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    Graphic of the building R.1 of the Medical School EWL
    © Universität Bielefeld


Presentation of "Healthy in Baumheide" project at the "Poverty and Health 2024" congress


Slide to the congress presentation
© Bielefeld University

At the Public Health Congress "Poverty and Health", Birte Richter and Janna Landwehr from the Medical Assistance Systems working group presented the "Healthy in Baumheide" project in their presentation "Realising a participatory cooperation project for health promotion in university teaching - implementation, results and experiences from different perspectives".

In this interdisciplinary project, health scientists are working with computer scientists to develop a context-based health app for a neighbourhood in Bielefeld, in which local children are actively involved in the development process. Based on the work of various practice partners, the project is cooperating with school pupils from the local secondary school. The aim is to promote health through social interaction, learning about resources in the neighbourhood and encouraging physical activity.

In the subsequent discussion, the presented project was supplemented with the experiences from the plenary session and possible solutions were discussed. The aim was to jointly generate ideas for strengthening participation in cooperation projects in order to use these approaches to contribute to improving equal health opportunities.

SFB project 318 A03 publishes research results


Interface for study participants in Advice Taking
© Bielefeld University

"What is the best way to explain this to you?" To answer this question, we(SFB 318 project A03) investigated advice taking / rejecting during a risk decision in an online study with over 700 participants. For this purpose, the virtual robot Floka was used as an AI-supported decision support system. Four different explanations were analysed against each other. These were abstracted both from human-human interaction and from XAI. In addition to the different behaviour in the explanations, the quality of the advice, trust and satisfaction with Floka were also surveyed and evaluated.

These research results have been published in the journal "Frontiers in Behavioural Economics Culture and Ethics".


Showroom officially opened!


People standing in the showroom
© Bielefeld University

On 2 February 2014, the showroom of the Medical Assistance Systems and Interactive Robotics working groups was officially opened together with colleagues and friends.

In the showroom "interactive assistance in medicine
and care"
in the premises of the Faculty of Medicine, high-tech assistance systems can be experienced. In addition to commercial products,
also presents current research prototypes in changing exhibitions.

The aim of the showroom is to familiarise people with a wide range of different technical support systems, to enable them to try them out and thus, among other things, to break down barriers.

In future, changing exhibits on the areas of "prevention", "everyday assistance", "rehabilitation and therapy" will be on display. The aim is to provide insights into the explainability of decision support systems and the development of prototypes by means of co-design.

Study participants wanted!


As part of his bachelor's thesis, computer science student Dennis Dübeler is conducting a study with our working group on virtual agents as consultants in medicine. As part of this, participants are playing a visual novel that takes place in a hospital. One run lasts about an hour. The study will take place in UHG N4-121 and we look forward to many participants. Click here for registration

Open source software "RISE" to simplify human-robot interaction studies


© Bielefeld University

The interdisciplinary scenario development of human-robot interaction (HRI) studies often requires repeated realisations of basic implementations. This leads to delays in progress and distracts the focus from new aspects in the field of HRI.

To facilitate the development of scenarios for human-robot interaction studies, it is necessary to standardise and generalise repeated standard implementations. RISE was developed for precisely this reason and serves as a platform to enable interdisciplinary teams to improve the exchange of information when developing HRI scenarios. Clear, comprehensible files for defining scenarios not only make it much easier to create studies on human-robot interaction, but also to reproduce them.

RISE also offers a sophisticated graphical user interface (GUI). This allows internal states to be monitored and behaviour to be adjusted manually. This not only enables fully autonomously controlled behaviour, but also so-called "Wizard of Oz" studies. Here, the human can dynamically adapt the robot's behaviour to the respective situation in the background during the study. The expandability of RISE for external sensors and new robots also opens up a wide range of possibilities for various studies.

The open-source architecture and software RISE(GitLab project) are presented in detail in the journal"Frontiers in Robotics and AI". The system includes extensive documentation and addresses various problems that occur in existing software solutions for the development of human-robot interactions.

The development took place as part of the SFB/TRR 318 "Constructing Explainability".

Research team A05 of the CRC 318 publishes new article in the journal "Frontiers in Robotics and AI"


Structure of the study of team A05 of the SFB/TRR 318
© Bielefeld University

A new publication in the journal "Frontiers in Robotics and AI" promises interesting results in the field of human-robot interaction. The research team A05 of the SFB/TRR 318, has published an article with the title "Scaffolding the human partner by contrastive guidance in an explanatory human-robot dialogue".

