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Human Robot Interaction, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Människa-robotinteraktion

This syllabus is valid: 2017-07-24 valid to 2023-12-31 (newer version of the syllabus exists)

Course code: 5DV183

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Computing Science: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: TH teknisk betygsskala

Responsible department: Department of Computing Science

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2018-03-19


The course is about physical robots used in applications with close interaction between robots and humans. The focus is on design
considerations, software development, and evaluation of such applications.

The course is divided into a theoretical part (Part 1: Theory, 4 hp) and a practical part (Part 2: Practice, 3.5 credits). The theoretical part deals with current issues, established practices, and methods used to design, construct, and evaluate systems of interacting robots and humans. The theoretical part also provides exercises in applying this knowledge. Examples of concepts that are typically included in this part is autonomy, user-centered design, embodiment, anthropomorphism, emotions, design patterns, proxemics, deictic gestures, and natural language processing.

The practical part runs in parallel with the theoretical one, and mainly consists of project work in groups. Theories, methods and techniques from the theoretical part are applied in order to design and develop software for robots that interact with humans. Practical work with critical evaluation of such robots are also included.

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
After having completed the course the student will be able to:

  • discuss and compare advantages and disadvantages with robots within a number of current application areas (FSR1),
  • describe how the interaction between robot and human is influenced by design aspects such as degree of autonomy, design of social perception, embodiment, and anthropomorphism (FSR2),
  • describe relevant relations between the area of human-robot interaction, and other academic areas (FSR3).

Skills and abilities
After having completed the course the student will have practical skills in:

  • how to use systems of interacting robots and humans (FSR4),
  • how to develop software for systems of interacting robots and humans (FSR5),
  • and how to evaluate the system of interacting robots and humans (FSR6).

Values and attitudes
After having completed the course the student should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the need to consider technical, personal, safety related, ethical, and societal demands and requirements for work with, and evaluation of, own and others' research, design, and development work within the area human-robot interaction (FSR7).

Required Knowledge

Univ: To be admitted you must have (or equivalent) 90 ECTS-credits including 60 ECTS-credits in Computing Science or two years of completed studies within a study programme (120 ECTS-credits). In both cases includning at least 7.5 ECTS on bachelor level in Artficial intelligence (e.g. 5DV121) or equivalent.

Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper Secondary course English A/5. Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Form of instruction

The course consists of lectures, work in smaller groups, student presentations, and project work in the computer lab and other environments. In addition to scheduled activities, the course also requires individual work with the material.

Examination modes

The examination of the theoretical part (FSR 1-3, 7) is done with a written exam in halls. This part can give maximum 500 points and is graded with Fail (U) och Pass (G). 

Students who do not pass the regular examination are given additional opportunities at re-examination.

Examination of the practical part (FSR 4-7) is done by written and/or oral group presentations of the conducted project work. The number of projects may vary depending on the work load but is never more than 5.The practical part can give at most 500 points and is graded with Fail (U) or Pass (G).

Students who do not pass the practical part, but participated in most of the activities can be given a second chance with the missing activities. If a student has not participated in the activities, or missed a significant portion of these, the student can participate in the practical part the next time the course is given. The student then does the practical part in its entirety, and has no automatic right to reuse previously approved sub-parts.

On the course as a whole, the grades given are Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with Mark (4), or Pass with Distinction (5). The grade is based in the sum of the points from the two parts and is set after all mandatory parts are passed. In order to gett the grade Pass both parts must have gotten the grade Pass as well.
A student who has passed an examination may not be re-examined in order to get a higher grade. A student who has taken two tests for a course or part of a course, without passing, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless there exist special reasons (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 6, section 22). Request for a new examiner is made to the head of the Department of Computing Science.

Examination based on this syllabus is guaranteed for two years after the first registration on the course. This applies even if the course is closed down and this syllabus has ceased to be valid.

Students have the right to be tried if prior education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in the profession can be credited for the same education at Umeå University. Application for transfer of credits is submitted to the Student Services / Degree. For more information on credit transfer available at Umeå University's student web, www.student.umu.se, and the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). A refusal of crediting can be appealed (Higher Education chapter 12) to the University Appeals Board. This applies to the whole as part of the application for credit transfer is rejected.

Other regulations

In an exam, this course may not be included, in whole or in part, simultaneously with another course of similar content. If in doubt, consult the student counselors at the Department of Computer Science and / or program director of the study program.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.