SOCIAL ROBOTICS

SOCIAL ROBOTICS

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iten
Code
94866
ACADEMIC YEAR
2019/2020
CREDITS
4 credits during the 2nd year of 10635 ROBOTICS ENGINEERING (LM-32) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
ING-INF/05
LANGUAGE
English
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (ROBOTICS ENGINEERING )
semester
1° Semester
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

Social Robotics (SoRo) is a research field aimed at providing robots with a brand new set of skills, specifically related to social behaviour and natural interaction with humans. Different aspects must be considered when considering social and interaction design with robots: how robots can enable an intuitive interaction by means of proxemics, gestures, gaze or head movements, as well as speech; how timely, purposive and appropriate communication is established; which environmental (including human) cues must be detected, represented and considered to ground such interaction.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The objective of the course is to make students aware about the most relevant issues in the fields of social robotics, including: verbal and non verbal human-robot interaction; cultural factors in the design of social robots; anthropomorphic and zoomorphic robots and robot behaviours; sensors for human-robot interaction; methodology and constraints in making experiments with robots and human participants; application scenarios. The student will face these problems both from a theoretical perspective and through practical assignments, by exploring in depth one of the topics above on real robots for social interaction.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

At the end of the class, the student will be able to:

  • understand the most up to date paradigms in UX development in human-robot interaction;
  • apply the acquired knowledge to design comprehensive interaction processes with social robots;
  • evaluate such interaction processes in real-world conditions.

Practice classes will be carried out using a humanoid Pepper robot from SoftBanks Robotics, and a biomimetic robot Miro from Consequential Robotics, as well as other ancillary equipment.

PREREQUISITES

Students must know how to program in C/C++ and how to develop ROS-based applications. Knowledge about Java may be useful for certain tasks/assignments.

Teaching methods

All classes will involve both thematic frontal lectures and a series of practice classes related to the discussed topics.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

SoRo is organised as a series of thematic lectures:

  • Introduction to the course, description of assignments and papers to read about the field of “Social Robotics”
  • How to design experiments involving humans and social robots.
  • Assistive Robotics and Smart Environments.
  • Interaction with pet-like robots, robot design issues and the uncanny valley.
  • Culturally-competent social robots.
  • Speech-based human-robot interaction.
  • Tactile-based human-robot interaction.
  • The perception of natural behaviours in robots.
  • “Sociality” in robots.
  • Human-robot cooperation.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Relevant material (tech reports, slides, papers) will be distributed by the teachers during the lectures.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: On appointment. Please contact the teacher via email: antonio.sgorbissa@unige.it

Ricevimento: The teacher is available as per meeting request by email at: his office on the second floor of the "E" building, Via Opera Pia 13, 16145, Genoa, the EMAROlab, Via Causa 18, 16145, Genoa.

Exam Board

ANTONIO SGORBISSA (President)

FULVIO MASTROGIOVANNI (President)

LESSONS

Teaching methods

All classes will involve both thematic frontal lectures and a series of practice classes related to the discussed topics.

EXAMS

Exam description

The SoRo final mark is based on assignments and a final discussion where assignments are presented and evaluated. Assignments work as follows:

  • at the beginning of October, a number of assignments are proposed;
  • students, self-organised in groups of 2/3 people, bid on assignments; each group is required to express 3 ordered preferences;
  • we’ll try to satisfy the preferences at best and allocate assignments to groups accordingly;
  • at that point, work on assignments can start;
  • at the exam date of January/February, results are discussed.

Please note that:

  • EMARO+ students have a strict deadline to complete their assignment;
  • Ph.D. students attending the course do not have any specific deadline. 

Properly carrying out an assignment means providing:

  • a (possibly working, maybe with assumptions) solution to the given problem;
  • properly commented code, and where appropriate a tutorial;
  • a video showing how the developed solution work.

Assessment methods

Assignments will be evaluated on the basis of:

  • the exhibited group’s capability in applying the notions and insights discussed during classes;
  • the quality of the provided documentation;
  • the outcome of a discussion about the assignment.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Follow-ups:

  • for successful assignments, we typically encourage students to co-author a scientific paper for Robotics-related conferences.