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Specialisation Human-Robot Interaction and Social AI

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Endow robots with intelligence to make interaction with humans more intuitive, effective, and comfortable.

How can you make the contact between a robot and a human natural, productive, and of real added value to people? Think of designing robots that can interpret the body language of elderly people to assist them in their daily lives. What about developing a physical avatar and a wearable device facilitating a sense of touch and motion so that a doctor can examine a patient from far away? The design and development of robots require understanding human behaviour. Only in this way can you create AI systems that engage, assist, or collaborate with people in socially accepted ways. If you want to enable robotic systems to connect closely with people, the specialisation in Human-Robot Interaction & Social AI is a fantastic opportunity for you.

"You will learn to equip robots with intelligence to collaborate effectively with humans. A teleoperated robot, for instance, makes autonomous decisions while receiving human instructions. Similarly, social robots employ language, nonverbal cues, and other expressive means to communicate with humans."

Prof. Dirk Heylen, programme mentor Human-Robot Interaction & Social AI

What is Human-Robot Interaction & Social AI?

In this specialisation, you will build expertise in robot cognition. How can you design robots capable of intuitively interacting with humans in a variety of settings, such as collaborative work in manufacturing or assisting patients in hospitals? You will explore methods to design interfaces and behaviours by analysing gestures, speech patterns, and emotional expression. Designing communicative behaviours for robots is challenging because you have to deal with a lot of limitations. For instance, how can you make a robot that conveys its intentions clearly enough for a person to understand what it intends to do?

Examples of courses you will follow within this specialisation:
  • In the course Human-Robot Communication you will design, implement, and evaluate the interaction between the robot you have built and a person.
  • Learn to control robotic avatars considering all aspects, from model-based control to social telepresence, in the course Tele-presence Robotics.
  • How can you run a human-robot interaction experiment? In the elective course Advanced Research Projects in Human-Robot Interaction, you will learn everything from managing technical issues to drawing conclusions from statistical analysis.

What will you learn?

As a graduate of the Master's in Robotics with a specialisation in Human-Robot Interaction & Social AI, you have acquired specific scientific knowledge, skills, and values that will help you in your future career.

  • Knowledge

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • have a thorough understanding of how robotic systems fit in with people in social settings in terms of communication, movement, acceptance, and trust;
    • have an advanced knowledge of robot and human cognition, allowing you to develop human-robot algorithms;
    • have an understanding of how to make human-robot interactions effective, natural, and of real added value to people and organisations.
  • Skills

    After successfully finishing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • can model and analyse physical human-robot interaction behaviour;
    • can analyse and design social perception and cognition systems, social conversational agents, and interactive multimodal interfaces for social communication;
    • can apply and integrate knowledge from the other specialisations.
  • Values

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • are aware of the ethical, legal, social, and economic implications of human-robot interaction;
    • can design robots with a user-centred focus, considering human emotions, behaviours, and preferences;
    • understand the importance of continuously adapting to new technologies to meet the evolving demands of robotics and AI.

Other Master’s

Is this specialisation not exactly what you are looking for? Maybe one of the other specialisations suits you better. You can also find out more about related master’s at the University of Twente:

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