Prototypes for human-robot interaction

In the autumn of 2020, students at the master’s programme in Media and Interaction Design (MIX) were challenged to invent a communicative purpose for robots and drones.
As a part of their project, all three student groups made posters for their prototypes. Illustration: Kristin Eidsheim
Publisert: 1. juni 2021

As part of the course «Media Technology: Theory and Development», students at the master’s programme in Media and Interaction Design at the University of Bergen developed three provocative prototypes of human-robot interaction. Meet the child interview robot «Talkie», «PeTeR» the personal trainer robot and «ComPANion» the pet drone.

Drones and robots

«Media Technology: Theory and Development» is an introductory course at the master’s programme in Media and Interaction Design. The aim of the course is to provide students with critical and creative knowledge of advanced media technology concepts and systems. Each class deals with a new technology and in the autumn of 2020, it was drones and robots. The technology is explored practically in the form of prototypes and theoretically in the form of an academic text. In the course, students have the opportunity to explore technology and their own interests freely, as economic potential is not an objective. It is a unique opportunity that is rarely possible in working life after education. 


First, the students become acquainted with the technology internally. Several methods are used to raise the students’ common level of knowledge about the technology, as well as to get them to start thinking creatively about it. Then the students visit different companies to observe and understand the company’s needs in order to find possible areas of use for the technology. During the course, the students go through several rounds of demonstrations and get feedback on their projects. The students also spent many hours flying drones and interacting with robots in order to become «experts» in the field. 

Phd. Candidate Fredrik Jensen has been one of the lecturers in the course. 

– The students were good and creative, and handled both the exploration and high uncertainty of the course in an exemplary manner. As a teacher, it is very rewarding to explore newer and relatively unknown technologies, both practical and theoretical, with the students, says Fredrik.

The other lecturers at the course have been Duc Tien Dang Nguyen, Lars Nyre and Jonathan Lindø Meling.

ComPANions – a trio of pet drones

Made by Abel Van Beek, Liva Snilstveit Hoem and Sunniva Lode Storhaug 


The comPANions is a collective name for a trio of friendly drones, whose aim is to explore the relationship humans can form with autonomous drones. Combining computer vision and artificial intelligence, the drones can interpret your gestures and mood. They communicate through movements and the propeller pitch. The ComPANions evolve and adapt to your needs. They form emotional-like bonds and engage its users to trustworthy relationships. The utilities they provide are countless. They can guide you to places, keep you on the right track whilst hiking, take photos of you and protect you in uncomfortable situations – to name a few. 


PeTeR – personal trainer robot

Made by Julie Sætersdal, Anita Norheim and Emma Opheim Drageset  



PeTeR is a personal trainer robot with the aim of preventing injury and increase motivation among young users. To reach this goal, he will provide the user with personalized workout routines, guide the user through exercises and motivate by interacting with them. He will be placed at public gyms where anyone can use him as a workout companion.

Talkie – child interview robot

Made by Lisa Jakobsen Knashaug, Thea Elisabeth Stephansen and Philip Hoang 


Talkie is a social interview robot that interacts and engages a conversation with children. The purpose of Talkie is to interview the child and make them feel comfortable enough to open up about sensitive topics, and could be purchased by either a journalist, psychologist or a criminal investigator. To establish trust Talkie will show pictures, play music and games, show emotions, and ask more serious questions in between. Using conversational AI Talkie can be trained to engage in conversations. It will learn, remember and adapt to the child and the conversation would ve tailored to obtain wanted data.  

Publisert: 1. juni 2021
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