HRI2017 – update

hri_logo_1200So, I did not want to post during my maternity leave…however, Jim and I put together an exciting program for HRI2017 in Vienna, which is only a few weeks away. Thanks to all our research fellows for submitting their excellent work, it was a pleasure (but also a lot of work :D) to put together the program, you can find it here: http://humanrobotinteraction.org/2017/programme/

Trip Report Austrian Robotics Workshop (ARW)

HeaderTextAfter the STS Conference in Graz I attended the Austrian Robotics Workshop (ARW) in Wels. A bigger contrast topic-wise would have been hardly possible I guess. Nevertheless, it was also a great experience meeting several people again I have not talked to for quite some time, such as Prof. Andreas Uhl from University of Salzburg and Prof. Gerald Steinbauer from Graz University of Technology.

My colleague Markus Ikeda from profactor presented the results from the first year of the AssistMe project at the conference and we got some good questions and feedback on our work.

Besides that my colleagues Georg Halmetschlager-Funek and Edith Langer presented their research in the FRANC and SQUIRREL project. Finally, Markus Vincze presented our lessons learned on autonomous navigation in the Hobbit project. So I would say our research group was quite well represented at the event :).

HRI2016 Conference

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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: https://www.uni-due.de/sozialpsychologie/hriws2016_robotsinthewild.php

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!

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Visiting Ilmenau, Germany again

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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 😉