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

February 2, 15:0016:00

We aim to bring you a TECoSA Seminar on the first Thursday of each month during term-time. For Spring 2023, the talks will be on-line or hybrid. All are welcome to attend and we look forward to some lively discussions. Members can accept the invitations, non-members can email to register.

Our February seminar is with Dr Rebecca Stower, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Social Robotics Lab (SORO) at the Division of Robotics, Perception and Learning here at KTH.  This will be a hybrid event, and is jointly organized by TECoSA and Digital Futures.  The Zoom link is, and the real-life location will be shared with those who sign-up.

ABSTRACT: As robotics research continues to advance, there are increased opportunities for humans and robots to coexist in workplaces, homes, and public spaces. Yet, alongside this increased presence comes also more opportunities for failures to occur. Such failures can be physical, technical, or social and can lead to sometimes 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 different challenges might be encountered by researchers 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!



February 2
15:00 – 16:00
Event Category: