2020 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    (ZOOM)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon7-8(Zoom)  Thr7-8(Zoom)  
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. The class will be held Online and recordings of the class will be made available for viewing. Every class contains a lecture and group discussions / group work. Class participation is registered by filling out a Google form for each course after you have taken the Zoom course or viewed the course record.

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 Sources of Interactivity effects Interactivity of HRI, Affordance and Machine Agency
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 Challenges and Future scenarios of HRI Discussing challenges of HRI that emerge with the evolution of more intelligent interactive technologies
Class 12 Ethical considerations Ethical guidlines for Artificial Intelligence, Impact of robot technology on society
Class 13 Presentation (PechaKucha Style) Short presentation by students covering specific problems in a chosen applied field of robotics or artificial intelligence
Class 14 Applications: Domestic assistance / Service sector Review of specific available applications that facilitate daily life and are used in the service sector

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


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

Attendance at classes (Google form) 30%.
Homework 20%
Presentation 40% of
Peer review of the presentation 10%

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. Interest in the subject and being able to discuss in English.

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