The research investigates the use of negation as a guiding strategy in interactive communication between humans and robots. An empirical study showed that while the use of negation led to longer reaction times compared to affirmation, it also improved task performance in several aspects. The results of this study shed light on the effects of negation on the linguistic processing of explanations in human-robot interaction.

Link to the SFB/TRR 318 "Constructing Explainability" here.



A new joint project with the School of Public Health and a secondary school in Bielefeld has started


In collaboration with Janna Landwehr (School of Public Health, AG4: Prevention and Health Promotion) and together with 6th grade student groups, Birte Richter and Mara Brandt have started the next round of participatory development of an app to promote physical activity for school-aged children. Based on the children's feedback and active design suggestions, computer science and public health students will further develop the app with the aim of promoting children's health through social interaction, learning about neighbourhood resources and sponsoring physical activity.

Prof. Dr. Anna-Lisa Vollmer and Prof. Dr. Britta Wrede gave an invited talk at the International Research Center for Neurointelligence


Invited by Prof. Yukie Nagai, head of the Cognitive Developmental Robotics Lab at Tokyo University, Anna-Lisa Vollmer and Britta Wrede presented their ongoing research to an international audience of researchers from the International Research Center for Neurointelligence. With the foundation in cognitive developmental research, their current research projects are well aligned towards providing insights and support for people with chronical diseases and need for support.

Medical Assistance System Group and Interactive Robotics Group participate in Shonan Meeting

17/09/2023 - 21/09/2023

Anna-Lisa Vollmer and Britta Wrede were part of the Shonan Meeting that took place from 17. – 21. September in the beautiful meeting location Shonan Village Center near Tokyo, Japan. Initiated by Katharina Rohlfing, head of the Psycholinguistics Group at Paderborn University and spokesperson of the TRR 318 on “Constructing Explainability”, Kary Framling from Umea University, Sweden, and Brian Lim of the National University of Singapore, the meeting was steered towards establishing the foundations for a joint writing project to create a “Handbook on Social XAI”. With Social XAI the group established a new take on explainable AI that focusses on the social embeddedness of explanations. With the dimensions “Multimodality”, “Incrementality”, and “Patternedness” Social XAI provides concrete operationalization of how social XAI can be realized.

Robin Helmert and Manuel Scheibl participated in EASE Fall School

11/09/2023 - 15/09/2023

As associated members of the SFB “EASE” at Bremen University, Robin Helmert and Manuel Scheibl participated at the EASE Fall School from 11. to 15. September in Bremen. They deepened their insights in the Robot Motion Framework PyCram, the SOMA Ontology of Socio-physical Activity Models for Robots and the OpenEASE service. Special highlights were the talks by renowned international robotics researchers such as Agnieszka Wykowska, Giulio Sandini (both from IIT, Genova, Italy), Erols Sahin (Middle EAST Technical University), and Daniel Leidner (DLR).

Alissa Müller gave an invited talk at the Expert Meeting on “Herz und Hirn” in Cologne


Invited by Prof. Rolf Wachter, head of Clinical and Interventional Cardiology at the University of Leipzig, Alissa Müller presented her ongoing research on supporting the diagnosis of hidden atrial fibrillation based on sinus rhythm ECG with AI methods at the Expert Meeting “Herz und Hirn” of the German Cardiology Association in Cologne. In the lively discussion, different perspectives on AF diagnosis were exchanged, yielding new interdisciplinary insights for both, clinical and computer science research

Presentation by Christian Schütze and Olesja Lammert at the HCII2023 in Copenhagen

23/07/2023 - 28/07/2023

During the HCII2023 conference in Koppenhagen with about 2800 participants from 86 different countries, Christian Schütze and his project partner Olesja Lammert presented their latest publications with the title "Emotional Debiasing Explanations for Decisions in HCI".

During this presentation, they showed their study setup to measure the influence of emotions during rational decision-making and the attempt to counteract this with the help of "emotional debiasing explanation" presented by Floka.


Joint Research Centre explores key issue for the future related to co-constructive artificial intelligence


The universities of Bielefeld University, Paderborn and Bremen have joined forces to develop AI systems that will support humans in carrying out everyday tasks.

