Research Seminar 5/2/16 2pm in MB1020, Paul Baxter: Helpful Social Robots for Children, and with Cognition
Our new colleague to be, Dr Paul Baxter, will be presenting in the School of Computer Science Research Seminar series. Paul will be joining the Centre for Autonomous System soon as a lecturer.
Title: Helpful Social Robots for Children, and with Cognition
Speaker: Dr Paul Baxter, Research Fellow in Human-Robot Interaction, Plymouth University, UK
Time/Venue: 2-3pm, Friday 5th February 2016, room MB1020, Minerva building
Social robots have the potential to be useful to children in a range of contexts such as education and support. Robots capable of social behaviour are necessary for these applications to be effective in the real world as it allows robots to interact with non-technical experts. But we are not there yet: there are significant problems to be overcome in terms of understanding what social interaction actually entails (and how it can be used effectively by robots), and what cognitive competencies are required (and how these should be implemented). In this talk, I will provide an overview of my three-levelled approach to addressing these open questions: cognitive robotics (and memory-based cognition), social interaction characteristics (using robots to explore socially-appropriate behaviour, with interaction mediators), and challenging application domains (child-robot interaction ‘in the wild’ for learning, behaviour change and therapeutic applications). Rather than stand-alone research topics, I consider each of these to be fundamentally related to one another, and I attempt to combine the lessons learned from each level. I will describe a range of experiments and systems that I have worked and collaborated on over the past few years, and hope to demonstrate that child-robot interaction with social robots is both interesting and potentially useful, with significant technical and human challenges that make it an exciting area of ongoing development.