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Posts Tagged ‘conference’

EASST’14 – Talk on Robots in Elder Care

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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.

 

Thank you for a great conference!

This monday and tuesday, many months of preparation finally culminated in having our CrossWorlds 2014 conference on Theory, Development, & Evaluation of Social Technology at Chemnitz University. On these two days, over 60 participants enjoyed interesting talks on interdisciplinary topics concerning the boundaries of virtual and real social worlds and also shared engaging discussions with each other – both at the conference venue and at the social evening on monday.

On behalf of the whole CrossWorlds team, we thank all the presenters and participants for making our conference a huge success. We hope, you had a great time in Chemnitz and enjoyed the conference as much as we did. We’re already looking forward for our next conference in 2016.

Now, after the conference, we are especially interested in your feedback and comments. We will also post pictures and presentation slides in the coming days. So please, check back, soon.

Your CrossWorlds team

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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.

 

8th Conference of the Media Psychology Division of the German Psychological Society, Sept. 4–6

Last week, CrossWorlds fellows Benny Liebold and Daniel Pietschmann went to Würzburg  to present research papers with their respective working groups on “Emotionally Neutral Cues in Virtual Agent’s Expressive Behavior Impair Recognition of Emotions in Other Modalities” (Liebold) and “Effects of Video Game GUIs on the Construction of Rich Spatial Situation Models and Spatial Presence” (based on the Masters Thesis of and presented by Steve Nebel) at the 8th Conference of the Media Psychology Division of the German Psychological Society. Further talks included “Social Interaction in Massively Multiplayer Online Games: An Evolutionary Perspective” (Pietschmann), “No Evidence for Persuasion Effects of Emotional Advertisement on Attitudes towars Social Groups – The Case of Ageism” (Liebold) and “Gaze Path Analysis of Differences in Task Related Perception of Data Visualization” (Müller). Daniel also participated in the PhD Workshop the day before the conference.

We had a great time at the lab of Prof. Frank Schwab and colleagues in Würzburg and thank the organizers for putting together a great conference for the Media Psychology Division this year.

 

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.

 

3rd International Symposium on Facial Analysis and Animation

The 3rd International Symposium on Facial Analysis and Animation (FAA) was held on September 21 at the Museum of Young Arts in Vienna. According to the organizing committee the FAA is the only international conference that solely focusses on the analysis of animation of faces. The field of participants ranged from social scientists who analyzed the perception of different animation techniques to companies that presented their newest tracking algorithms. Therefore the talks as well as the poster presentations gave a good overview of this very interesting field of research with multiple relations both to professional applications (e.g. entertainment industry) and interdisciplinary research.

One of the currently investigated research topics is performance driven animation, i.e. facial animation controlled by facial movements of human actors. Despite the fact that the state of development of the presented animations seems intriguingly spohisticated the research community aims at even more robust methods for both tracking and animating for professional applications. Another interesting topic are facial analysis and animation tools with live support that do not require professional 3D-tracking hardware but rely on consumer hardware like simple webcams (Image Metrics Live Driver) or the Microsoft Kinect (Face Shift) instead.

At the conference CrossWorlds made some interesting contacts to both professionals and researchers resulting in research collaborations with Image Metrics and intense information exchange with researchers from different backgrounds.