Carnegie Mellon University Personal Robotics Lab

RI 16-867: Human-Robot Interaction Spring 2017

Instructors: Laura Herlant (herlant --, Aaron Steinfeld (steinfeld --

TA: Kim Baraka (kbaraka --

Lectures: M/W, 12:00-1:20pm, NSH 1305


This graduate-level course focuses on the emerging field of human-robot interaction, bringing together research and application of methodology from robotics, human factors, human-computer interaction, interaction design, cognitive psychology, education and other fields to enable robots to have more natural and more rewarding interactions with humans throughout their spheres of functioning. This course is a combination of state-of-art reading and discussions, focused team exercises and problem-solving sessions in human-robot interaction, and a special team project resulting in the implementation of a human-robot interaction system. This new area of inquiry brings together diverse areas of expertise, and so this course includes some guest lectures by researchers in related fields.


The course's syllabus can be found here. The tentative schedule in the PDF syllabus is subject to change. For the most up to date information, including lecture topics and reading assignments, please reference the schedule below.

Past Project Examples

AttentionBot: A Robot Keeping Human Attention

"AttentionBot’s purpose is to conduct researches in how to keep human attention. We are interested in communication inconsistency meaning that a person’s behaviors and speeches are inconsistent. In design field, people call the inconsistency “anti-affordance” meaning that the form and the function are unrelated. This leads to our research question: can anti-affordance robot designs attract and keep more human attention?" Website

GulliBot's Travels

"Does a robot making eye-contact affect the likelihood that users are persuaded to follow its commands? " Website


Wk Date Topic Slides Readings Assignments Due
1 W 18 Jan Intro: Course requirements, semester-long project remarks Wk1-1 - -
2 M 23 Jan Foundations: Communication Wk2-1, videos Burke (part1, part2), Barnlund Burke Questions, Barnlund Questions
2 W 25 Jan Survey of HRI Wk2-2 Goodrich, optional: Fong Goodrich Questions
3 M 30 Jan Foundation: Design Wk3-1 Dourish (part1, part2, part3) Dourish Questions
3 W 1 Feb HRI Today: Robot expressing emotion Wk3-2, videos Leyzberg Leyzberg Questions, Draft Project Statement Due
4 M 6 Feb HRI Today: Telepresence/Telerobotics Wk4-1, videos Lazewatzky & Smart Lazewatzky Questions
4 W 8 Feb Project Statement briefs presentation - Final Project Statement Due
5 M 13 Feb Community Robotics Wk5-1 DiSalvo DiSalvo Questions
5 W 15 Feb QoLT: Robot Caregivers Wk5-2, videos Borenstein, Beer Borenstein Questions, Beer Questions
6 M 20 Feb Research Work Day - -
6 W 22 Feb Describing Interaction Wk6-2 Vazquez -
7 M 27 Feb Project Research Presentations - -
7 W 1 Mar Shared Autonomy Wk7-2, Week7-2Mutlu, videos - -
8 M 6 Mar Agency Wk8-1, text, videos Nass Nass Questions
8 W 8 Mar HCI and Human Factors Wk8-2, videos Forlizzi, Sheridan (Ch1, Ch3, Ch9) Forlizzi Questions, Sheridan Questions
M 13 Mar Spring Break - -
W 15 Mar Spring Break - -
9 M 20 Mar Design and HRI Wk9-1, videos Kahn Kahn Questions
9 W 22 Mar Ethical Considerations in HRI Design Wk9-2, videos Sullins Sullins Questions
10 M 27 Mar Project Status Presentations - -
10 W 29 Mar Project Status Presentations - Project Status Website at 8pm
11 M 3 Apr Commercial Case Studies Wk11-1, videos AIBO Case Study AIBO Questions
11 W 5 Apr Human-Robot Relations Wk11-2, videos Mumm & Mutlu, Sparrow Mumm & Mutlu, Sparrow Questions
12 M 10 Apr Education - Guest Lecture by Jenn Cross Wk12-1 Cross et al., Arts & Bots -
12 W 12 Apr Non-verbal Communication of Robot States - Guest Lecture by Kim Baraka Knight & Simmons Knight & Simmons Questions
13 M 17 Apr CEO of Me, Inc. - Guest Lecture by Illah Nourbakhsh - -
13 W 19 Apr HRI and the Law Wk13-1 Calo Calo Questions
14 M 24 Apr Project Work Day - -
14 W 26 Apr Children-Robot Interactions - Guest Lecture by Marynel Vazquez - -
15 M 1 May Project Final Presentations - -
15 W 3 May Project Final Presentations - Project Final Website