Workshop Organizers

Astrid Weiss
ACIN, Vienna University
of Technology
Tamara Lorenz
University Munich, Technische Universität München
Ben Robins
School of Computer Science, University of Hertfordshire
Vanessa Evers
Department of Computer Science, University of Twente
Markus Vincze
ACIN, Vienna University
of Technology

Workshop Agenda

Download Workshop Agenda

Taking Care of each Other:

Synchronisaton and Reciprocity for Social Companion Robots

Recent studies of compassion argue that in human-human interaction actual compassion exists, which is not inherently motivated by self-interest. This research suggests that compassion is based on reciprocity and synchronisation and is rooted in our brain and biology as well as in our socialisation and culture. In a nutshell compassion can be considered as one of the building blocks for sociality. When we are developing robots as companions we have to wonder in how far we can integrate synchronisation and reciprocity in our systems in order to achieve a perceived compassionateness, which leads to mutual care between the user and the robot, as this fosters a sustainable long-term interaction with the system accompanying the user.

Companion robots are considered for various application areas, such as school education, elderly care, therapy etc. and in all these contexts we are aware that a give-and-take relationship can be crucial for the success of the individual. Therefore, companion robots must communicate a feeling of social coupling, relate to the human counterpart, share perceptions and intentions and thereby achieve synchronized and reciprocal behaviour to be considered an actual companion.

Addressing these aspects demands joint effort from the HRI community of various disciplinary backgrounds, such as amongst others cognitive sciences, sociology, and social/ behaviour-based robotics. We believe that this workshop can offer the space to discuss companionship in/for robotics as an interaction pattern of give-and-take and create the much-needed interdisciplinary network to explore this unifying social HRI theme.

Download the full workshop description here