The MPI lab is part of the SOCRATES program in which we use our expertise in Mobile Robotic Telepresence (MRP) systems, collaborative driving and evaluation methods. The aim of the SOCRATES program is to implement a successful multidisciplinary and intersectoral PhD training program, to develop the field of Social Robotics focusing on Interaction Quality aspects, with a clear application focus on Robotics in Eldercare.

The research is conducted in five key thematic areas:

  • Emotion:novel multi-modal methods to perceive human emotions from facial expressions, body motion, auditory and language cues
  • Intention: new techniques to infer human goals and intention from natural language and video analysis
  • Adaptivity: techniques to adapt a robot’s behaviour to user needs
  • Design: Novel design methods for hardware, interfaces, and safety
  • Acceptance: Procedures for evaluation of user acceptance

Seven universities and a number of business partners with expertise in entrepreneurship form the basis of a European training network employing 15 PhD students, two of which are employed by Örebro University and the MPI lab. One of the PhD students at ORU will focus on sliding autonomy, i.e. how much the operator needs to steer the robot and how much the robot can do autonomously. The other PhD student will focus on methods to evaluate the interaction quality between the human and the robots using qualitative and quantitative methods.

In the SOCRATES program, additional value and impact is generated by the unique multidisciplinary collaboration between academic disciplines that normally do not work together; computer science, cognitive science, biomechanics, ethics, social psychology, and social science. Intersectoral collaboration between academia, caregivers, business developers, and robot manufacturers will further strengthen novelty and impact by ensuring that relevant needs are addressed, and that research result are both economically and technically feasible.

 

SOCRATES is an MSCA-ITN-2016 – Innovative Training Networks funded by EC under grant agreement No 721619. Duration 01.11.2016-31.10.2020

Project webpage:   http://www.socrates-project.eu/