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Robots Gone Wrong: The role of failure in human-robot interactions

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Feb 02

Date and time: 2 February 2023, 15:00 – 16:00 CET
Speaker: Rebecca Stower, KTH Royal Institution of Technology
Title: Robots Gone Wrong: The role of failure in human-robot interactions

Where: Hybrid event at Digital Futures hub, Osquars Backe 5, floor 2 at KTH main campus OR via Zoom

A maximum of 50 participants are onsite at the Digital Futures hub.
For onsite participation, please register by sending a mail to Vicki Derbyshire at:

If you cannot participate on-site, you are welcome to join us via Zoom.

This event is jointly organized by TECoSA and Digital Futures

Questions? Contact Vicki Derbyshire by mail at:

Abstract: As robotics research advances, there are increased opportunities for humans and robots to coexist in workplaces, homes, and public spaces. Yet, alongside this increased presence comes more opportunities for failure. Such failures can be physical, technical, or social and sometimes lead to severe communication and task breakdowns. In this seminar, I will cover the role of such failures in shaping (different kinds of) human-robot interactions. I will also discuss different psychological concepts that are especially relevant to assessing and understanding robot failures, including trust, robot agency, and likeability. This research can also be considered in light of the replication crisis, where researchers might encounter different challenges when designing and implementing user studies involving both humans and robots. Consequently, the seminar will also consider the role of interdisciplinary robotics research in addressing such challenges.

Bio: Rebecca Stower is a postdoctoral researcher in the social robotics lab (SORO) at the Division of Robotics, Perception and Learning at KTH Royal Institution of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Previously, she worked as a researcher at the Paris8 CHArt Laboratory in collaboration with the Laboratory of Intuitive and Natural Interactions with Teleoperated Robots (INIT) in Montreal. She graduated with her PhD in Psychology in 2021 as part of the ANIMATAS H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie European Training Network (2018-2022). She is interested in the role of failures during human-robot interactions and how this affects people’s attitudes and behaviours towards robots. She is also highly involved with interdisciplinary research and the open science movement.  You can read more on her homepage.

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