An ICRA 2020 Keynote, presented by Kerstin Dautenhahn. Social robots that interact with people have been studied extensively over the past 20 years. Such research requires interdisciplinary approaches that cover areas such as engineering, robotics, computer science, as well as psychology, social sciences and other fields. I have been involved in multiple projects over the past 25 years aimed at developing social robots that can interact “naturally” with people, i.e. meeting people’s expectations on what it means to interact with a robotic “social entity”. This involved fundamental research, as well as application-oriented research. I’m particularly interested in application areas where robots are not replacing people, can be used as efficient tools complementing the human skills and providing an “added value”. These application areas include therapy and education for children and adults, as well as support and assistance for older people who live in their own homes or in care homes. In my keynote talk I will briefly introduce some issues that are key in those domains, in particular with respect to robot autonomy, people’s trust (and the danger of overtrust) in robots, and challenges in how to create useful, enjoyable, safe and non-judgemental interactions between people and robots.
By: Kerstin Dautenhahn (University of Waterloo)