Sunday, March 21, 2010

GeoChat on Ericsson Labs

GeoChat for Android just made its appearance on Ericsson Labs website. Ericsson Research who run Ericsson Labs have rebuilt our Java ME version of GeoChat for Android to utilise their enabler APIs. Their version is now instead using Mobile Java Communication Framework, and their own Maps API.

GeoChat is a map based chat application that let you create chat rooms over geographical regions on a map. In order to talk to people also interested in a particular location can join in and chat with a chat room put at this location. By placing the chat rooms at different zoom levels the chat rooms can have different size, where a chat room on street level can symbolize a particular café, and a room on country level can symbolize a whole country.

A video of GeoChat can be found here, and the Android version can be found on Ericsson Labs website.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Announcing two doctoral student positions in Media Technology at Södertörn University

Here is a chance to work at Södertörn University in close collaboration with FAL and the Mobile Life Centre! Lars Erik Holmquist is also a professor in Media Technology and will hire a Ph.D. student to work on Mobile Media - follow this link to read the full announcement. The relevant position to apply for is Position 2 in the announcement!

Note: The last day for application has been extended to April 30!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Human-Robot Interaction in Osaka, Japan

This week several FAL members are attending Human-Robot Interaction 2010 in Osaka. Henriette was co-organizer of the HRI Pioneers Workshop for new researchers in the field, and also presented a poster on attitudes towards robots. Ylva presented a paper in the Collaborations with the Arts Workshop, together with artist Ulla West. Also at this workshop, Lars Erik organized a brainstorm session. Finally, Rob Tieben's video on ActDresses was featured in the video program.

One highlight was the presentations by Japanese companies on the latest robot technology, including Sanrio subsidiary Kokoro, which manufactures many well-known robots, including the Geminoid (together with Osaka University and ATR) and HRP-4c (together with AIST). Can the lifelike Hello Kitty robot be far off? Another highlight was the keynote speech by Kazuhiro Kosuge on the Dance Partner Robot, in which he compared human-robot interaction to a dance with a robot follower reading the human lead. Also, the panel on Social Responsibility in Human-Robot Interaction with Hiroshi Ishiguro, Illah Nourbakhsh, Peter Kahn and Vanessa Evers raised a lot of interesting questions on how robots are presented to the general public and the future we claim to be building as robot researchers.

Below are some pictures of the robots present at the conference reception. The picture above shows the human-robot play we got to see in a traditional Japanese theatre.

Portrait Catalog on Video

In the following video Mattias Rost is presenting and demoing a mobile application called Portrait Catalog. Portrait Catalog is an application for sharing and collecting portrait photos of friends. The portraits are sent over Bluetooth from one person to the other, but portraits cannot be forwarded once received. The application is inspired by the act of sharing portrait photos in elementary school, where youngsters eagerly exchange their portrait picture with their friends when the photos arrive. The application was developed during an internship at Sony Ericsson in the early summer of 2008.