HRI 2017 in retrospect

So this is it. HRI2017 is finally over. 1.5 years of dedicated work together with Jim Young to put together the best program possible. At least Jim and I are happy with how the program turned out in the end. Clearly, there are some points we wished we could have done differently (eg. having a dedicated video session, having longer companion sessions etc.).

When I received one of the two service awards yesterday (second one went well-deserved to my colleague Markus Bajones!), I was so surprised that I did not say the following I want to share now:

How was it possible for me to be program co-chair while being pregnant and giving birth:

1. I have an incredibly supportive husband
2. From May 2016 onwards I put down almost all other duties (teaching, reviewing, proposal writing etc.)
3. My co-chair Jim Young was incredibly supportive from day one in January, when I told him I was pregnant and can no longer be his co-chair. He convinced me that we can make it work and reduced my workload in times when it would just have been too much.

That was lived gender mainstreaming and he deserves a lot of credit for that, besides all the great work he did for the PC.

So I consider this a shared award for the two of us!

Visiting Ilmenau, Germany again

K1024_Panorama-Campus

In January, I finally have been to Ilmenau again after 6 years! I have been there as external examiner for the PhD defense of Yvonne Ludewig who can by now call herself Dr. Ludewig. She performed some interesting research on acceptance in Human-Robot Interaction wrt. robot personalities and tactile feedback and appearance. Additionally I was invited by Dr. Andreas Bley (Metralabs) and Prof. Gross to join a “Lessons Learned Workshop” on assistive robots for older adults, in which I provided our insights from our Hobbit field trials. Besides that it was great to privately discuss the similarities and differences between habiliation commissions in Austria and Germany over lunch and coffee with Dr. Sandra Pöschel, which we closed with our new motivational slogan: it is cumbersome, but we will make it 😉

Website Usability in Real Life…

So finally my knowledge on website usability finds its way into practice 🙂 baningo

My husband founded a start-up called baningo. It is an onine platform, where you can find the ideal financial advisor. Up to now it’s only available in German, but let’s wait and see what the future brings…

If you want to support us, like it on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/banking.baningo

baningo is a new web-service for bank customers which will radically change the inefficient, expensive and old-fashioned approach to retail banking. People will suddenly start to like dealing with banks!
We offer a simple and consistent personalized search, filter and recommendation system to find appropriate bank advisers and good offers easily – even for complex issues.
For banks we provide an innovative sales channel. baningo will put them in contact with potential clients that already expressed a real need.  In contrast to most fintech start-ups we are not disrupting the banks’ business but in fact enable them to make their job better.

25 women you need to know in robotics…

Ok so this was a big surprise. Recently when I was on facebook, I saw a posting from Andra Kay entitled: 25 women in robotics you need to know about (2013) and I read it to check if I know all of them. As it was sorted alphabetically I was more than surprised to find my name and picture at the end of the list. I feel very honored to be on that list, next to my female role models that motivated me to pursue a PhD in HRI; such as Cynthia Breazeal, Kerstin Dautenhahn, and Aude Billard (just to mention a few).

http://robohub.org/25-women-in-robotics-you-need-to-know-about/

Changes…

Vienna

After a long period of not posting any news, it is time to post the most relevant one: I’ve changed position. I moved from Salzburg to Vienna 🙂 During 2012 I applied for a Hertha-Firnberg scholarship together with Prof. Markus Vincze from Technical University Vienna as  mentor. The Hertha-Firnberg Program is for highly qualified female scientists of any scientific discipline (acceptance rate 20%), who have completed their PhD studies and aim for a researcher career in Austrian research facilities.So lucky me I won!

tuacinI am now affiliated with the ACIN Institute of Automation and Control, my new contact details can be found in my CV. This week I started my three-years grant for research on the topic Vision-based Human-Robot Cooperation: Perspective Sharing at the research group of Prof. Vincze “Vision4Robotics”. So obviously I will continue my research activities on human-robot interaction!

I was given a warm welcome in my new group, but I will definitely after 7 years miss my colleagues from Salzburg.