Robot-Assisted Break Exercises

Me and Nao robot were invited in Taitaja2018 event to lead some physical exercises for the visitors in the international Skills for the Future seminar as well as on the Lumate stand. The purpose was to run a short exercise session in between the speakers on the seminar, and also several pop up exercise sessions on the fair stand.  Because we know that physical exercise is good for each of us. And because social robots can be efficient motivators and provide a totally new experience for exercising. At least if they happen to have a good day.

Nao, ready to exercise with people?

Nao’s mood was changing during the day – the first thing that it did in the morning was doing nothing. It was totally frozen. We had advertised the robot-assisted exercises and there were plenty of people gathered around Nao and me. Let’s start then.. and then nothing happened! One needs a lot of humour when working with robots. Reboot took 5 minutes and all people had disappeared by then..

Luckily it got into much better mood after the lunch and worked perfectly on the Skills for the Future seminar, which had more than 100 participants from all over the world. The participants were very excited about Nao and enjoyed the short robotic moment consisting of dialogue and exercise with Nao and it’s leader (=Aino). It was just great to see so many happy faces in audience and people really participating the exercises. Ideally, humans and robots can form great workpairs and co-operate smoothly! Later on, Nao also worked on the Lumate stand…

Robot-assisted break exercise session on the Skills for the Future seminar lead by Aino & Nao

Summa summarum, it was a great experience, and this concept can still be developed further (and we will) ūüôā

Cheers, Aino A. & Nao

Nao moving kids on the Lumate fair stand

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Training School @ Azores

Hello terve moi everybody!

This year, we (the “Pervs” as we call ourselves) went to Azores for a training school. The Training School¬†on Cryptanalysis of Ubiquitous Computing Systems took place in S√£o Miguel, Azores. The training focus was on theoretical and practical cryptographic mechanisms designed to ensure the security and privacy of ubiquitous computing systems such as embedded devices.

What we though was a great week to get a nice tan and learn the latest trends on Cryptanalysis and Side-Channel Analysis (SCA) turned way too cold, specially when we found out Tampere was warmer that Azores during the whole week. ūüôĀ

In addition to great talks from experts in the field, — which included Joan Daemen (AES), Daniel Gruss (Meltdown and Spectre attacks) and Herbert Bos (Rowhammer attacks) — the training school included sessions to pitch our scientific research and presents posters about our topics.

Research @TUT

The poster session allowed us to showcase our latest research and a safe and friendly environment where experts provided feedback on our research.

We had two workshop sessions during the last two days of training. One of them was “How to have a Meltdown” by Daniel Gruss and the other one was “Defeating SCA countermeasures on a real device” by RISCURE, NL team. Both of them, demonstrating that SCA and related attacks are very practical and represent a real threat to our systems.

Finally, as part of the social activities, we had the opportunity to visit geysers, springs, a protected park and tea plantations with *the only* tea factory working in Europe.


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Shooting the robots on “UX in Robotics” course

Hello everyone, and greetings from “UX in Robotics” course!

Shooting the lecture scene in Language Center.

This time the course teachers Aino and Kirsikka decided to shoot a video to show everyone what interesting things we learn in the UX in robotics course. The filming took place in the main building of Tampere University of Technology, where students from the robotics course volunteered to participate. It was a fun activity for everyone. In the first part of the shooting, Aino was giving lecture and students were interacting with each other. Students interacting with each other followed the second scenario. We then moved on to the next phase, which was making fun cheerleader poses and making of the affinity diagram (one of the field study data analysis methods used on the course).

The scene where the students made a robot prototype out of cardboard.

The shooting continued in the library of Kampusareena where the students created a cardboard prototype and hand drawn sketches of robots. Now we have a new member in our robot family.

Meet the new member of our human-centered robotics family. It does not have a name yet. Any suggestions?

