Hidden Meanings: Uncovering Qualitative Research in HRI

Louise Veling
Maynooth University, Ireland

16 May 2018
2:15pm - 3:30pm
PG 3.04


Studies of human-robot interaction (HRI) tend towards a quantitative assessment approach and the generation of statistically significant data. This talk discusses the use of qualitative research and social theory in human-robot interaction (HRI) studies. Although less common, a large number of HRI studies use qualitative research to some degree, from extended ethnographic studies which may take several years, to the inclusion of open-ended questions in surveys and focus groups. Insights gained from qualitative research are supporting design decisions, providing new areas for scientific investigation and allowing for the development of new HRI theory. As well as reviewing some of the existing work in this area, this seminar discusses the rationale for using qualitative research, as well as some of the challenges. Finally, this talk will provide some guidance on how to use qualitative approaches to suit specific research aims.


Louise Veling is a PhD candidate at the Department of Anthropology at Maynooth University (MU) in Kildare, Ireland. She is a Research Fellow at the Innovation Value Institute (IVI), a technology research centre, and teaches on the Masters Programme for Design Innovation, also at MU. She is currently researching alternative ways of conceptualising human-robot relations, including intelligent social robots and robot ethics.

Host: Frank Broz