Friendly Robots: Visiting Cooperation Partners in Japan

CITEC researcher accompanies Minister of Science to Japan

What makes a robot socially competent? This Thursday (12.11.2015), Svenja Schulze, Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, and researchers at Osaka University met to exchange opinions on this question and other topics. Bielefeld Professor Dr. Friederike Eyssel accompanied the Minister on her trip to Japan. Bielefeld University and Osaka University have been cooperation partners since 2010. Eyssel conducts research at the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) of Bielefeld University.  

Prof. Yukie Nagai PhD von der Universität Osaka (l.) präsentiert Ministerin Svenja Schulze (Mitte) und Prof. Dr. Friederike Eyssel den Roboter iCub im Emergent Robotics Lab. Friederike Eyssel heads the CITEC research group “Gender, Emotion and Cognitive Interaction Technology.” Together with Osaka University, Eyssel and her team of researchers is working on the research project Codefror (COgnitive Development for Friendly RObots and Rehabilitation), for which robots are being designed to be perceived by human users as particularly friendly. In addition to this, the researchers also want to help children with disabilities improve their perceptive abilities and motor skills. To do this, they are working on software protocols for robots and other devices. The project has been running since 2013.

Minister of Science Svenja Schulze traveled from 7–13 November to Japan with a delegation of representatives from institutions of higher learning in North Rhine-Westphalia, and Osaka was the last stop on their trip. There, the delegation focused their attention on questions about aging societies, the latest developments in robotics, and gender equality.

More information is available online at:
Press release by the Ministry of Science, North-Rhine Westphalia: [German]
Reports on the trip to Japan:
CITEC research group on “Gender, Emotion and Cognitive Interaction Technology“: