Insights of HRI Conference 2016.

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HRI conference is always an important event for me. This last one, the 11th edition in Christchurch, New Zealand (my former city) has been the most productive in terms of professional development. After 4 year of my last attendance (Boston, 2012), finally I had enough material to justify my attendance to the HRI conference (even when it was in my own city). We submitted a full paper, a late breaking report, a video and a demo. The high quality submissions make it very difficult to highlight your work. However this year my team (Om and Qi) and me won the 1st Place HRI video Award. This is my first award in an IEEE/ACM conference and I am very proud of it.

Moreover, my presentation about the Bribery in HRI was well-welcomed by the attendants. Some of them laugh with my jokes and others told me that the presentation was engaging. I am very pleased about that; I really took it seriously and practiced a lot of times. I did an extra effort and I  also asked a lot of feedback from different people in University of Auckland and Canterbury. On the other hand, the Pink poster about Robotology  didn’t have the same effect. I think people expect more scientific posters, full of information, saturated and hard to read due to the small fonts rather than  some funny cartoons giving very simplistic explanations about the short paper. Well, maybe I need put more effort next time for the poster. The goal was be different to the others in terms of design and likeability but we didn’t have the expected effect, maybe next year.

Besides the professional issues, the HRI conference always allow me to meet great people doing amazing work related to  social robotics, interfaces, user studies and so on.  I met old friends like Francisco and I make new ones like Nicole, Denise Jello and Markus and many others. What I really like from the HRI Conference are the casual conversations in the corridors with all these smart people. Many ideas come to my mind after these casual meetings.  Indeed I think the real value of the conferences is on that rather than the talks. The talks are good, however you always can read the paper and have a better idea about the work being done by the people presenting. Surprisingly the Human-Human Interaction is the most important thing in Human Robot Interaction.

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