In the SIRRL lab at University of Waterloo, Furhat robots have been used in an outreach activity to help teachers in a school to deliver online French classes for some students ranging between 10 to 14 years old. In other, future projects, we will study how a social robot such as Furhat can be used to support students’ mental well-being. Other future research will explore the use of Furhats in drama-based interventions that aim to foster anti-bullying peer support.
The flexibility and ability of the Furhat platform to change on the fly to different characters, personality, voices, languages and emotions allow an engaging and enjoyable experience in human-robot interaction. Moreover, the easy use of the SDK allows non-IT experts to enjoy and contribute to the platform.
The Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory, led by Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn, focuses on the fields of social robotics, human-robot interaction, cognitive and developmental robotics and embodied artificial intelligence. We investigate fundamental principles and mechanisms that can make robots more socially intelligent, as well as enabling them to interact with people in a trustworthy and efficient but also “natural” and socially acceptable manner, e.g. in roles of co-workers, assistants or companions. The goal of our research is to advance knowledge in social and intelligent robotics and to develop robots that can make a positive contribution to human society.