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Distinguished Lecture: Bilge Mutlu, University of Wisconsin–Madison

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Dec 12

Date and time: 12 December 2023, 13:00-14:00 CET
Speaker: Bilge Mutlu, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Title: Enabling Everyday Use of Robots as Products, Tools, and Platforms

Where: Digital Futures hub, Osquars Backe 5, floor 2 at KTH main campus OR Zoom
Meeting ID: 695 6088 7455

Moderator: Iolanda Leite
Administrator: Alva Kosasih

Watch the recorded presentation:


Abstract: We have long envisioned robots as everyday technologies, assisting people and augmenting human capabilities in day-to-day environments from homes to factories. Bringing this vision into reality is proving harder than expected: very few robotic products find long-term use, very few robotics startups have succeeded in the market, and very few researchers have seen their research translated into real-world technologies. This difficulty stems largely from a lack of understanding of how robots, as unique technologies, might be designed for real-world environments, how they might be introduced to these environments, and how people in these environments might respond to them.

There is a clear need for design principles, tools, and methods for and a better understanding of real-world human-robot interaction. In this talk, I will present a research program that aims to address this need through three threads of research: (1) products: developing principles to support the entire lifecycle of robotic products; (2) tools: designing novel interfaces and control paradigms to enable the effective use of robots as tools; and (3) platforms: enabling robots as platforms for service delivery through end-user design and programming methods. I will provide example projects to illustrate each thread and discuss the implications of this program for future research and design of robotic technologies.

Bio: His research focuses on building human-centred methods and principles to enable the design of robotic technologies and their successful integration into human environments. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in human-computer interaction and user experience (UX) design on the UW–Madison campus. Dr. Mutlu is the director of the NSF Graduate Research Traineeship (NRT) program called “INTEGRATE: Integrating Robots into the Future of Work.” He is the founding chief editor of the HRI section of Frontiers in Robotics & AI and the secretary-treasurer of the Human-Computer Interaction Consortium. Dr. Mutlu has an interdisciplinary background that combines design, computer science, and social science and a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University.

He is a former Fulbright fellow, the recipient of the NSF CAREER award, the recipient of the H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, Vilas Associates Award, and the Provost’s Early Career Award at the UW–Madison, and the co-recipient of the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence from Carnegie Mellon University. His research has received nearly two dozen best paper awards and nominations and recognition in the international press, including the Economist, New Scientist, and Discovery News.

Photo: Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

More information on Dr. Mutlu and his research can be found at and