Intelligent Robots and Systems Conference - IROS 2012

From the 7th to the 12th of October the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems was held in Vilamoura, in the southernmost region of Portugal.

This year IROS celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Some insights into IURO were presented in the papers

  • R. de Nijs, S. Ramos, G. Roig, X. Boix, L. van Gool, K. Kühnlenz , On-line Semantic Perception Using Uncertainty , Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) , 2012
  • B. Gonsior, S. Sosnowski, M. Buß, D. Wollherr, K. Kühnlenz , An Emotional Adaption Approach to increase Helpfulness towards a Robot , Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) , 2012 , p. 2429 - 2436 .

and the video
"Proactive Human Approach in Dynamic Environments" (Carton, D., Turnwald, A., Wollherr, D., Kühnlenz, K., Buss, M.)

Also, IURO caught some eyes of the press

Increasing helpfulness towards a robot

This video illustrates how emotional adaption strategies affect human robot interaction. Specifically, here we focus on proactively inducing  emotional similarity in the human to increase her prosocial behavior towards the robot. 

Human Approach in Dynamic Urban Environments

Since interaction with humans is the main information source for the IURO robot, it needs to get close to a person before starting a conversation. In order to fulfil this task a trajectory planner is needed that allows the robot to approach a human. In this setting, predictability and readability of actions are aspects that need to be taken care of to let the approach behavior appear natural, unobtrusive and raise social acceptance. In the IURO project state of the art optimization methods for trajectory generation and results from user studies are combined to develop a motion planning algorithm that enables a robot to approach walking and standing persons in a dynamic urban environment incorporating social constraints.

Robotville - Where Humans Meet Robots - Robot Festival at the British Science Museum in London

Nicole Mirnig, research fellow at the HCI Unit of the ICT&S Center, went to London to present the EU project IURO at Robotville – a European Robot Festival that took place at the British Science Museum from December 1st to 4th. The festival was aimed at showing the manifold research on robotics in Europe and it was organized by EUNIC London in partnership with the European Commission-funded Cognitive Systems and Robotics Programme and the European Commission Representation in the UK. A total of 23 different projects were shown at the exhibition and the visitors had the unique chance of getting hands-on experiences.

Together with the ICT&S Center’s project partners from KTH Stockholm she presented the robot head Furhat, which is part of the IURO project and is aimed at the actual speech part of the IURO robot (e.g. speech recognition, speech output, dialog manager).

Furhat tried to actively engage the visitors of the exhibition in a conversation by asking questions and inviting people to ask questions in turn. After their interaction with Furhat, the visitors of the festival were asked to fill in a questionnaire on their impression of the robot. The response rate was great and the visitors were very interested and willing to share their opinion.

The festival experienced a huge media coverage: amongst others the  BBCNew Scientist, and Gizmag reported on the 4-days event.


Human-Robot Interaction Conference- HRI 2012

From the 6th to the 9th of March the 6th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI2012) took place in Boston, USA.

The theme of this year's conference was "Robots in the Loop", which highlights the importance of autonomously capable robots in enhancing the experiences of human users in everyday life and work activities.

The IURO project was represented with 2 posters on work conducted within the project:

1. "Affect misattribution procedure: An implicit technique to measure user experience in HRI." (Strasser, E., Weiss, A., and Tscheligi, M. )
2. "Navigating in public space: Participants’ evaluation of a robot’s approach behavior." (Zlotowski, J., Weiss, A., and Tscheligi, M.)