December 16, 2017 | Log in
 
 

Author Archive

Posts by Andreas Bischof

Dissertation project on Social Robotics gains attention

Dr. Andreas Bischof (3rd from right) awarded with the prize for an excellent dissertation on communication. One of the first congratulators was Dr. Eberhard Alles (right), Chancellor of the TU Chemnitz. Copyright: Dresdner Gesprächskreis

During his time as a CrossWorlds PhD-student Andreas Bischof conducted ethnographic research in social robotics labs around the world. The sociologist was eagerly interested to find out, how engineers and computer scientists make robots for everyday worlds ‘social’. His participant observations in human-robot interaction resulted in a study reconstructing the social conditions of social robotics and the practices within this field of research and development.

Bischof’s thesis, which he defended last year, and the following book »Soziale Maschinen bauen« are recently receiving great interest. After being awarded with the dissertation prize of the “Commerzbank AG Niederlassung Chemnitz”, the “Dresdner Gesprächskreis der Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft” awarded one of his annual prizes for outstanding young scientists last thursday.

One week earlier, the national daily newspaper F.A.Z. recognized his study as “realistic and reflected look behind the scenes” of human-robot interaction. The science journalist Dr. Manuela Lenzen wrote: “Bischof rightly raises the question of whether the design of the robots, which are supposed to live with us, can be left to such pragmatism. If tasks are broken down into technically manageable parts, the social aspects of social robotics could become shortened to an optimazation problem.” (F.A.Z., 11/11/2017, PayWall)

Andreas Bischof wrote his dissertation at the Chair of Media Communication, where he was supervised by Prof. Dr. Claudia Fraas. Today, Bischof is a member of the junior research group “Miteinander” at the Faculty of Computer Science.

 

EASST’14 – Talk on Robots in Elder Care

kopernikus_bischof

Statue of Nicolaus Copernicus in Torun, Poland. (c) Bischof

CrossWorlds assistant researcher Andreas Bischof has been attending EASST’14, europe’s most important conference on science and technlogy studies (STS).

The European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) has – like the field itself – geographical centres of gravitation in Britain, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. The organisation seeks to overcome this historic bias by allocating its bi-anual meetings in south and east european countries. The 2014 conference took place in Torun / Poland, Nicolaus Copernicus’ birth place! (Which is more than funny since Copernicus is the title hero of a very important study that kind of founded science and technology research, Thomas Kuhns »Copernican Revolution«.

Andreas’ talk was part of the panel »Governing Health Care Technologies«. Demographic ageing is widely seen as a “grand challenge”, and policy makers, industry, academic researchers, health care providers, and lobby groups have identified research and innovation as a promising response. In this context Andreas’ talk »Two Ways of Co-Constructing the User in Social Robotics« contributed to the discussion of practices of user-producer interactions in social robotics projects for elderly.

In particular he compared two projects implementing assistive robots in elder care in west european country. The question was how these projects integrated the elderly in the research & development of their robots. Crucial therefore are obviously user tests and the function of the thereby gathered data in the research process. The empirical research in the projects shows that institutional and political implications of the research shape the image of the user in such projects far more than actual user needs. Please have a look at the slides for details. For a more detailed insight see the German blog post from Andreas on his personal blog.

 

CrossWorlds 2014 detailed program published!

We have just published the detailed program for our conference: 23 speaker, four thematic sessions, five keynotes and invited talks and one demo session!

CrossWorlds 2014 – Theory, Development & Evaluation of Social Technology will start monday june 30th at Technische Universität Chemnitz. Please find all information about travel and accomodation here. There are still some places for participants available, zou find our registration form here. The participation is free of charge.

 

 

CrossWorlds 2014 registration open!

fgh

“Registration” by NHS Corporation on Flickr under Creative Commons 2.0 BY

The registration for the first CrossWorlds Conference on theory, design and evaluation of social technology on June30th and July 1st 2014 in Chemnitz/Germany is now open!

