Leading HRI researcher & psychologist dr Konrad Maj joins SmartLife’s Advisory Board

SmartLife Robotics’ advisory team has just grown!

To whom do we owe the honor?

We are happy to present a new member of SmartLife's advisory board - dr Konrad Maj from SWPS - a social psychologist and trainer, popularizer of science, pioneer of human-robot interaction (HRI) research in Poland, and the Head of the Innovation Center at University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

What is this collaboration about?

Dr Maj will be advising SmartLife Robotics in the area of advanced research in social robotics. We will be working closely on the development of SmartLife’s social robots, among them KODI - educational robot toy for kids. Consequently, robot KODI will be used in PhD research under dr Konrad Maj’s supervision.

For SmartLife Robotics this cooperation is another step towards continuously working with the research community, in this case, the Center of Innovation at SWPS. 

Interview with Dr Konrad Maj

We asked Konrad to answer a few questions about his experience and his vision for our cooperation.

 

Dr Konrad Maj, picture from swps.pl

SL: Konrad, as a social psychologist you probably run into lots of important research areas, what inspired you to be interested in social robotics?

KM: I am a social psychologist, so I am interested in everything that happens in a social context, and social robots are one of them. I am sure that social psychology should not only deal with people since people started working with intelligent machines.

 

SL: What projects are you working on right now?

KM: In our Innovation Center, we work on many projects, both scientific and commercial, but in the field of robotics we have planned experiments on trust in robots from many perspectives, and we are also working on a project on the socio-cultural aspects of robot perception - in cooperation with our partners, we want to check the personal distance and attitudes towards robots in various countries from east to west.

 

SL: Why did you choose to help us develop KODI Robot toy for kids?

KM: At the moment, children are growing up in the world of technology, we cannot stop or ignore it, we must make this technology safe and helpful in the development of children. I have read about many studies presenting the implementation of robots in kindergartens, schools, hospitals etc. Not only positive reactions of children were observed, but also the improvement of their mental and physical condition. The possibilities of using robots to work with children are almost limitless.

 

SL: What do you think this project will mean for you and for the Polish research community? What future of social robotics do you predict?

KM: This is an important step towards the development of research on social robots in our country. I believe that our science can change if more researchers are involved in testing new technological inventions. Poles are very famous in the world thanks to our IT specialists and programmers, why couldn't we be famous for our research in robotics? I think it mainly requires a change of attitudes and closer cooperation with local companies.

Research at SmartLife Robotics

Our research projects, including the ones that Dr Konrad Maj will be helping us with, are highly focused on innovation, robotisation and interactions between humans and smart machines. Our projects are supported by local and foreign institutions and research community, as well as, Polish and the EU grants.

 

Learn more about:

SmartLife Robotics, smartlife.global

Dr Konrad Maj, https://www.swps.pl/konrad-maj