SOCRATES is a training program for 15 PhD students, created to develop the field of Social Robotics with an application focus on Robotics in Eldercare.
The heart and soul of SOCRATES is our 15 PhD students. To support them and their training, a consortium comprising seven universities/research institutes, three industrial partners, two end-user oriented partners, and three business oriented organizations has been formed. Thomas Hellström at UMU is the coordinator for SOCRATES project.
The research in Social Robotics has a common theme of Interaction Quality, which is a concept for characterization of how a specific mode of interaction is fit for a given task, situation, and user. Interaction Quality often changes, for instance if an older adult gets tired and loses focus when interacting with a robot. Interaction Quality also depends on the robot’s functionality and design. By slowing down the speed of the robot, Interaction Quality can be maintained. In SOCRATES we address these issues from a range of perspectives in five research workpackages:
Emotion: novel multi-modal methods to perceive human emotions from facial expressions, body motion, auditory and language cues
Intention: new techniques to infer human goals and intention from natural language and video analysis
Adaptivity: techniques to adapt a robot’s behaviour to user needs
Design: Novel design methods for hardware, interfaces, and safety
Acceptance: Procedures for evaluation of user acceptance