Let’s Develop a Researcher Robot!

2020-2021 Spring
Faculty Department of Project Supervisor: 
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
Number of Students: 

Due to the COVID-19, we must make many adjustments to minimize physical interactions with others. Experimental research in psychology is not an exception, and it is critical for researchers to come up with ways to conduct studies safely. The use of a robot as an experimenter can be a solution because robots do not breathe or cough! 

In this project, we will develop a researcher robot that welcomes participants and conduct a psychological experiment on behalf of us humans :) We will use Pepper by Softbank Robotics (see here for more information) as the hardware, and design interaction models and develop its software program. The project takes an interdisciplinary perspective using theories from psychology and methods from computer science, communication studies, and other related fields. As such, students from different fields are encouraged to apply. Programming skills are desirable but not required as Pepper comes with its own graphic-based interface called Choregraphe with which even inexperienced users can develop basic applications. All PURE projects are carried out online this semester, and thus we will parimarily use a virtual robot (i.e., a 3D on-screen avator of Pepper). 

Required qualifications: 

  • interest in human-robot interaction, cognitive science, and/or psychology
  • intellectual curiosity and the ability to learn new skills and knowledge independently
  • team player who is eager to help others and is not afraid to ask for help
  • commitment to 10-20 hours per week for the duration of the PURE Project
  • moderate to advanced communication skills in English
  • owns a computer that supports Choregraphe Suite (see here for more details)

Desirable but not required qualifications: 

  • programming skills, especially in Python
  • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, After Effect and similar software packages
  • experience working with Pepper or NAO
  • research experience in psychological experiments

If you are interested in applying to this project, please contact Dr. Junko Kanero (jkanero@sabanciuniv.edu) for further information.  

Related Areas of Project: 
Computer Science and Engineering
Visual Arts and Visual Communications Design

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