(Tuesday) 14:00 - 15:00
Pam Liversidge Building, F12
Dr Paul Baxter "Social Cognitive Robots for Children" School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln Abstract Robots capable of social behaviour are necessary if they are to be effective in the
Dr Paul Baxter "Social Cognitive Robots for Children" School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln
Robots capable of social behaviour are necessary if they are to be effective in the real world as it allows robots to interact with real people in human-centred environments. Such social robots have a particular potential to be useful to children in a range of contexts such as education, support, and therapy, as the characteristics of the robots (including the initial novelty effect this gives rise to) can be bootstrapped for increased task engagement and improved outcomes. But we are not there yet: there are significant problems to be overcome in terms of understanding what social interaction actually entails (and how it can be used effectively by robots), and what cognitive competencies are required (and how these should be implemented). In this talk, I will provide a brief overview of my three-levelled approach to addressing these open questions: cognitive robotics (and memory-based cognition), social interaction characteristics (using robots to explore socially-appropriate behaviour, with interaction mediators), and challenging application domains (child-robot interaction ‘in the wild’ for learning, behaviour change and therapeutic applications). Rather than stand-alone research topics, I consider each of these to be fundamentally related to one another, and I attempt to combine the lessons learned from each topic. I will describe a range of experiments and systems that I have worked and collaborated on over the past few years, and hope to demonstrate that child-robot interaction with social robots is both interesting and potentially useful, with significant technical and human challenges that make it an exciting area of ongoing development.
Dr. Paul Baxter is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln (U.K.), in the School of Computer Science, and a member of the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems and the Autism Research and Innovation Centre. He completed his PhD on developmental cognitive robotics at the University of Reading (U.K.), and followed this with postdoctoral positions at Plymouth University (U.K.) where he worked on a range of Human-Robot Interaction projects (including ALIZ-E and DREAM). His research interests are broadly in the overlap between developmental cognitive robotics and social human-robot interaction: Social Cognitive Robots. He serves as a PC member for a range of HRI-related conferences, notably as the Theory and Methods sub-committee chair for HRI’18, and acts as an associate editor for the ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction. Over the past few years he has co-organised a range of workshops at various conferences, covering topics related to social HRI and the application of cognitive architectures. Most recently, he has been attempting to apply to of these same principles to agricultural robotics, where they work side-by-side with humans.