CANCELLED: STS Seminar explores challenges and opportunities of social robotics and human-robot interaction

Artificial intelligence: A human hand shakes a robot hand

Editor’s note: On Feb. 25, YFile was notified that Professor Dautenhahn had to cancel her seminar due to illness. Organizers are working to establish a new time for this seminar.

University of Waterloo engineering Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn is the featured presenter for the next instalment of the 2019-20 Research Seminar Series in Science & Technology Studies (STS). Dautenhahn’s presentation is a special joint seminar between the STS Department and the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at the Lassonde School of Engineering.

The seminar will take place on Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in room 320 (the Delaney Gallery) in the Bethune College Building at York University’s Keele Campus.

Kerstin Dautenhahn
Kerstin Dautenhahn

In her seminar titled “Challenges and Opportunities of Social Robotics and Human-Robot Interaction,” Dautenhahn will introduce the (relatively) new research fields of social robotics and human-robot interaction. Both fields have grown substantially over the past 20 years, not least due to the number of real-world applications where human-robot interaction is key to the success of robots. In these contexts, success is traditionally measured in terms of human-robot task performance. Most importantly, another important success metric looks at terms of trust towards and acceptance of robots as assistants, co-workers or companions. Relevant application areas cover robots as co-workers in office or manufacturing environments, care robots for older people, as well as companion and therapy robots for children with special needs. This presentation will also survey some research that Dautenhahn has been involved in over the past few years and will outline some challenges for future work.

Dautenhahn, an IEEE Fellow, is Canada 150 Research Chair in Intelligent Robotics at University of Waterloo in Ontario, where she founded the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory. Before moving to Canada in 2018 she was professor of artificial intelligence at University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom, where she founded and coordinated the Adaptive Systems Research Group. She has an interdisciplinary background in natural sciences, biology, cybernetics and artificial intelligence. Her key areas of research are human-robot interaction and social robotics. She has been involved  in studies aimed at better understanding how people perceive and interact with robots, inspired by models from psychology and ethology, as well as research investigating applications for assistive robots as therapeutic tools for children with autism, or as assistive companion robots for older people at home or in care.