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Conversational and Interactive Agents

For a human to have real-time conversations with intelligent (virtual) agents, at HMI, we jointly address three aspects: behavior sensing, modeling and generation. Using computer vision and speech technology, we observe the human conversational participant’s body and head movements, facial expressions, and paralinguistic vocalizations. We detect social cues, which are informative of the stance and intentions of the participant. These are used to model the interaction, and to generate the agent’s appropriate conversational behavior. Our research combines corpus-based analysis with pattern recognition, multimodal behavior realization, and perceptual evaluation.

First contact: Rieks op den Akker. ... read more

Social Robots

We strive to make robots behave as socially appropriate as possible in a given situation. The basis for modeling such behavior is the in-depth analysis of human-human and human-robot interaction from a social science point of view, taking the user, the system, and the situation into account. Our work results in autonomous robots that are social and that can assist humans in their life, with applications ranging from helping the elderly in their homes to engaging visitors in outdoor touristic sites.

First contact: Manja Lohse. ... read more

Entertainment Computing and Body-centric Interaction

Our research on body-centric interaction focuses on new nonverbal interaction methods, including whole-body, tangible, and tactile interaction. The elicitation as well as the interpretation of emotional and social behavior are essential in this line of research. The interactive systems we create range from wearable devices and smart material interfaces to ambient environments. Example applications include ambient entertainment, interactive playgrounds, mediated social touch, and smart material based visitor guiding systems.

First contact: Dennis Reidsma. ... read more

Brain Computer Interaction

Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) provide a novel channel of information. They acquire input information directly from the brain itself, using EEG or similar techniques. At HMI we research various aspects of BCIs, and especially also their possible roles in the enrichment of Human Computer Interaction. We have developed and evaluated BCI-controlled games incorporating custom BCI pipelines, using various types of feedback as well as various mappings of mental tasks to in-game actions. Finally, we also look at the impact of brain-computer interfaces on society and ethical and moral issues related to the research, development and exploitation of such neurotechnologies.

First contact: mannes_poel. ... read more