Attending the conference will be free of charge for all participants due to funding by the German Research Association (DFG). We further managed to provide several free tickets for the conference dinner in a local restaurant that are granted on a first come first serve basis. We would thus like to encourage registering early to benefit from the free conference dinner vouchers. The registration will remain open until 16 June.

To register for CrossWorlds 2014, please use our ConfTool.

Room reservation will not be part of the online registration. We made special arrangements for accommodation with the “Hotel an der Oper“. Conference attendees will be able to enjoy Chemnitz’ best city view for 60 Euro per night!

Please book your room yourself using the code for the special arrangement provided on the conference page.

 

 

 

CrossWorlds Conference 2014

We are very happy to announce our first CrossWorlds conference! We are inviting researchers from various disciplines to Chemnitz for two days of interdisciplinary discussion of social technology.

The online registration for our conference will start soon! We would be glad if you take the chance to visit Chemnitz and discuss with us!

The conference will take place in project house METEOR on monday 30th of june and tuesday 1st of july.  Our program committee is currently curating a program of the submissions from various disciplines. We can already announce our keynote and invited talk speakers:

 

rammertProf. Dr. Werner Rammert,
Werner Rammert is one of Europe’s leading sociologist of technology, most known for his model of distributed agency in socio-technical constellations. He is a full professor at TU Berlin. (Publications)

 

Nicole KrämerProf. Dr. Nicole Krämer,

Nicole Krämer is full professor for social psychology at the University Duisburg-Essen. Her research interests are social aspects of virtual environments with a special emphasis on virtual agents. (Publications)

 

de meloCelso de Melo, PhD.,

Celso de Melo is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Southern California. His research focuses on virtual agents expressing emotions and the impact on social interaction. (Publications)

 

HorneckerProf. Dr. Eva Hornecker,

Eva Hornecker is a full professor of Human-Computer Interaction at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Her research interests are the design and user experience of ‘beyond the desktop’ interaction with a special interest in interactive museum installations. (Publications)

 

Betty MohlerBetty Mohler, PhD.,

Betty Mohler is the project leader of the group “Perception and Action in Virtual Environments” (PAVE) at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen. Her group focuses on understanding various aspects of human behavior, perception and cognition using ecologically valid and immersive virtual environments. (Publications)

 

Robotics Going Beyond the Laboratory

"Robokid" graphic by Ilona Straub to illustrate the programme.

“Robokid” graphic by Ilona Straub to illustrate the programme.

To face dynamic environments and everyday situations is currently the biggest challenge for robotics. As part of their research project on the development of service robotics in Japan and Europe the sociologists Gesa Lindemann, Gregor Fitzi, Hironori Matsuzaki and Ilona Straub invited both robotic scientists and social scientists to discuss the implications and challenges of the goal to take robots beyond the laboratory.

Our fellow Andreas Bischof had the chance to present the outlines of his reserach question in analyzing social robotics to this very instructive conference. The greatest effort of GBTL conference was to bring together researchers with different perspectives on robotics, what is unfortunately rather rare in this context. HRI specialists like Morana Ala? or Selma Šabanovi? met german sociologists like Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer and Martin Meister. Legal [1, 2] and philosphical positions met famous robotic engineers, like Prof. Takanishi from Waseda University. It’s worth to have a look for upcoming publications from the organizing group of University of Oldenburg.

 

Mensch und Computer 2013

This years edition of Germany’s primary conference on human computer interaction “Mensch und Computer” took place in bremen with high involvement of CrossWorlds’ researchers. Since the conference character emphasizes interdisciplinary exchange between academics, practioners, computer scientists, UX designers and social sientists several of our research fellows participated actively in the event.

