The Responsible Robotics (RR-AI) project week

Under the umbrella of the first edition of TUM’s project weeks initiative that aims at fostering interdisciplinary teaching, the Science and Technology Policy research group hosted the Responsible Robotics Project Week on the topic of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare in the scenic town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The idea of this event was to invite students from a wide variety of backgrounds, including engineering, natural and social sciences, and law to use their creativity and different perspectives to develop interdisciplinary research proposals on the topic of robotics and AI in healthcare. The event centred on how to navigate the challenges of interdisciplinary work and featured plenary talks, presentations, workshops and communal dinners.


(Student group and their Lego models)

In the first sessions, participants participated in a Lego Serious Play workshop, moderated by Dr. Stevienna de Saille of the University of Sheffield. Individually and collectively, the students were able to use their creative thinking and communication to build models of their research ideas and later discuss their creations with their team members. This playful yet provoking format introduced new ideas to the table and prompted dialogue and connections between the students.




(Say Hi to GARMI, the service humanoid)

The next stop was the Geriatronics Research Center, one of the most renown research facilities worldwide in robotic assistance for the care of older adults. Throughout the visit, the participants had the unique opportunity to meet and interact with GARMI, a humanoid robotic assistant of the Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MIRMI).




(Geriatronics researcher Simone Nertinger)

The students were also able to gain insights on actual interdisciplinary research at TUM and touched many questions: How could a service humanoid help older adults? What are current robotic systems actually capable of doing? What future are we trying to create with this technology?






Next on the agenda was a series of presentations and a panel discussion with speakers who have experience in interdisciplinary research on robotics and AI in healthcare. Speakers shared insights on their current work and experiences in the field. Many thanks to Prof. Dr. Iris Eisenberger (Universität Vienna) and Dr. Sebastian Scholz (Universität Graz), their teams, Theresa Willem (TUM, IHEM), Dr. Stevienna de Saille (University of Sheffield), and Michael Macher (Humanizing Technologies) for bringing their insights to the event and sharing their experiences with the students!



Having gained an understanding of interdisciplinary work both theoretically and practically, it was time for the participants to sit down and work on their own ideas. They drafted their own research proposals and pitched them to the other participants and a jury comprised of our renown guests.



The topics covered by the students ranged from psychiatric care, child safety, to the applications of AI powered drones in healthcare reach. The participants exceeded all expectations in not only coming up with creative ideas but also managing to critically discuss their proposals with their audience. They were able to critically reflect challenging questions and managed to impress our reputable guests.


This 4-day conference allowed students to explore the world of interdisciplinary research, to get to know people from different disciplines and backgrounds and to get their hands dirty while working on their concrete approaches.

Creativity, open-mindedness, collaboration, and entertainment is how we would recap our first successful attempt at this new TUM-learning format  — More to come in our next project week, stay tuned!

Asma Ayed

Xin Long






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