Social robots can be designed to entail persuasive capabilities in various application domains. We investigate how social robots can be designed to motivate and facilitate youth in civic participation. In our RoboCivics project, social robots are co-designed with the youth (15-24 years) to gain understanding of the youth’s perspectives to desirable forms of social robot interaction, with sustainability as the application domain. User trials take place in real contexts of use such as youth spaces, schools and shopping centres. The results of RoboCivics will help youth become more active societally and support creation of acceptable designs in the future society populated with social robots. In this talk, we present our research domains and share initial results from RoboCivics project.
Kaisa Väänänen is a full professor of Human-Computer Interaction in Tampere University, Finland. Kaisa has established and leads the research group of Human-Centred Technology (IHTE), with the aim of creating design-relevant understanding of user experience for digital solutions advancing sustainability. Over 20+ years, Kaisa has led over 30 research projects, most of which in collaboration with companies and other societal stakeholders. Kaisa’s passion in her research is to create social impact based on novel combinations of academic and pragmatic disciplines.
Kirsikka Kaipainen is postdoctoral researcher at Tampere University and the project manager of RoboCivics. Her current research focuses on the user experience and acceptability of social robots for societal participation. Her background is in wellbeing technologies, and she is especially interested in novel systems that promote sustainability and wellbeing.