Skip to main content

Workshop: Interdisciplinary workshop on healthcare robotics

Save to calendar

Nov 23

Date and time: 23 November 2022, 10:00 – 17:00 CET followed by dinner
Title: Robotic failures in health and social care – Improving HRI design based on empirical insights on human needs, emotions and engagement
Where: Digital Futures hub, Osquars Backe 5, floor 2 at KTH main campus


The event will have a limited number of participants. Registration is free and can be made through the following link:

Today, a diversity of robots are being used in many different care settings: ranging from surgical robots in hospitals to companion robots as part of care for the elderly. As robots move out of the lab and into real-world settings, they face the challenge of adapting to a complex and shifting environment: a challenge currently being tackled by roboticists through emphasizing the need for context awareness and personalisation. 

Robust design and sound engineering do not necessarily result in a high uptake of robotic systems in health and social care. Many of these systems eventually fail to reach long-term user engagement, potentially because they fail to consider some of the complexities that characterize real-world care environments, where the staff and patients’ ideas of what ‘good’ care entails become entangled with organisational structures and demands (e. g., patient safety, care relationship, quality of care).

This workshop called ‘Robotic failures in health and social care: Improving HRI design based on empirical insights on human needs, emotions and engagement’ aims to provoke a discussion of robot failures in health and social care to design and implement robotic systems in health care in a practically feasible, as well as ethically sustainable, way. We invite researchers from interdisciplinary fields such as Human-Robot Interaction, social sciences, psychology and medical engineering to discuss the following:

  • How and why do robots fail when they enter real-world care environments?
  • What aspects of care environments do roboticists have to consider when designing robots to be utilized in these settings?
  • What methods could be adopted in order to transfer and communicate empirical findings into the work of those who design and develop care robots?

The workshop will be held in the open space environment of the Digital Futures hub at the KTH Campus. It will consist of invited talks, networking games and directed discussions around the above-mentioned questions. The emphasis will be on the latter, as our aim is for all participants to be actively engaged and have the opportunity to expand their network and establish possible future collaborations.


10:00 Welcome and Introductory Words on Interactive Flow

10:10 Speed Networking Game

10:20 Idea, Experience, Failures and Critics Sharing & Q&A

  • Bipin Indurkhya, Professor of Cognitive Science, Jagiellonian University, Poland: “In-the-Wild Observations on The Role of Surprise in Child-Robot Interaction”
  • Sofia Thunberg, PhD Student in Cognitive Science, Linköping University, Sweden: “Social Robots are Not for Everyone – Differences Among End Users
  • Maria Arnelid, PhD Student, Linköping University, Sweden &  Mikaela Hellstrand, PhD Student, KTH, CBH, Sweden: ‘Experiences and gains of utilizing an ethnographic approach when investigating care robots
  • Arzu Guneysu Ozgur, Digital Futures Postdoctoral Fellow, KTH, RPL: “Health care professionals’ perception of robots”

11:40 Research Pitches from Attendees

12:00 Discussions on Challenges

12:45 Creating a Challenge Board

13:00 LUNCH

14:00 Research pitches from attendees

14:20 Idea, Experience, Failures and Critics Sharing & Q&A

  • Hatice Gunes, Professor of Affective Intelligence and Robotics, University of Cambridge, UK, Title TBA
  • Youssef Mohamed, PhD candidate, KTH, RPL, Sweden: “Multimodal Social Robotic Systems in Healthcare
  • Bahar Irfan, Digital Futures Postdoctoral Fellow, KTH, TMH, Sweden: “Behind the Scenes of Putting Autonomous Personal Robots in the Wild”
  • Björn Fischer, PhD, KTH, CBH, Sweden: ““Who are the robot and AI users? How business practices can perform future consumer markets

15:20 Fika & Networking Game

15:45 Discussions on solutions and methodologies

16.40 Ideation and Possible Collaborations

17:00 Closing and moving to dinner

18:00 DINNER


The KTH Life Science Platform funds the event.