Course Content
Orientation, introduction to the course
1. Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)
2. Research Methods in Human-Robot Interaction
3. Smart Cities & HRI
The demand for city living is already high, and it appears that this trend will continue. According to the United Nations World Cities Report, by 2050, more than 70% of the world's population will be living and working in cities — one of many reports predicting that cities will play an important role in our future (UN-Habitat, 2022). Thus, as cities are growing in size and scope, it is shaped into complex urban landscape where things, data, and people interact with each other. Everything and everyone has become so connected that Wifi too often fails to meet digital needs, online orders don't arrive fast enough, traffic jams still clog the roads and environmental pollution still weighs on cities. New technologies, technical intelligence, and robots can contribute to the direction of finding solutions to ever-increasing problems and assist the evolution of the growing urban space.
Human-Robot Interaction
About Lesson

Service robots for customer service and sales

Service robots such as tour guide robots, receptionist robots, and robots for sales promotion have great potential to assist humans in various settings. Technical advancements and further HRI research should enable us to have robots with faster velocity and better navigation capability in human crowds, making them applicable in a broader range of environments.


A video about service robotics:

Tour guide robots are a type of service robot that provides information about nearby entities while navigating from one location to another. This application involves both navigational and face-to-face interactions with users. Successful examples of tour guide robots include those used in museums, retail stores, and airports. In a museum setting, a robot autonomously navigates around and invites visitors to request a tour. Once a tour is requested, the robot leads visitors to several exhibits and provides a brief explanation at each. Adding emotions to the robot’s display can enrich the educational experience and allow the robot to manage its interactions with people better. In a retail setting, a robot can take the lead to show a customer where a specific item is located in the store. Additionally, a robot can escort travellers to their next flight at an airport.


An example of a tour guide robot:

Receptionist robots are service robots placed at a reception desk that interact with visitors through spoken language conversations. People are sensitive to the robot’s mood, and the length of their interactions with it changes based on whether the robot displays a happy, sad, or neutral expression.

To learn more about how a robot was used in a research setting read more here:

To learn more about how a robot was used in a hotel setting read more here:

An example of a robot receptionist:

Robots for sales promotion can serve as proxies for store clerks and inform customers about promotions offered by the store. These robots can easily attract the attention of potential visitors who will stop to listen and look around. While these robots currently wait for visitors to initiate interaction, advancements in robotic hardware and HRI capabilities may enable more proactive applications in the future.


To read more about how researchers study robots that proactively approach customers to offer promotions read more here:

An example of a robot as a salesperson:


Bartneck, C. et al. (2020) Human-Robot Interaction: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available at: