Cat toys, toaster, and fir lights

2023 ACM/IEEE Human-Robot Interaction Conference (HRI) is taking place this week in Stockholm, with the theme “HRI for Everyone”. It’s a good topic, promoting diversity and inclusion, but also a good reminder that all robots have (or should have) some thought about how they interact with humans. HRI isn’t just for social robots – even the most industrial robots, the lights make the kinds of things you might never see a human in action unless something is seriously wrong (or about to be), they still have to be set up and programmed by a human And these humans are happiest when the engineers remember their existence.

In any case, there will be a host of interesting research presented at HRI (procedures are already available online here), but to start the events, let’s take a look at the annual event HRI Student Design Competitionand is always creative and fun.

The theme for this year’s Student Design Competition is “Affordable Robotics.” Student teams are required to create and describe a scenario using bots/agents that are affordable and have a real benefit to society. More specifically, we are looking for affordable, impactful, scalable, and reliable use cases with real-world application capabilities. Since the theme for this year’s conference is “HRI for Everyone,” we also recommend that students think about inclusion and diversity in HRI in terms of geographic inclusion (both developed and developing worlds), gender inclusion, racial inclusion, disability, equity, etc. related to this topic. .

This combination of “affordable utility” and “realistic utility” is particularly challenging, since robots by their very nature are never affordable, and utility (in the sense of a function that justifies its cost) is a distant goal, which is why it’s exactly the kind of problem you want to have. Students handle it. There are 20 posts this year, and we can only share a few, but here are five we thought were particularly interesting.

Aimoji — An affordable interaction kit that recycles the toy as a companion bot

When a child wants to talk with a toy, it is usually a one-way interaction with the child imagining the responses to the toy. Our design allows each game to have two-way interaction using our low cost interaction toolkit. The reaction of the game is based on a motion sensor that triggers the game to respond to the child through a screen connected to the game. Through this method, every child can experience human-robot interaction in an affordable way. There can be as many bots as there are toys.

Toubot: A pair of wearable, tactile robots that emotionally connect retarded children and their parents

Children left behind have more mental problems than their peers in urban areas because they have fewer immediate emotional interactions with their parents. To solve this problem, we propose a pair of wearable soft robots that strengthen emotional bonds by enhancing immediate nonverbal interactions.

The Internet of robotic cat toys to deepen bonds and lift moods

Pets provide important mental support to humans. Recent advances in robotics and HRI have led to research and commercial products that provide smart solutions to enrich the lives of indoor pets. However, most of these products focus on meeting the basic needs of pets, such as feeding and cleaning up the litter, rather than their mental health. In this paper, we present online robotic cat games, in which a group of robotic clients connect to play with our furry friends. Through three iterations, we’re demonstrating an affordable and flexible design of push-on motorized agents to transform a static home into an interactive pet-friendly wonderland.

Labo is watching you: a bot that convinces you not to interrupt your smartphone

The internal interruption of smartphones has affected people’s daily lives in many aspects, especially in the scenes of studying and working under the lamp. To mitigate this, we create a bot that can substantially convince you by augmenting the lamp on your desk with a specific light and position.

Toaster: useful design and fun in the kitchen space

Toasting bread is a seemingly mundane task that people do on a daily basis, whether in the private kitchen area or in a communal dining setting. This paper presents an automated toaster, or “toaster robot,” designed with animated motions to enhance the toast-making experience not only by helping to complete the task itself but also by serving as a playful entity with which users may interact.

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