On March 19-20th 2019 AIR held its kick-out conference. All partners were present and presented the past years research and discoveries, as well as looking ahead by addressing future research challenges and applications. The conference was hosted by the Skövde University.
The general theme in AIR is on the interaction of humans and autonomous systems that move in shared physical spaces. The scenarios that instantiate this general theme are: autonomous systems in the home, autonomous systems in industrial environments, autonomous systems in the traffic and methodologies and framework. In that sense AIR is a one of a kind research project.
Discoveries and research of today
During day one, all research scenarios presented the last years research and discoveries. In the afternoon participants had the pleasure of listening to keynote Alessandra Sciutti from Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). She spoke about about her research perspective on robots and humans from mutual understanding to interaction and trust.
The research landscape and possibilities of tomorrow
Day two was spent at ASSAR – Industrial innovation arena. Participants where given a tour of the demonstrators displayed at ASSAR and demonstrators produced within the AIR project. These included industrial robots/rav that cooperate with man without security barriers, autonomous trucks, humanoids such as Pepper and FurHat, voice-controlled robots and VR technology.
Keynote day two, Bertil Thorvaldssson Senior Advisor at the University of Skövde and a Technical Fellow at ABB Robotics, give us a brief look into the past but for the main part of his talk The next wave of digital manufacturing he spoke about what lies ahead.
Kick-off with open house
We ended the kick-out with an open house for the general public which came to be a very appreciated event. Both business associates and families came to learn more about the research conducted within AIR. In total this event had roughly 150 or so visitors. AIR started the open house by briefly explaining AIR and showing visitors below video produced:
Researchers from academia and industry joined forces to discuss the newest insights in embodied cognition and its consequences for automated driving. Embodied cognition provides a different perspective which focus on how interaction is shaped by body and context. With the increase of automation in vehicles, the driver is increasingly disengaged from the driving task.
However, one can question if we even want (!) to be embodied with the car? Theoretical insights, and historical outlook from an embodied cognition perspective was provided and future direction for automated driving were considered.
On October 23rd researchers from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) came to University of Skövde to discuss Human-robot interaction and to visit and be inspired at ASSAR – Industrial Innovation Arena.
IIT-RBCS has a long lasting activity on social robotics with special focus on investigating the role of social signs (such as gestures’ dynamic parameters and gaze direction). So on October 23rd the AIR consortia opened up the talk held by IIT to researchers.
Human-robot interaction The visiting researchers were Giulio Sandini, Alessandra Sciutti and Francesco Rea from the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences unit at IIT, in Genova, Italy. The researchers gave the attendants an insight to both the cognitive basis underlining social interaction and how social skills in robotics can be designed and implemented on the humanoid robot iCub to promote natural human-robot interaction.
Tour of ASSAR After the talks, Jessica Lindblom and Erik Billing from the AIR team Skövde took Francesco, Alessandra and Giulio to ASSAR-industrial innovation arena. A meeting place where education, innovation and research supply industry with new solutions. The environment focuses on the development of production, production methods, and production technology as well as bear the stamp of diversity and equality—a meeting place where sustainable manufacturing will be created together. The name ASSAR is a historical tribute to the initiator of the Volvo companies, Assar Gabrielsson, but also a name which is looking to the future with the meaning “the one who gives answers.”
Next stop during the AIR-consortia on tour was Halmstad University, on September 25th. Same topics as on the Örebro stop, the focus of the meeting was to discuss the collaboration of work packages.
The team discussed how to address joint challenges, both overall and within the different work packages, focusing on evaluation aspects of the interaction quality between humans and autonomous systems from a human-centred perspective.