Keynote Speakers

The organizing committee is pleased to announce this year’s keynote speakers:

    Leila Takayama

    Title: Putting Human-Robot Interaction Research into Design Practice

    Bio: Dr. Leila Takayama is a human-robot interaction researcher who is passionate about taking a more human-centered approach to the design of robotic systems. With a background in cognitive science, psychology, and human-computer interaction, she examines human encounters with telepresence and increasingly autonomous technologies. She is an Associate Professor in the Baskin School of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz; VP of Human-Robot Interaction and Design at Robust.AI; and Founder of Hoku Labs, where she consults for companies and non-profit organizations.

      Beyond her academic work, Dr. Takayama led user-experience research for Project Wing and other robotics projects at Google X. At Willow Garage, she led and managed a team that worked on the design of PR2 (a mobile manipulation research robot), the Beam telepresence robots, and ROS (the open-source robot operating system). She has also served as a World Economic Forum Global Futures Council Member and Young Global Leader. In 2015, she was awarded the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Early Career Award. In 2012, she was named a TR35 winner and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company. Dr. Takayama received two BA in cognitive science and psychology from UC Berkeley, an MA in communication from Stanford University, and a PhD in communication from Stanford University.

        Friederike Eyssel

        Title: What’s Social about Social Robots? A Psychological Perspective

        Bio: Friederike Eyssel is a Professor of Psychology and Head of the research group “Applied Social Psychology and Gender Research” at the Center for Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC), Bielefeld University, Germany. Friederike earned her Masters in Psychology from University of Heidelberg in 2004. She received her PhD in Psychology from Bielefeld University in 2007. Between 2010 and 2015, Dr. Eyssel has held visiting professorships in social psychology at the University of Münster, the Technical University of Dortmund, the University of Cologne, and the New York University Abu Dhabi.

          Friederike is passionate about basic and applied social psychological research that is mostly experimental, and primarily laboratory-based. She is interested in various research topics ranging from social robotics, social agents, and ambient intelligence, to research on attitudes, their measurement and change, and gender research.

          Crossing disciplines, Dr. Eyssel has published her cross-disciplinary research in leading journals in the field of psychology and social robotics. A perspective on robot gender has recently been published in Nature.

          Friederike enjoys multidisciplinary  collaborations – consequently, she has co-authored the book “Human-Robot Interaction”, published by Cambridge University Press in 2020 (see: In 2021, she also co-authored the book “Robots in Education” published by Routledge.

          Friederike Eyssel has attracted third-party funding for various projects at the national and EU-level. This has allowed her to explore antecedents of robot-related trust, the impact of robot design, and psychological determinants of robot acceptance, and successful social HRI. See, for example:

          Furthermore, she currently investigates behavior change in humans ( – no robots involved!

            Hiroshi Nittono

            Title: The Psychology of “Kawaii” and Its Implications for Human–Robot Interaction

            Bio: Hiroshi Nittono received his PhD in Human Sciences from Osaka University in 1998. From 2005 to 2016 he was an associate professor of Cognitive Psychophysiology at Hiroshima University and is currently a full professor of Experimental Psychology and Psychophysiology at Osaka University. He has been working on the project elucidating the nature and effects of the “kawaii” emotion since 2007. His laboratory website is accessible at