Contact Information

Computer Science Department
Colgate University
McGregory Hall, 3rd Floor
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346
(tel) 315.228.7719
Charlotte Jablonski, Administrative Assistant

Event Detail

Department Tea: Social Robotics: How to approach people to ask for help (if my wheels worked)

Start: Tuesday, April 04, 2017, 11:30 a.m.
End: Tuesday, April 04, 2017, 12:20 p.m.
Location: 319 McGregory Hall

Speaker: Dr. Nick Webb, Union College

Abstract: We envision a future in which robots mingle with humans in city squares, train stations, malls, or popular meeting spots on college campuses. These robots will perform a variety of tasks such as cleaning, leading guided tours, delivering items or providing help and information. Such robots will need varying degrees of help performing their tasks, and that help could be supplied by anyone in the immediate vicinity of the robot. These robots will need to approach nearby people for help. These people may not be accustomed to interacting with robots and will be unprimed, that is they may not be expecting an approach from a robot, or expect to come into contact with a robot at all. Approaching a person for help involves three main subtasks: selecting who to ask, approaching that person, and initiating the interaction with verbal and non-verbal communicative behaviors. In this talk, the steps to establishing a research program in these areas will be described, and the challenges of working with real robot platforms will be explored.

Bio: Dr. Nick Webb is Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Union College. His research encompasses a range of Natural Language Processing applications, including Information Extraction, Question Answering and Dialogue Systems, as well as Social Robotics, and Computer Science Education. He was the Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded Social Robotics Consortium of the Capital Region, and is co-PI of the Social Robotics Workshop, funded by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) and Google IgniteCS. He is not a roboticist.