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

Attention theft

As we can observe from our use of mobile devices, technology has the tendency to capture our attention, and robots could also lead to “attention theft.” Neuroscience research has shown that our attention is drawn towards motion and sound, particularly when they are social and lifelike. Robots present an easy opportunity for unintentional or intentional attention theft. Therefore, it is important to consider mechanisms that allow robots to recognize when it is not appropriate to engage with users or attract attention through their actions. This is particularly important when the robot’s behaviour could detract from human interaction partners. Careful consideration must be given when designing and deploying robots to avoid these issues.

Read more about how our attention is drawn towards motion and sound, particularly when they are social and lifelike:


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