This year’s Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) conference (in Stockholm, Sweden- from March 13–16.) offered a great opportunity to connect with people in the HRI community and industry and to stay updated on the most recent developments in human-robot interaction. The theme this year was “HRI for all,” with a focus on theories, methods, designs, studies, and technical advances that promote diversity and inclusion in HRI.
The paper “Reimagining Robots for Dementia” was highly relevant for ECDT researchers on highlighting scenarios faced by people with dementia and their informal caregivers and the role robots can play in supporting them.
Another work by Jeong, S., Aymerich-Franch, L., Alghowinem, S., Picard, R. W., Breazeal, C. L., & Park, H. W. entitled “A Robotic Companion for Psychological Well-being: A Long-term Investigation of Companionship and Therapeutic Alliance” discussed the role of companion-like behaviour of robots for therapeutic interventions which adds value to our thinking on the future of companion AI agents. The photo on the right demonstrates a participant that lived with a robotic companion in their homes while learning about positive psychology interventions.
Work from the ECDT
Three members from the ECDT attended the HRI conference, including Giulia Perugia, who co-chaired registration and presented a paper on “Models of (Often) Ambivalent Robot Stereotypes: Content, Structure, and Predictors of Robots’ Age and Gender Stereotypes“. Minha Lee conducted a workshop on Human-Robot Conversational Interaction (HRCI) and co-authored a paper titled “Towards Transdisciplinary and Futuring Tools for DEI and Social Justice in HRI“.Lastly, Rucha Khot presented on “Designing robots for individualized temporal experiences in dementia” during the CONCATENATE workshop on social robot personalization.