Rather than being a physical space, RoboLab is group of people who meet periodically to investigate and to discuss various topics within human-robot interaction (HRI). Our general plan starts with identifying the specific areas within HRI that are of interest to the group and then exploring literature and other resources in those areas. As a multidisciplinary field, HRI draws from a number of fields of study that include but are not limited to design, systems, human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, natural-language processing, philosophy, and psychology.

This site will be the one-stop-shop for all that is related to our group. As time evolves, we will list here information such as our membership, the list of materials we will be exploring, and the schedule of our gatherings. Since this is an informal group, it is expected that participants will come and go as their scheduling constraints change. On the other hand, we will work to have a well-defined structure for what we do.

The central part of that structure will be that our participants will collaborate to define for each week two people to lead our next meeting. These two volunteers will choose a topic or resource for the week and prepare questions or a presentation for the meeting. Other participants will commit some time to study the resource on their own so as to be prepared for a vibrant discussion when we get together.

Our primary hardware platform is the Aldebaran NAO6 humanoid robot. Our group will experiment with this robot in the 3D simulator provided with the Choreograph integrated development environment (IDE) and with the physical robot itself.

RobotLab was not born out of nowhere. It all started with Jules Ward, who after taking the course UNIV 200 Digital Transcendence spent one semester in an independent study learning to program the NAO6. Jules’ accomplishments included learning to stream video and audio from the robot to a personal computer. Later on, Cole Hausman and Ryan Mosenkis also spent a semester’s worth of independent study learning to work with the NAO6.