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On The Feminist Design of Social Robots and Designing Robots For Young People, With Young People

About the project
This project has two parts – the feminist design part is about reflecting on how feminist ideas can influence social robot design, firstly ensuring that robots do not propagate harmful norms e.g. about women, but then actually going beyond that to see if we can actively challenge such norms with the design decisions we make. The part on working with children is about exploring how children can be invited to co-design robots designed for their use, and particularly whether we can use human in the loop automation approaches to have them ‘teach’ robots how to best support them.

Background
Involvement in robotics research and development is typically limited to a privileged few who generally lack diversity with regards to e.g. gender, cultural background etc. and yet are expected to develop systems that work for all. These projects are both fundamentally concerned with trying to bring different perspectives into robotics, motivated by a desire to avoid some of the harms we already see in tech. development (biased systems, inappropriate use of gender cues) but also build better systems from the beginning – who better to craft robot behaviours than those who are ultimately supposed to benefit from that robot’s deployment?

About the Digital Futures Postdoc Fellow
Katie Winkle. After originally studying to be a mechanical engineer, Katie undertook a PhD in social robotics at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the UK, where she also undertook work on responsible robotics with partners from the University of Oxford. She successfully defended her thesis ‘Expert-Informed Design and Automation of Persuasive, Socially Assistive Robots’ in Summer 2020. Now, Katie is a Digital Futures Postdoctoral Research Fellow at KTH, based in the Social Robotics group at the Division of Robotics, Perception and Learning. Her research is hugely interdisciplinary, drawing on psychology and the social sciences as well as the latest in robotics and AI to engineer effective, meaningful and impactful human-robot interactions.

Main supervisor
Iolanda Leite, Associate professor, Department of Robotics, Perception and Learning, KTH

Co-supervisor
Donald McMillan, 
Associate professor, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University

Contacts

Picture of Katie Winkle

Katie Winkle

Digital Futures Postdoctoral Fellow, Postdoc project: On The Feminist Design of Social Robots and Designing Robots For Young People, With Young People

winkle@kth.se
Picture of Iolanda Leite

Iolanda Leite

Associate Professor, Department of Robotics, Perception and Learning at KTH, Working group Learn, PI of research project Advanced Adaptive Intelligent Systems (AAIS), Supervisor for Postdoc project Designing Gamified Robot-Enhanced Interventions for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Supervisor for postdoc project On The Feminist Design of Social Robots and Designing Robots For Young People, With Young People, Digital Futures Faculty

iolanda@kth.se

Donald McMillan

Assistant Professor, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences at Stockholm University, Co-PI of research project Advanced Adaptive Intelligent Systems (AAIS), Supervisor for postdoc project On The Feminist Design of Social Robots and Designing Robots For Young People, With Young People, Digital Futures Faculty

08-16 16 81
donald.mcmillan@dsv.su.se