Human-Robot Interaction

Nadia Magnenat Thalmann

University of Geneva, Switzerland and
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Prof. Nadia Magnenat Thalmann is currently Professor and Director of the Institute for Media Innovation (IMI), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She is also the Founder and Director of the MIRALab, University of Geneva, Switzerland. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal The Visual Computer (Springer-Verlag). Her research area is the modelling of Virtual Humans and Social Robots. All over her career, she has received many artistic and scientific Awards, among them the 2012 Humboldt Research Award, and two Doctor honoris Causa (University of Hanover, Germany and University of Ottawa). She leads the team who recently developed the world known Social Robot Nadine.

Daniel Thalmann

MIRALab Sarl
and EPFL, Switzerland

Prof. Daniel Thalmann is Director for Research Development in MIRALab sarl and Honorary Professor at EPFL. He is a pioneer in research on Virtual Humans. He has been the Founder of VRlab, EPFL, Switzerland. He is coeditor-in-chief of the Journal of Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds. He received his PhD in Computer Science in 1977 and an Honorary Doctorate from University Paul- Sabatier in Toulouse, France, in 2003. He also received the Eurographics Distinguished Career Award in 2010 and the 2012 Canadian Human Computer Communications Society Achievement Award.

Course Description

This course will cover the specific technological innovations to enable a mixed society of autonomous virtual humans, social robots, and real humans present locally and remotely through avatars. It will also present the ongoing research on the Human-Man Machine Interaction and what are the problems to solve and what is still missing. Major methods of gestures recognition will be shown, such as gaze, hand and body recognition. Then the concept of awareness, intelligence will be also discussed and the way how we model the interaction with Virtual Humans or social Robots. An introduction to the personality, mood and emotions of the robot modelling will be shown and demonstrated. We will also discuss episodic memory, which provides social entities with the abilities of remembering and recalling what has happened, adapting to user preferences and learning from past experience. Several research case studies will be shown to illustrate the problems. Examples of the very realistic human-like social robot Nadine ( interacting with real humans will also be shown. At the end of the course, attendees should have a clear view of the research questions and some solutions on how to model the relationship between Social robots, Virtual Humans and real persons.

Date & Room

February 15th, 2019, Room D130