Behind the scenes: There were few interesting incidents happening during the process. I, along with Kirsikka were stuck in the elevator with Pepper. Instead of having a panic attack, we started gossiping about what Pepper would do if we turned it on. We were also discussing what might happen if we see zombies approaching us. During the shooting, Aino shared a heart touching story about her Icelandic horse and soon we started discussing about robot horses. We came up with a new research topic ‚ÄúHuman-horse-robot interaction‚ÄĚ. We also discussed about ‚Äúoctopus robot‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúgranny robot‚ÄĚ during the discussion session.

The whole shooting experience was very funny and it will be more fun next year when the UX in Robotics course will run with full force and be worth 5 credit points. Welcome to join the course next year, 4th period! We will post the link to the final video clip as soon as it gets ready.

Cheers, Aparajita Chowdhury
On behalf of the robot family (Aino, Aleksi, Kirsikka, Nao, Pepper, cardboard robot and me)

Small participants can get tired very easily on the video making..


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3DFysio -projekti: Kävelevät tutkimushaastattelut luonnon helmassa

Kevät on parasta aikaa kaivaa esille vanha tuttu Brainwolk -kävelypalaverikonsepti, jota voi soveltaa moneen työtehtävään. Esimerkiksi puhelimitse tehtäviin tutkimushaastatteluihin, kuten me teemme 3DFysio -projektissa. Puolen tunnin mittaiset tutkimushaastattelut on näppärää hoitaa kauniissa ja rentouttavassa kevätluonnossa kävellen Рhaastattelijakin varmasti kuulostaa rentoutuneemmalta tällä tavalla kuin toimistossa istuen. Kävelyn ja luontokokemuksen hyviä vaikutuksia on varmaan turha alkaa käymään tässä läpi Рne lienevät jo tuttuja kaikille.

Sopivat työkengät käveleviin tutkimushaastatteluihin

Työvälineet kävelevässä haastattelussa ovat seuraavat: printattu haastattelurunko, kännykkä + nauhurisovellus (tarkista toimivuus etukäteen), headset ja sopiva ulkoiluvarustus.

Tarvittavat työvälineet käveleviin haastatteluihin metsätoimistossa (+ työpöytä)

Ja eikun menoksi!


Kerrataan tähän vielä varmuuden vuoksi Brainwolkin pääpointit. Brainwolk on joko pienessä ryhmässä tai yksin tapahtuva kävely, jonka aikana tehdään työtä. Sopivia työtehtäviä ovat mm. puhelinhaastattelut, kehityskeskustelut, ideoinnit, reflektointi, suunnittelu ja palautteen anto. Muistiinpanot voi tehdä joko kirjaamalla pääasiat ranskalaisilla viivoilla paperille (välillä saa pysähtyä, ja kirjoitusalusta on kätevä tähän) tai naururisovelluksella. Brainwolk antaa paljon, vaikka vaatiikin hieman viitseliäisyyttä lähteä ulos. Kävelytehtävän jälkeen olo tuntuu mukavalta ja rentoutuneelta, mutta samalla myös energiseltä, erityisesti jos sää on sattunut suosimaan. 3DFysio -projekti suosittelee kokeilemaan luovasti!

N√§kym√§ mets√§toimiston “ikkunasta”

Terveisin, Aino A. “k√§velev√§ tutkija” 3DFysio -projektista

Ps. Mitä kuntoutujat ovat haastatteluissa sanoneet 3DFysio -sovelluksen käyttäjäkokemuksista fysioterapiakuntoutuksen työkaluna? Sehän se meidän tutkimusaiheemme tässä projektissa on. Pääsääntöisesti käyttäjäkokemukset ovat olleet hyviä. Kuntoutujat pitävät erityisesti sovelluksen tavasta näyttää fysioterapialiikkeet animaatioina Рne näyttävät liikkeet tarkasti ja auttavat muistamaan fysioterapiakäynnin jälkeen liikkeiden oikeaoppisen suoritustavan. Toinen erityisen tykätty ominaisuus on  kommunikaatiokanava, jonka avulla kuntoutujat voivat olla yhteydessä fysioterapeuttiin. Kommunikaatiokanavan avulla on mahdollista mm. kertoa muuttuneesta terveydentilasta ja kysellä neuvoja ja mahdollisia muutoksia fysioterapiaohjelmaan. Sen avulla voi myös saada tsemppausta ja kannustusta. Ylipäänsä on koettu hyvänä, että tämmöinen yhteydenpitomahdollisuus on olemassa. Tarkemmat tulokset pilottitutkimuksesta ovat tulossa tämän vuoden loppupuolella, kun kaikilla kuntoutujilla kuntoutus päättyy, ja saamme aineiston analysoitua.