For this purpose, researchers from the fields of AI, robotics, human-computer interaction, medical assistance, linguistics, psychology and sociology are working together in the newly founded Joint Research Center and creating the basis for the development of new robots with completely new capabilities. The basis of the research lies in the ability of a robot to learn through interaction with humans.

Based on this knowledge, the Researchers explore conceptual frameworks for intelligent action: The concept of so-called co-construction refers to cognitive and interactive mechanisms that help humans and machines to accomplish tasks together.

By founding the Joint Research Centre, the expertise on co-constructive AI from no less than three research locations will be combined in one hub. Further information...

New Publication: “EEG Correlates of Distractions and Hesitations in Human–Robot Interaction: A LabLinking Pilot Study”


exercise with peper in linkinglab
© Bielefeld University

Congratulations to the team of Birte Richter, Felix Putze, Gabriel Ivucic, Mara Brandt, Christian Schütze, Rafael Reisenhofer, Britta Wrede, and Tanja Schultz for their new publication describing the MMM-supported LabLinking initiative entitled: “EEG Correlates of Distractions and Hesitations in Human–Robot Interaction: A LabLinking Pilot Study”

In this work, the authors provide a proof-of-concept that the vision of LabLinking makes it possible to conduct collaborative HRI studies in remote laboratories! It lays a foundation for joint in-depth research regarding distractions and hesitations as a scaffolding strategy in human-robot interaction between the Universities Bremen and Bielefeld.

The paper has been published with Open Access in Multimodal Technologies and Interaction as part of the Special Issue Feature Papers in Multimodal Technologies and Interaction—Edition 2023 and is available online.

PDF Version:


Richter, B., Putze, F., Ivucic, G., Brandt, M., Schütze, C., Reisenhofer, R., Wrede, B., & Schultz, T. (2023). EEG Correlates of Distractions and Hesitations in Human-Robot Interaction: A LabLinking Pilot Study. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction, 7(4).

Moderated poster presentations in collaboration with the A05 project from the TRR 318 on the Data Society (Data Society. Chancen – Innovationen – Verantwortung) conference at Paderborn.


Attention control in human-robot explanation processes:
Prof. Dr. Britta Wrede (Bielefeld University) and Prof. Dr. Katharina Rohlfing (Paderborn University)

In human-robot explanation processes, for example, attention can be linguistic negations are guided. The project examined the effects of these and other interventions and methods to record attention parameters in humans.


Program with reference:


Individual supplement: Modules "Human and Machine Learning and Understanding", WiSe 2022/23


Pepper-Robot tablet displays 4 out of 5 gold stars
© Bielefeld University

Individual supplementation - interdisciplinary, research-oriented and exciting? Starting in the Winter semester 2022/23, this will be possible with the new Modules "Human and Machine Learning and Understanding". It will deal with various aspects of learning, with questions and approaches from different disciplines: including robotics, computer science, linguistics and psychology. Accordingly, the module is aimed at students from all subjects. We are keen to interweave the different perspectives to generate new questions and insights.

The module comprises 4 SWS for 10 LP, which can be obtained through a portfolio achievement. The course consists of lecture parts, workshops and self-study. With the workshops and various elements from the field of peer learning, we want to break new ground in teaching. Accordingly, the Modules is dependent on both the commitment and feedback of the participating students.

We look forward to actively exploring new teaching methods with you in the Winter semester and, above all, to highlighting an exciting current research topic.

More information...

Science comes alive in the "Science Seeing Tours" idea workshop


The topics of artificial intelligence and robots in care were also represented in the "Answer Workshop Science-Seeing Tours" organised by the Science Office of the City of Bielefeld. The aim of the idea workshops is to make findings from science tangible by transferring them into digital and analogue city tours around research topics.

For the event on 9 June, the three scientists from WG 2: Medical Assistance Systems, Professor Dr.-Ing. Britta Wrede for the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) and Dr.-Ing. Anna-Lisa Vollmer and Dr.-Ing. Birte Richter for the area of robots in care, were on site. They exchanged ideas with citizens on the respective focal points and developed ideas on how AI and care robots can be incorporated into the Science Seeing tours.

After the workshops, the ideas discussed will be evaluated and transformed into stations for the city tours. These will be made accessible to the public.

more information...


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