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

Robots as personal assistants

Cloud-connected technology has seen the recent and unexpected success of smart-home assistants, which are voice-operated devices that are unobtrusively placed in homes or offices. Technology giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung have developed voice-operated assistants that come in various shapes and sizes and offer a wide range of services. However, they are primarily used for simple information requests and music streaming, and their social exchanges are limited to small talk. Social robots are a new type of personal home assistant that can potentially rival smart-home assistants. These robots have a social presence with features like eyes, ears, or a mouth, and may be motorized to track users around the room. They can provide similar services as smart-home assistants but offer a unique opportunity for social interaction. For example, they can express engagement with music, act as communicative intermediates, engage in richer games, tell stories, and provide encouragement or incentives. They can also be used as surveillance devices.


An example of a commercial household robot for home monitoring:


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