In Human-Computer Interaction, robotics has been a topic of intense research, initially mostly restricted to research labs due to the difficulty of building such devices. In the past few years, the wide availability of accessible hardware platforms for prototyping (such as Arduino) and digital fabrication tools made it easier to develop interactive robotic systems. A variety of robotic devices and applications are now finding their way to end-users, and robots have the potential to enhance human performance and bring unique new opportunities for interaction with our environment and with other people. The objective of this seminar is to acquire conceptual, technical and practical skills in developing interactive robotics. We will address the unique challenges of interactive robotics on those three levels.

The seminar will cover the following topics:

  • Human Augmentation. Attaching a wearable robotic device to the user’s body in order to enhance human capabilities and performance.
  • Mobile Robotics. What if we all had a robot in our pocket? Now that robots can be miniaturized, how can our daily interaction benefit from a robot that is always with us?
  • Robotic Everything. We are surrounded by various objects and appliances, which so far are primarily static. Endowing motion and robotic capabilities, such as automatic shape change, can lead to a new interaction with our house, environment, or IoT.
  • Human-Like Devices. How do we interact with technology that is human-like and, through robotic technologies, can communicate body language? We can endow traditional devices with body language to express interaction, needs or behaviors.
  • Presence: Robots can also be social companions, for instance for elderly people. There is a need to develop simple and meaningful interactions between someone with special need and a social robot.
  • Physical Data Representation: It is a challenge for HCI to visualize data. Interactive robotic installations can be used to visualize and interact with tangible moving data. 

This course teaches the theoretical and practical foundations for human computer interaction. It covers a wide overview of topics, techniques, and approaches used for the design and evaluation of modern user interfaces.

The course covers the principles that underlie successful user interfaces, provides an overview of input and output devices and user interface types, and familiarizes students with the methods for designing and evaluating user interfaces. Students learn to critically assess user interfaces, to design user interfaces themselves, and to evaluate them in empirical studies.

Eligibility and Other Information

Please refer to the course website for details on eligibility and other information.