Our 'Robot as Museum Guide' features in the image film of the Department of Linguistics and Literature

The Department of Linguistics and Literature at Bielefeld University celebrates its 40th anniversary!

A 25 min. film gives wonderful insights into the past, present and future of the department. We are proud that our “Robot as Museum Guide”-project is part of it.

Panel "Interacting with Robot and Virtual Agents?" @ IIEMCA 2012

Panel: Interacting with Robots and Virtual Agents?

Conference of the International Institute of Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis (IIEMCA 2013), Waterloo/Canada

Organizer: Karola Pitsch (Bielefeld)

Over the last years, humanoid robots and virtual agent systems have emerged as novel types of human-machine-interfaces, which are endowed with capabilities of observing their environment and using human-like communicational resources (talk, gaze, gesture, body movements in space). Using these features, it might be possible to develop intuitively usable interfaces, which are inspired by and/or modeled after authentic human interactional conduct. Within recently emerging interdisciplinary research fields, such as “Social Robotics”, “Human-Robot-Interaction” etc., an EM/CA approach begins to contribute ideas of interactional coordination and everyday practices, the relevance of the social environment (as experienced in real-world situations), the users’ emerging and changing interpretation and categorizations of a technical system etc. Along these lines, we aim at bringing together EM/CA-researchers to discuss current empirical work, methodological and conceptual issues. Starting from concrete video-based work on modeling for and analyzing human-robot/agent-“interaction”, we shall also address the new challenges set and potential gains offered by human-robot/agent-interaction for EM/CA methodology.

More info at:

Paper accepted @ RoMan 2012 on the robot's feedback in a tutoring scenario in HRI

K. Pitsch, K.S. Lohan, K. Rohlfing, J. Saunders, C.L. Nehaniv & B. Wrede (2012): Better be reactive at the beginning. Implications of the first seconds of an encouter for the tutoring style in human-robot-interaction. In: 21st IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (Ro-Man 2012), Paris.

The paper investigates the effects of a robot’s “on-line” feedback during a tutoring situation with a human tutor. Analysis is based on a study conducted with an iCub robot that autonomously generates its feedback (gaze, pointing gesture) based on the system’s perception of the tutor’s actions using the idea of reciprocity of actions. Sequential micro-analysis of two opposite cases reveals how the robot’s behavior (responsive vs. non-responsive) pro-actively shapes the tutor’s conduct and thus co-produces the way in which it is being tutored. A dialogic and a monologic tutoring style are distinguished. The first 20 seconds of an encounter are found to shape the user’s perception and expectations of the system’s competences and lead to a relatively stable tutoring style even if the robot’s reactivity and appropriateness of feedback changes.

Paper accepted @ RoMan 2012 on the interactional constitution of a robot's competences

L. Süssenbach, K. Pitsch, I. Berger, N. Riether & F. Kummert (2012): Can you answer questions, Flobi? Interactionally defining a robot’s competence as a fitness instructor. In: 21st IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (Ro-Man 2012), Paris.

Paper accepted @ LREC 2012 on linking CA and Motion Capturing

Our paper "PAMOCAT: Automatic retrieval of specified postures" by B. Brüning, C. Schnier, K. Pitsch & S. Wachsmuth has been accepted at LREC 2012.