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LIT OIC: Meet Martina Mara from the LIT Robopsychology Lab

There is a lot going on at the LIT Open Innovation Center. Meet some of the people conducting cutting-edge research.

[Translate to Englisch:] Professorin Martina Mara, Leiterin des LIT Robopsychology Lab, Credit: Paul Kranzler
[Translate to Englisch:] Professorin Martina Mara, Leiterin des LIT Robopsychology Lab, Credit: Paul Kranzler

Why is the LIT Robopsychology Lab at the OIC? 

Martina Mara: The LIT OIC is unique for a number of reasons. The big open space is inviting and the exciting robots at the LIT Factory are right next door. But the best part about the LIT Open Innovation Center is the community and the people in the building. There are many different researchers and company experts here. You can enjoy an (outstanding) cup of coffee with many of these people and discuss intriguing issues about future technologies.

What makes LIT Robopsychology unique?

Martina Mara: We combine psychology with robotics and artificial intelligence at the LIT Robopsychology Lab. In other words, it's about a people-centric vision of new technologies and how we can design these new smart, autonomous technologies in a way so that different kinds of people can cope with them. For example, so that my grandmother does not feel dominated or intimidated by Alexa or Siri and that we can work well, safely and confidently with robots in the workplace.

What is currently your favorite project?

Martina Mara: One of my favorite projects that we are currently working on is called "CoBot Studio". This is a large, interdisciplinary research project to build a mixed reality simulation room. This is something completely new and has been designed to simulate different forms of cooperation with robots. We study the way different people can communicate and work together with a robot so that the interaction is not only successful and efficient, but also that people feel comfortable during the interaction.

How does the LIT OIC support research?

Martina Mara: If we really want to pursue technological innovation and we really want to create a future together where technology is an integral part of our lives, then we all have to think outside of the box together, beyond our areas of expertise. We have to think in an interdisciplinary way and dare to try more experimental approaches. This is precisely why the LIT Open Innovation Center was created.