2019 Human-Robot Interaction

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Industrial Engineering and Economics
Umemuro Hiroyuki  Urakami Jacqueline 
Class Format
Lecture / Exercise     
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue7-8(W9-508)  Thr7-8(W9-508)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) is a multidisciplinary study of interactions between Humans and Robots. The goal of this course is to examine psychological and sociological concepts that are relevant for understanding, evaluating, and designing natural and intuitive interactions between humans and robots. The course covers topics such as communication, trust, acceptance, empathy, affective design, and ethical considerations for HRI. In the course, students will learn what human needs and requirements have to be met in order to design effective and successful human-robot interactions. Furthermore, the course intends to increase students’ awareness of social aspects of technology and social considerations surrounding technology.

Student learning outcomes

Students will
1) Learn basic psychological and sociological concepts and how to apply them to the design of human-robot interaction
2) Understand human capabilitites and limitations that have to be considered in Human-Robot Interaction
3) Develop a criticial understand of the impact of new technologies on society


human-robot interaction, communication, intelligent automated systems, empathy

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Each class will cover a different topic relevant for Human-Robot interaction. Every class contains a lecture and group discussions / group work. By means of practical examples, exercises, and discussions students will develop a critical understanding of the subject matter.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction Course content, class flow, course requirements will be explained
Class 2 A short history of robotics Historic overview of how robot technology has evolved and changed peoples life
Class 3 Study methods and designs for evaluating Human-Robot interaction Fundamentals in research methods, laboratory and field studies, research design
Class 4 Interaction with intelligent autonomous systems Human interaction with automated systems and related problems
Class 5 Physical interaction and haptics Foundation of haptics, Effect of haptics in Human-Robot interaction
Class 6 Verbal and non-verbal communication Fundamentals of communication studies and how to apply these to Human-Robot interaction
Class 7 Affective Design The role of emotions for designing Human-Robot interactions
Class 8 Acceptance and Trust The concept of trust, role of trust for accepting and interacting with robots
Class 9 Empathic Human-Robot interaction Concept of empathy, how to improve Human-robot collaboration by incorporating empathy into the dialog
Class 10 Developing long-term relationships Foundations of relationship building, maintaining a lasting and positive relationship in Human-Robot interaction
Class 11 Applications: Domestic assistance / Eldercare Social robots for domestic use, rehabilitation, Problems involved with using Care robots
Class 12 Ethical considerations Ethical guidlines for Artificial Intelligence, Impact of robot technology on society
Class 13 Presentation Short presentation by students covering specific problems in a chosen applied field of robotics or artificial intelligence
Class 14 Presentation Short presentation by students covering specific problems in a chosen applied field of robotics or artificial intelligence
Class 15 Class review and Final Exam Summarizing overview of the topics studied throughout the semester, final exam


No textbook is set.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Additional course materials will be provided in class or on OCW-i.

Assessment criteria and methods

In class participation 20%
Home assignments 10%
Presentation 30%
Final Exam 40%

Related courses

  • IEE.C304 : Ergonomics
  • IEE.C432 : Applied Cognitive Ergonomics
  • IEE.C533 : Affect in Social Context
  • IEE.C203 : Engineering Psychology
  • IEE.C202 : Industrial Engineering

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Nothing in particular. Being able to discuss in English.

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