Past Events

Date/Time Event Description
29 Oct – 31 Oct 2018
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL 2018) CoRL 2018 will take place on October 29-31 2018 in Zurich. The conference focuses on the intersection of robotics and machine learning. CoRL aims at being a selective, top-tier venue...
15 Jun – 16 Jun 2017
All Day
Building Bodies for Brains & Brains for Bodies & 3rd Japan-EU Workshop on Neurorobotics
Geneva, Geneva
Building Bodies for Brains & Brains for Bodies & 3rd Japan-EU Workshop on Neurorobotics Registration for both events now open.
4 Nov 2016
3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Talk: Designing and Controlling Robots for Direct Interaction with Humans by Prof. Alin Albu-Schaeffer, German Aerospace Center, Germany.
ETH Zurich, HG G3, Zurich
9 Oct – 12 Oct 2016
All Day
WORKSHOP ON BRAIN-MACHINE INTERFACES (SMC 2016)
Intercontinental Hotel, BUDAPEST, 1052 Budapest
Please see: https://documents.epfl.ch/users/c/ch/chavarri/www/IEEESMC2016_BMI/BMI-IEEESMC2016.html

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Which Robot Behavior Can Motivate Children to Tidy up Their Toys? Design and Evaluation of "Ranger"

  • Authors: Fink, Julia; Lemaignan, Séverin; Dillenbourg, Pierre; Rétornaz, Philippe; Vaussard, Florian Christopher; Berthoud, Alain; Mondada, Francesco; Wille, Florian; Franinovic, Karmen

We present the design approach and evaluation of our proto- type called “Ranger”. Ranger is a robotic toy box that aims to motivate young children to tidy up their room. We evalu- ated Ranger in 14 families with 31 children (2-10 years) using the Wizard-of-Oz technique. This case study explores two different robot behaviors (proactive vs. reactive) and their impact on children’s interaction with the robot and the tidy- ing behavior. The analysis of the video recorded scenarios shows that the proactive robot tended to encourage more playful and explorative behavior in children, whereas the reactive robot triggered more tidying behavior. Our find- ings hold implications for the design of interactive robots for children, and may also serve as an example of evaluating an early version of a prototype in a real-world setting.

Posted on: December 12, 2013

Will Your Household Adopt Your New Robot?

  • Authors: Bauwens, Valérie; Fink, Julia

Domestic robots have slowly found their way into some of our homes and onto the shelves of major stores selling technical appliances. Who hasn’t already seen or heard of robots that vacuum or mow the lawn? As researchers in robotics, we feel this growing commercial success is a great opportunity to learn about robot adoption processes. Leaving the marketing buzz and usual fantasies about robot invasions aside, we are curious to find out how robots are perceived by users. Are robots revolutionizing people’s practices at home? Understanding the adoption of such robots is also central, as it helps to pinpoint crucial factors to be taken into account while designing new robots. Other questions we wish to consider include: What convinces people to adopt them? What stops people from adopting them? What features or concepts should be transferred to future robot generations? To answer these questions, we conducted an ethnographic study that analyzed how people adopted or rejected a vacuum-cleaning robot in their homes [1]. We gave a popular commercially available robot (iRobot’s Roomba) to nine households and observed them over a period of six months [2]. We recruited households with and without children, pets, and gardens. We analyzed cleaning habits before Roomba. We then observed how they evolved from the moment we brought them the robot: at installa- tion, after two weeks, and then two and four months after installation.

Posted on: March 15, 2012

Windfield: Demonstrating Wind Meteorology with Handheld Haptic Robots

  • Authors: Ozgur, Ayberk; Johal, Wafa; Mondada, Francesco; Dillenbourg, Pierre

One of the main issues with the acceptance of robotic tools in schools is the extracurricular aspect of the learning activities using these robots. In the Cellulo project, we developed a novel robotic platform that aims to provide a ubiquitous, versatile and practical tool for teachers with subjects varying among the different topics at their respective school curricula. In order to show the potential of Cellulo in the classroom as part of standard curricular activities, we designed a learning activity called Windfield that aims to teach the atmospheric formation mechanism of wind to early middle school children.

Posted on: June 9, 2017

Windfield: Learning Wind Meteorology with Handheld Haptic Robots

  • Authors: Ozgur, Ayberk; Johal, Wafa; Mondada, Francesco; Dillenbourg, Pierre

This article presents a learning activity and its user study involving the Cellulo platform, a novel versatile robotic tool designed for education. In order to show the potential of Cellulo in the classroom as part of standard curricular activities, we designed a learning activity called Windfield that aims to teach the atmospheric formation mechanism of wind to early middle school children. The activity involves a didactic sequence, introducing the Cellulo robots as hot air balloons and enabling children to feel the wind force through haptic feedback. We present a user study, designed in the form of a real hour-long lesson, conducted with 24 children in 8 groups who had no prior knowledge in the subject. Collaborative metrics within groups and individual performances about the learning of key concepts were measured with only the hardware and software integrated in the platform in a completely automated manner. The results show that almost all participants showed learning of symmetric aspects of wind formation while about half showed learning of asymmetric vectorial aspects that are more complex.

Posted on: January 9, 2017

Workshop on Robots for Learning – R4L

  • Authors: Johal, Wafa; Vogt, Paul; Kennedy, James; de Haas, Mirjam; Paiva, Ana; Castellano, Ginevra

While robots have been popular as a tool for STEM teaching, the use of robots in other learning scenarios is novel. The field of HRI has started to report on how to make effective robots usable in educational contexts. However, many chal- lenges remain. For instance, which interaction strategies aid learning, and which hamper learning? How can we deal with the current technical limitations of robots? Answering these and other questions requires a multidisciplinary effort, inclu- ding contributions from pedagogy, developmental psychology, (computational) linguistics, artificial intelligence and HRI, among others. This abstract provides a brief overview of the current state-of-the-art in social robots designed for learning and describes the aims of the Robots for Learning (R4L) workshop in bringing together a multidisciplinary audience for furthering the development of market-ready educational robots.

Posted on: November 21, 2017

Workshop on Robots for Learning: R4L

  • Authors: Johal, Wafa; Vogt, Paul; Kennedy, James; de Haas, Mirjam; Paiva, Ana; Castellano, Ginevra; Okita, Sandra; Tanaka, Fumihide; Belpaeme, Tony; Dillenbourg, Pierre

While robots have been popular as a tool for STEM teaching, the use of robots in other learning scenarios is novel. The field of HRI has started to report on how to make effective robots usable in educational contexts. However, many challenges remain. For instance, which interaction strategies aid learning, and which hamper learning? How can we deal with the current technical limitations of robots? Answering these and other questions requires a multidisciplinary effort, including contributions from pedagogy, developmental psychology, (computational) linguistics, artificial intelligence and HRI, among others. This abstract provides a brief overview of the current state-of-the-art in social robots designed for learning and describes the aims of the Robots for Learning (R4L) workshop in bringing together a multidisciplinary audience for furthering the development of market-ready educational robots.

Posted on: June 9, 2017