Thomas Meneweger from the Center for Human-Computer Interaction attended IEEE RO-MAN 2015, the 24th International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication. RO-MAN 2015 took place in Kobe, Japan, from August 31th to September 4th. This years’ conference theme was “Interaction with Socially Embedded Robots”.

Thomas gave a talk on “Working Together with Industrial Robots: Experiencing Robots in a Production Environment”. In his talk, Thomas presented the findings of a narrative interview study conducted with workers in a semi-conductor factory. Relying on workers’ reports of their personal experiences, we found that daily work with industrial robots can be described along the four themes: rivalry with the robots, adaption towards the robot’s behavior, perceived reasonability and knowledge acquisition. These findings indicate how human-robot cooperation can be improved in terms of enhancing workers’ everyday experiences with industrial robots, for example, by providing a feeling of control or emphasizing human competences.

Contact: Thomas Meneweger

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
11.00 – 13.00

Concluding our expert workshop on Rethinking Technology Innovation: Factories, Fabrication & Design Research, which took place on September 28th to 30th, 2015, we hosted a discussion with further experts in the area of fabrication in cooperation with the federation of Austrian Industries, the Austrian Institute of Technology, and ITG – Innovationsservice Salzburg.

The Future of Fabrication: Advances, Potentials & Challenges

Austrian stakeholders complemented and took up on the findings from the previous event to situate them within national and international requirements and opportunities.


Georg Bauer (Sony DADC Austria AG)
Terry Cheng (Terry & Friends, China)
Suzanne Thomas (Intel Labs, USA)
Michael Wiesmüller (Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology)
Martin Zehnder (Palfinger AG, Austria)

Moderation: Manfred Tscheligi


End of August 2015, Kevin Kain, Markus Miksch, and Michael Miksch started their bachelor theses with the Human-Robot Interaction Group at the Center for Human-Computer Interaction. All three students are from the Department of Computer Science from the University of Salzburg.

Kevin Kain will work on the topic of using augmented reality as tool for robot programming. The goal of the thesis is to research which task-related parameters should be shown to robot programmers in order to increase programming efficiency and ease of use.

Markus Miksch works on the topic of robot humour. The usage of humour as personality trait for robots is a topic that has not been addressed a lot in human-robot interaction research so far. The goal of the thesis is to explore how humour can be displayed with robots and how humorous robots are perceived by humans.

Michael Miksch will explore how head movements can be automatically interpreted as input modality for robots interacting with humans. The goal is to recognize head movements and to automatically classify whether an error situation has occurred during a human-robot interaction.

The Human-Robot Interaction Group at the Center for Human-Computer Interaction always has open topics for bachelor and master’s theses. Interested students can contact Manuel Giuliani.

Contact: Manuel Giuliani

Nicole Mirnig and Gerald Stollnberger attended the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems which took place in Hamburg, Germany, from September 28th to October 2nd.

The theme of this year’s IROS conference was “Gateway to the Era of Robots”, following the notion of Hamburg as Germany’s “Gateway to the World”. IROS is one of the major international conferences on robotics. This year, the conference featured 970 papers which were presented in 15 parallel tracks. There were 6 plenary and 9 keynote talks covering a wide spectrum of topics around robotics, for example, lessons learned from the robotics DARPA challenge, robotic governance, robot ethics, and nano robotics.

A total of 51 workshops and tutorials were held and an exhibition showcased both, current robotics projects in the EU and leaders in the robotics industry. Nicole co-organized a workshop together with her fellow-members from the EUrobotics topic group “Standardization“. The workshop “Towards Standardized Experiments in HRI“ was well-received. The full-day event featured 11 impulse talks and 7 poster contributions about different aspects of standardization which provided an excellent basis for the hands-on sessions. In these sessions, 30 experts with varying backgrounds discussed the requirements, challenges and the potential of standardized experiments that pave the way for measurable and comparable robotic systems and solutions.

During the conference exhibition, the latest Remote Medical Diagnostician (ReMeDi) robot prototype was presented. Gerald was actively involved at the ReMeDi booth and in doing so helped to present our project achievements to the research community.

