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

Remotely operated robots

There are various instances of remotely controlled robots being used in different settings. For example, robots utilized for space exploration possess some self-navigation capabilities but still rely on instructions from human operators on Earth. In military operations, human operators can remotely control robots like Packbot to scan for potential bombs and clear the path for military vehicles. Similarly, drones can be operated from remote locations during military operations. Robots are also used in search-and-rescue operations to locate people in need of assistance. Telepresence robots have also been introduced to the market, allowing people to present or communicate from remote locations.

In remote operation scenarios, the operator must work alongside some degree of autonomy in the robot’s function. The robot can navigate independently, but the operator may have to provide directions for optimal use. Due to a lack of risk avoidance capabilities, the operator may have to intervene before the robot is seriously damaged. The user interacts with the remotely operated robot through a user interface, and there are several common HRI issues to address, such as building trust with the robot and ethical concerns. For example, if the autonomy system fails, who is accountable? Is it moral to design a system that could allow autonomy to fail?


Read more about Packbot:

A video of a robot that was initially designed for defusing bombs performing surgery:


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