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Personal Robots in the Wild

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Apr 18

Date and time: 18 April 2023, 13:00 – 14:00 CEST (UTC +2)
Speaker: Bahar Irfan, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Title: Personal Robots in the Wild

Where: Digital Futures hub, Osquars Backe 5, floor 2 at KTH main campus OR Zoom
Meeting ID: 695 6088 7455
Password: 755440

Moderator: André Pereira
 Francisco J. Peña,

Abstract: Current robots are mainly designed for temporary interactions. As such, they do the same actions and behaviours repeatedly for everyone. However, to become part of our everyday lives, they should learn, remember, and adapt to keep interactions engaging and relevant to us over time while meeting our expectations. Thus, incorporating these elements and end-users into the design process of technical solutions are crucial to developing robots suitable to each person’s needs.

In this talk, I will give an overview of my previous and current work on creating personal robots deployed in real-world applications, that is, “in the wild”. The talk will span a range of user-centred technical solutions for personal robots, from task planning and user recognition to dialogue, applied to robots in service, rehabilitation, and elderly care.

Bio: Bahar Irfan is a Postdoctoral Researcher and Digital Futures fellow at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on creating personal robots that can continually learn and adapt to assist in everyday life. At KTH, she is developing a personal companion robot with lifelong learning that can remember previous conversations with older adults to personalize interactions in order to provide social and emotional support in their daily lives. Previously, she was a Research and Development Associate at Evinoks Service Equipment Industry and Commerce Inc., developing customizable software for industrial robots, virtual reality applications, and smart buffets. Prior to that, she worked as an R&D Lab Associate at Disney Research Los Angeles on emotional language adaptation in multiparty interactions.

She has a diverse background in robotics, from personalization in long-term human-robot interaction during her PhD at the University of Plymouth and SoftBank Robotics Europe as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions fellow to user-centred task planning for household robotics during her MSc in computer engineering, and building robots for BSc in mechanical engineering at Boğaziçi University.

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