(C) by dm@tzi.de

(C) by dm@tzi.de

Andreas Bischof and Benny Liebold organized a workshop on methodological approaches to HCI, where Kalja Kanellopoulos and Michael Storz presented their multitouch table for multiple users (Kanellopoulos, Storz 2013, in press). A very interesting discussion about the outlines of a possible mutual methodology for both computer scientists and designers / social scientists was initiated by Michael Heidt‘s talk (Heidt 2013, in press). The main talking points can be understood in two (german-language) blog posts. One is pointing out the question, how qualitative data and results can be communicated more compatible for HCI projects, the other sums up a discussion on interdisciplinary communication around code between computer scientists. A literally visionary (and entertaining) submission from TU Chemnitz researchers beyond that was the visual computing group‘s video on a possible HCI avatar tool in the shape of cuddly toys.

 

Workshop on HRI

K. Dautenhahn & CrossWorlds Fellows

Friday the 3th of May we had the pleasure to welcome Prof. Kerstin Dautenhan in Chemnitz for a talk on Challenges in human Robot Interaction. Kerstin Dautenhahn is Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the School of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, Technology and Creative Arts at University of Hertfordshire. There she is coordinator of the Adaptive Systems Research Group with the main areas of research in Human-Robot Interaction, Social Robotics, Socially Intelligent Agents and Artificial Life. In her talk on challenges in Human-Robot Interaction she gave plenty examples of robots and scenarios the Adaptive Systems Research Group created.

Kerstin Dautenhahn is former member of the Department of Biological Cybernetics at University of Bielefeld, Germany, 1990-1993, and AI-Lab at GMD (now Fraunhofer), Sankt Augustin, Germany, 1993-1996, and VUB Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Brussels, Belgium. In April 2000 she joined the Department of Computer Science (now School of Computer Science) at University of Hertfordshire as Principal Lecturer. She got promoted to full Professor in 2003. We are very happy that she joined her rich experiences in interdisciplinary research – she joined Robotics as a studied Biologist – afterwards with some of our PhDs.

Further information about Kerstin Dautenhahn can be found on her Website.

 

Workshop with Lucy Suchman 04/05/2012

Our fellow researcher Kalja Kanellopoulos was invited to take part in an interdisciplinary PhD workshop with Prof. Lucy Suchman at the Ruhr University Bochum last week. Suchman is an expert in anthropology and sociology, focusing on science and technology studies, feminist technoscience and human-computer interaction – to name only some of her main research areas. Before coming to the Lancaster University Department of Sociology and Centre for Science Studies she spent twenty years as a researcher at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center. Her book Human-Machine Reconfigurations. Plans and situated actions (embedded at the end of the article), first published in 1987 as her thesis, broadly influenced different scientific fields and still counts as one of the key texts in science and technology studies and human-computer interaction. The 12 participants of the workshop were invited to discuss their projects with Suchman, applying the concepts she developed to their own work. The inspiring one day workshop brought together young academics from different scientific fields, such as sociology, anthropology and media studies. It was organized by the Mercator Research Group.

 

International Symposium for Information Science

Last week’s 13th International Symposium for Information Science was a very interesting experience for our collegiate Andreas Bischof and CrossWorld’s associated member Vera Obländer. Information Science is an interdisciplinary research field on the triad between knowledge, humans and information technology, as the German information science pioneer Gernot Wersig pointed out in 1993. Researchers from a broad vary of disciplines like library science, book science, applied informatics, hci design, interaction design, psychology or philosophy attended the conference at the Univesity of Apllied Science in Potsdam.

Among the key notes, talks and doctoral sessions several media informatics associates of Chemnitz University of Technology presented their work. Thomas Wilhelm gave insights on his concept for a web service to improve information retrieval technology. His colleague Marc Ritter presented a technical solution to improve digitization and extraction of metadata in video archives.

Andreas Bischof and Vera Obländer presented the first results from CrossWorld’s mutual research seminar, including all current members, associate researchers and students of Technische Universität Chemnitz. During the last semester we worked on an interdisciplinary, overarching taxonomy on interaction in human machine constellations. To combine and compare the different approaches to the term “interaction”, we developed a meta-definition with three structural features of definitions of interaction.

The paper (in German) and the whole conference proceedings can be found on the publication server of FH Potsdam.