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SOCIAL ROBOTICS

CODE 94866
ACADEMIC YEAR 2022/2023
CREDITS
  • 4 cfu during the 2nd year of 10635 ROBOTICS ENGINEERING (LM-32) - GENOVA
  • SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR ING-INF/05
    LANGUAGE English
    TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
  • SEMESTER 1° Semester
    TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

    OVERVIEW

    Social Robotics (SoRo) is a research field that provides robots with a brand new set of skills, specifically related to social behaviour and natural interaction with humans. Different aspects must be considered when seeking to the design of robots capable of social interaction: how robots can enable an intuitive interaction through proxemics, gestures, gaze or head movements, as well as speech; how timely, purposive, and appropriate communication is established; which environmental (including human) cues must be detected, represented and considered to ground such interaction.

    AIMS AND CONTENT

    LEARNING OUTCOMES

    The objective of the course is to make students aware about the most relevant issues in the fields of social robotics, including: verbal and nonverbal human-robot interaction; cultural factors in the design of social robots; anthropomorphic and zoomorphic robots and robot behaviours; sensors for human-robot interaction; methodology and constraints in making experiments with robots and human participants; application scenarios. The student will face these problems both from a theoretical perspective and through practical assignments, by exploring in depth one of the topics above on real robots for social interaction.

    AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

    At the end of the class, the student will be able to:

    • understand the most up to date paradigms in the development of human-robot interaction systems;
    • apply the acquired knowledge to design new solutions for verbal and non-verbal interaction with social robots;
    • evaluate such interaction processes in real-world conditions.

    Practice classes will be carried out using a humanoid Pepper robot from SoftBanks Robotics and other HW and SW tools.

    PREREQUISITES

    Students must know how to program in C/C++ or Python.

    TEACHING METHODS

    All classes will involve thematic frontal lectures and a series of practice classes related to the discussed topics.

    SYLLABUS/CONTENT

    SoRo is organised as a series of thematic lectures:

    • Introduction to the course
    • How to design experiments involving humans and social robots.
    • Affective Computations and emotions in robots
    • Speech-based human-robot interaction.
    • Human-Aware Navigation
    • Culturally-competent social robots.
    • Human-robot cooperation and Theory of Mind.

    RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Relevant material (tech reports, slides, papers) will be distributed by the teachers during the lectures.

    TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

    Exam Board

    ANTONIO SGORBISSA (President)

    CARMINE RECCHIUTO

    FULVIO MASTROGIOVANNI (President Substitute)

    LESSONS

    Class schedule

    All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.

    EXAMS

    EXAM DESCRIPTION

    The SoRo final mark is based on a written exam at the end of the course plus assignments during the course

    Please note that:

    • EMARO+, JEMARO, and Robotics students have a strict deadline to complete their assignments;
    • Ph.D. students attending the course do not have any specific deadline. 

    Properly carrying out an assignment means providing:

    • a (possibly working, maybe with assumptions) solution to the given problem;
    • properly commented code, and where appropriate a tutorial;
    • a video showing how the developed solution work.

    ASSESSMENT METHODS

    The written exam and the assignments will be evaluated based on:

    • the capability in applying the notions and insights discussed during classes;
    • the quality of the provided documentation (for assignments);

    Exam schedule

    Date Time Location Type Notes

    FURTHER INFORMATION

    Follow-ups:

    • for successful assignments, we typically encourage students to co-author a scientific paper for Robotics-related conferences.