Colloquium Cognitive Systems

Human-Robot Interaction @Work

Jun.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Verena Nitsch (UniBW Munich)


Abstract. Since the introduction of the first industrial robot in 1961 at a General Motors factory in New Jersey, robots have been used for decades as programmable multi-purpose handling devices. They were standing at fixed workplaces and only functioned in a structured, controlled environment. Thanks to numerous innovations in sensor technology and software development, robots are now increasingly able to plan complex tasks in unknown environments, learn from experience and adapt to changes in the environment. The greatest challenges in robotics now lie in the development of robot skills that enable robots to work effectively in close cooperation with humans. How should robots look, behave and communicate with us? Should robots express emotions? What are our expectations of robot behavior at work? The talk will address these questions and discuss recent research as well as future visions of human-robot interaction at the workplace.

Bio. Verena Nitsch is currently professor for Human-Machine Integration at the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich. After studying Applied Psychology at Charles Sturt University in Australia and the University of Central Lancashire in the UK, she completed her Master's degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Manchester Business School.  From 2008 to 2013, she worked as a research assistant at the Human Factors Institute at the University of the Bundeswehr, where she received her Doctorate of Engineering in 2012 and was appointed assistant professor of Cognitive Ergonomics in October 2013. Her research interests include human-robot interaction, multi-modal human machine interfaces and autonomous driving.