3) and currently we have a second one submitted at the Austrian Robotics Workshop … keep fingers crossed 😉

HRI 2017 – Vienna calling


Now it has already been officially announced HRI 2017 will be in Vienna.

A big thank you to my program co-chair Jim Young who took over the responsibility to present our organizational status at the steering committee meeting and who announced Vienna as next hosting city at the conference closing in New Zealand.

We are already very busy in preparing things and you can see frequent updates at the website:

And clearly, Jim and I feel the pressure to follow-up with an exciting conference program after the great jobs of people in previous years…challenge accepted 😉

HRI2016 Conference


This year, I could not attend HRI in New Zealand, however, I heard it was a great conference. At this point I want to say thank you to several people who really helped me out at the conference due to my travel restrictions:

Selma Sabanovic and Nicole Mirnig hosted our workshop on The challenge (not) to go wild! Challenges and best practices to study HRI in natural interaction settings and me and Astrid Rosenthal von der Pütten attended remotely via a Kubi robot (thanks to Jenay Beer for making that possible). We had 3 great keynotes and several interesting position papers presented in a poster session. More information can be found here:

Next, my colleague Markus Bajones was so kind to take over the presentation of an altHRI contribution I co-authored with two other colleagues at Vienna University of Technology entitled: The Ethical Risk of Attachment: How to Identify, Investigate and Predict Potential Ethical Risks in the Development of Social Companion Robots. It derived from our lessons learned from the Hobbit project and the idea about Mutual-Care meaning that not only the robot takes care of the older adult, but also the other way around.We also had a Late breaking Report on the Hobbit field trials, entitled: Results of a Real World Trial with a Mobile Social Service Robot for Older Adults

Finally, as registration co-chair of HRI2016 I was happy to hear from Nicole that everything ran smoothly! So again a big thank you to all my colleagues who took over my duties this year and looking forward to seeing you all in Vienna next year!