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Projects & Collaborations

The Cost of Digital Life – A Citizen Science Project

In the framework of SDU’s talent program on Citizen Science, a group of talented students has developed a short quiz about the costs of our digital activities. Click here to go to the quiz.

Socially Intelligent Robotics Consortium

Haru: The experimental social robot from Honda research had been presented at the Socially Intelligent Robotics Consortium.

In the framework of the Socially Intelligent Robotics Consortium , we work on conversational openings and the initiation of interaction, activity-specific use of emotional expression, and role-specific speech and voice characteristics, along with other social cues, to maximise the social affordance of HARU.  Furthermore, we study the timing of speech with respect to multi modal social cues and robot persuasiveness and credibility.

Prosody-Pragmatics Interface

Keepon Robot The project Improving Second Language Pedagogy at the Prosody-Pragmatics Interface Using Human-Robot Interaction aims to fill the gap regarding the teaching of prosody to second language (L2) learners.

We analyze real conversation with conversation analytic (CA) methods in order to identify the prosodic features that are used by native speakers to fulfil certain communicative tasks. Once we have identified a linguistic feature as a candidate for a trouble source, we use Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) experiments to investigate communicative functions of that feature in a controllable way, by varying one feature at a time in the robots behavior, yet still embedding it in an interactional context.

The German article "Sind Dänen unfreundlicher?" demonstrates how differently bad news are delivered in Denmark and Germany. Based on our findings, we then develop teaching materials using different visualisation methods.

Listen to Ph.D. studentLars Christian Jensen talk about the project on Danish radio P4 and P1. 

SMOOTH Project

The SMOOTH project aims at creating robots for the support of elderly people with a focus on making them interact seamlessly and robustly with their users. 

In Sønderborg, we investigate these aspects: 

  1.  persuasive dialog
  2.  the effects of responsivity of robot behavior
  3.  the role of incremental speech processing and synthesis

The project is funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark (2017-2020).

Care-O-bot: Collaboration with DTI and Mærsk-McKinney-Møller Institute 


In this collaboration we investigate among other things how a large service robot, such as the Care-O-bot should approach people, pass by people, apply politeness principles and how it can by utilizing several modalities in synchrony afford natural human-robot interactions. 

Welfare Innovation Project

The Welfare Innovation Project is a welfare technology innovation project carried out in collaboration between SDU and Odense University Hospital (OUH). The aim of the project is to find solutions to the question where and how robots can alleviate future societal challenges. An ethnographic approach is used by conducting observations with the aim of identifying real needs, that can be addressed by means of technological innovation.

More information about the project and material for download at a separate page.

Industrial Robot Teleoperation: Learning by Demonstration

Kerstin Fischer: Industrial robot teleoperation

Programming by Demonstration (PbD), is a common way of programming new behaviours into robots and thus addresses “the problems of skill and task transfer from human to robot, as a special way of knowledge transfer between man and machine”. Teaching a robot new behaviours in this way is time effective, intuitive and it can be done by naive users so that costs for expensive programming experts can be saved. In this collaboration we not only investigate the efficiency of different control modalities, but also develop new ones. 

Contingency in HRI: Collaboration with Bielefeld & Heriot Watt University

An important aspect of contingency is the temporal proximity between the user’s behavior and the robot’s response. In this collaboration we investigate the degree to which robots that respond in contingent ways are perceived more intelligent, as more competent speakers, and as more engaging. Originally developed for the iCub robot the contingency  system was recently ported to work on the EZ-Robot. 

Lars Christian Jensen and Katrin Lohan interact with the contingently responding EZ-Robot.

Instructing Industrial Robots: Collaboration with University of Innsbruck

How do humans intuitively instruct an industrial robot in a collaborative assembly scenario? How can a robot's gaze be used to ensure smooth and robust human-robot interactions? These and other questions are addressed in our collaboration with the Intelligence and Interactive Systems lab and the University of Innsbruck, a short video of our work is on Facebook.


The Research Network for Transdisciplinary Studies in Social Robotics (TRANSOR) is a platform for research exchange and joint Humanities research in social robotics, connecting researchers in philosophy, robotics, cognitive science, psychology, anthropology, educational science, linguistics, art and design studies, and communication and media studies.


The ITALK project aims to develop artificial embodied agents able to acquire complex behavioural, cognitive, and linguistic skills through individual and social learning. This will be achieved through experiments with the iCub humanoid robot to learn to handle and manipulate objects and tools autonomously, to cooperate and communicate with other robots and humans, and to adapt to changing internal, environmental, and social conditions. More information about the project on the ITALK webpage.