Astrid Weiss

Creating meaningful service robots: What we have learned from first-wave social robots

Key Learnings

  • Learning about why it is so hard to create meaningful service robots for and with people.
  • Learning how sociability, acceptance, and utility relate in Social Robotics.
  • Learning on what to focus in the development of second wave social service robots.

Putting users in an active role as direct contributors in the design of social service robots becomes more and more prominent in the research fields of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) and Social Robotics. However, currently we are caught in a dilemma of how to create meaningful robots for human social environments.

In my talk, I would like to share some interesting lessons learned from developing social service robots for and with people. By starting the talk with reflecting why first wave social robots failed, I will outline my key message on the relation of sociability, acceptance, and utility in the development, presenting two research projects as use cases. The talk will close with my personal opinion on the relevant aspects for the development of meaningful second wave social robots.

Date: Thursday, October 17th
Time: 11:30 - 12:15
Location: Hall 10


Astrid Weiss

senior scientist, TU Vienna

Astrid Weiss is a senior scientist in Human-Robot Interaction. She studied sociology and earned her doctorate in social sciences at the University of Salzburg. Already during her studies she specialized in methods of empirical social research and applied statistics. After her doctorate she was a postdoc at the HCI & Usability Unit, at the ICT & S Center and at the Christian Doppler Laboratory for “Contextual Interfaces” at the University of Salzburg. She also had research stays at the University of Amsterdam (Intelligent Systems Lab) and the University of Twente (Human Media Interaction Group). Currently Astrid Weiss is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Visual Computing & Human Centered Technology at the Vienna University of Technology. Her project “Shared Space: Exploring Long-Term Human-Robot Interaction”, funded by the FWF’s Elise Richter Program, investigates long-lasting connections between humans and service and companion robots. Weiss is one of Austria’s key figures in the interdisciplinary research field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), as evidenced by numerous articles, lectures and conference organizations. She is particularly interested in the effects of technology on everyday life and what motivates people to reject or accept technology. Before joining the Faculty of Computer Science, Weiss worked as a FWF-Hertha-Firnberg scientist at the Vision4Robotics Group (Institute of Automation and Control, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Vienna University of Technology), researching the effects of faulty robot behaviour on human-robot collaboration. Astrid Weiss is regarded as one of the pioneers in the combination of empirical social research and robotics, both in co-designing the research field and in industry-related research.

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