Contact: Nicole Mirnig

In September 2015 the center hosted a 2.5 day event on „Rethinking Technology Innovation: Factories, Fabrication & Design Research”. A group of approx. 25 researchers and practitioners met for disucussions in round-table sessions, working groups, as well as a public event open to other interested stakeholders. (more…)

Contact: Martin Murer

From August 24th to 29th, Nicole Mirnig, Susanne Stadler and Gerald Stollnberger attended a summer school on robotics at the Akademie der Automatisierungstechnik in Vienna. The one-week event was organized by F-AR Förderung der Automation und Robotik and Centauro – Center of Competence in Automation in Robotics.

The summer school was open for interested roboticists worldwide to take part in a week long training in industrial robotics. The goal of the school was to provide participants with hands-on laboratory experience, programming and offline simulation skills and to give an introduction to novel technologies and trends in the area of industrial robotics. The hands-on sessions provided the opportunity to gain practical skills with industrial robots from ABB and Fanuc in small, collaborative teams. The summer school was closed with an excursion to Magna Interiors in Ebergassing (Lower Austria) where the participants could see industrial robots in action.

Contact: Nicole Mirnig

At this years Interact conference, which took place in Bamberg, Germany from 14 – 18 of September, several of our researchers presented work from the Fabrication Experience Lab and the Car Interaction LabSandra Trösterer presented her paper on “Four Eyes See More Than Two: Shared Gaze in the Car”. Daniela Wurhofer participated in the doctoral consortium and presented her work on “Deploying Robots in a Production Environment: A Study on Temporal Transitions of Workers’ Experiences”. Bernhard Maurer presented work from the Embodied Interaction Group on “Actuated Shear: Enabling Haptic Feedback on Rich Touch Interfaces”.

Contributing to the goals of the IFIP 13.6 Human Work Interaction Design (HWID) working group, Verena Fuchsberger and Martin Murer organised a Workshop on “Human Work Interaction Design (HWID): Design for Challenging Work Environments”. Furthermore, Thomas Meneweger participated in a workshop on “Designing Interaction and Visualization for Mobile Applications”. Within a session on organizational overviews Martin Murer gave a talk on the Center’s main structure and philosophy entitled “Contextual Interaction Design Research: Enabling HCI”.

Contact: Bernhard Maurer

From August 17-21, 2015, Verena Fuchsberger and Martin Murer attended the decennial Aarhus conference “Critical Alternatives“. Together with Manfred Tscheligi, Silvia Lindtner, Andreas Reiter, Shaowen Bardzell, Jeffrey Bardzell, and Pernille Bjørn, they organized a one-day workshop on “The Future of Making: Where Industrial and Personal Fabrication Meet“. Therein, they discussed intersection of (hobbyist) making and (industrial) production, which reflects the research interest of the Fabrication Experience Lab at the Center for HCI.

Furthermore, Martin Murer presented a short paper that addresses “Deconstructivist Interaction Design: Interrogating Expression and Form” (co-authored by Verena Fuchsberger and Manfred Tscheligi). This critical assessment of several interactive artifacts expresses how a deconstructive perspective might contribute to the further development of the interaction design discipline.

The Center for HCI is looking forward to the next Critical Alternatives, taking place in 2025.

From the 24th until the 30th of August, Alina Krischkowsky and Katja Neureiter attended the International EUSSET Summer School on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)  together with almost 30 students from all around the world. It was constituted by a variety of interesting talks, working groups, and tutorial sessions that encouraged students to actively engage with the lecturers on site. The talks addressed foundations of CSCW, methods that are applied, and current themes that are discussed within the community, as well as future challenges. Within the working groups students discussed open issues or questions they had with respect to a certain topic within the community, e.g., theory development, data analysis and the application of mixed methods, or how to transfer practices into design. During the tutorial sessions PhD students could discuss issues they are facing with respect to their research.

The following lecturers were on site:

  • Kjeld Schmidt (Copenhagen Business School & University of Siegen)
  • Volker Wulf (University of Siegen)
  • Volkmar Pipek (University of Siegen)
  • Dave Randall (University of Siegen)
  • Myriam Lewkowicz (Troyes University of Technology)
  • Federico Cabitza (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca)
  • Mark Ackerman (University of Michigan)
  • Ina Wagner (Oslo University & Vienna University of Technology)
  • Tone Bratteteig (University of Oslo)
  • Susanne Bødker (Aarhus University)
  • Luigina Ciolfi (Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Liam Bannon (Aarhus University)
Contact: Katja Neureiter