The 2023 ACM/IEEE Human-Robot Interaction Conference (HRI) is taking place this week in Stockholm, with the theme “HRI for all.” It’s a great theme, promoting diversity and inclusion, but it’s also a great reminder that all robots have (or should have) some thought in how they interact with others. person. HRI is not just for social robots. Even the most industrial of industrial robots, dying doing the kinds of things a human might never see running unless something is (or is about to be) very wrong, still need to be set up and programmed by someone. And those people are happiest when engineers remember they exist.
However, there will be a bunch of interesting research presented at HRI (proceedings are now online here), but to start things off, we look at the annual HRI Student Design Competitionwho is always creative and happy.
The theme for this year’s Student Design Competition is “Affordable Robots.” Student teams are asked to create and describe a scenario with robots/agents that are affordable and have real-life utility in society. More specifically, we look for affordable, impactful, scalable, and reliable use cases with potential real-world application. Since the theme of this year’s conference is “HRI for all,” we also recommend that students think about inclusion and diversity in HRI in terms of geographical inclusion (both for developed and developing that world), gender integration, ethnic integration, disability, equality. , etc. related to this theme.
This combination of “affordable” and “real-life utility” is especially difficult, since robots are inherently unaffordable, and utility (in the sense of functionality that justifies their cost) is an elusive objective, so this is exactly the kind of problem you want students to tackle. There are 20 entries this year, and we can only share a few of them, but here are five that we think are particularly interesting.
Aimoji: An affordable interaction kit that upcycles toys into a robot companion
When a child wants to talk to a toy, it’s usually a one-way interaction, with the child imagining the toy’s responses. Our design allows each toy to have two-way interaction with our low-cost interaction kit. The toy’s reaction is based on a motion sensor that triggers the toy to respond to the child through a screen attached to the toy. Through this method, every child can experience human-robot interaction in an affordable way. There can be as many robots as there are toys.
Toubot: A pair of wearable haptic robots that emotionally connect left-handed children and their parents
Left-behind children have more mental problems than their urban peers because they have fewer instant emotional connections with their parents. To solve this, we propose a pair of wearable soft robots that strengthen their emotional bond by enhancing instant non-verbal interactions.
Internet of robotic cat toys to deepen the bond and boost the mood
Pets provide important mental support for humans. Recent advances in robotics and HRI has led research and commercial products that provide intelligent solutions to enrich the indoor lives of pets. However, most of these products focus on satisfying the basic needs of pets, such as feeding and cleaning waste, rather than their mental well-being. In this paper, we present the internet of robotic cat toys, where a group of robotic agents connect to play with our furry friends. Through three iterations, we demonstrate an affordable and flexible design of clip-on robotic agents to transform a static household into an interactive wonderland for pets.
Labo is watching you: A robot that coaxes you out of smartphone distraction
The endogenous interruptions of smartphones have affected people’s daily lives in many aspects, especially in the areas of study and work under the lamp. To alleviate this, we have created a robot that can persuade you by increasing the lamp on your desk with specific postures and brightness.
Toaster bot: Designing for utility and enjoyment of kitchen space
Baking bread is a seemingly mundane task that people do every day, whether in a private kitchen or in a communal dining room. This paper presents a robotic toaster, or “toaster bot,” designed using animated movements to enhance the toast-making experience, not only by helping to complete the task itself but also by acting as a playable entity with which users can interact.
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