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Conference trip to DATE in Dresden

A short walk from the conference venue is the Kronentor gate of the Zwinger palace.

This year the Design, Automation and Test in Europe conference (DATE) takes place in Dresden, Germany. I had the chance travel to Dresden to demonstrate our recent work RISC-V processor modeling in IP-XACT using Kactus2 at the University Booth. The modeling target is PULPino, a 32-bit RISC-V single-core microcontroller, whose structure and configurations we capture with our open-source graphical IP-XACT design environment Kactus2, The modeling is still a work-in-progress and already covers almost 200 IP-XACT XML files which are available in GitHub. Once completed, the model makes it  easy to integrate PULPino into new designs for e.g. IoT devices. It also serves as a public example of IP-XACT use in a decently complex application, something we have been lacking for years despite the fact that IP-XACT is widely accepted as the industry standard for IP packaging.

Me at the University Booth.

The University Booth exhibits both hardware and software demonstrators and provides a great forum for discussing ongoing research topics. The booths display a great variety of topics: electronic design automation, analog design, mixed-signal design, neural network controllers for autonomous robots, wireless sensor systems and many more. Most demonstrators also run live on a prototype and the tables were served with a wide range of platforms from Raspberry Pis to FPGAs.

After three days at the University Booth, I attended the Embedded Software for Industrial IoTs (ESIIT) workshop on the final day of the conference. This was the first time ESIIT was organized as part of the conference and proved out to be a success with a lot of submissions, attendees and active discussion. The day was filled with great talks, poster presentations and discussion around the broad topic of industrial IoTs. A lot of attention was given to modeling and meta-modeling as a part of the design flow, firmware optimizations and power management. My invited talk Bridging the Gap between Hardware Description Languages and IP-XACT focused on easing the transition of legacy code bases to IP-XACT supported design flow.

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What’s for lunch, Pepper?

Our Pepper is learning new tricks. After becoming a TV star, Pepper decided to try a new occupation, and ventured out to the field last Friday, March 16th. You may have spotted the friendly robot on that morning at the TUT main building lobby.

Pepper’s one and only task on that day was to help out hungry lunch-goers by showing them the menus of four restaurants on the campus. People could interact with the robot via dialogue, or if it didn’t work out, via the tablet on Pepper’s chest. The test was conducted in Finnish, one person at a time or in groups of 2-4 people, and the active interaction between a human and the robot was quite brief, typically between 30-120 seconds.

So you’d like to see Reaktori’s lunch menu? Okay, Pepper at your service!

The study will become a part of Antero Tossavainen’s PhD in Industrial and Information Management. The aim is to bring the voice of the customer to the fuzzy front-end of new product development. A merry group of students on the Challenge-Based Innovation class also gave many helping hands in recruiting participants and collecting questionnaire forms. And boy, did we need a hand! The trial was supposed to start at 10:30 am, but passers-by began getting interested in Pepper already around 9:30, just a few minutes after we got there and Pepper had settled in and woken up. The target number of participants was 60, but we ended up with about a double that number. So, Antero got a lot of data to analyze… we’ll surely write more about that later.

We sometimes face challenges recruiting participants to user studies. Not on that day.

Although operating Pepper required most of my attention, I managed to jot down some observations about the ways people interacted with Pepper, noticeable issues, and comments I heard people make.

  • Anthropomorphizing (treating the robot as human-like) varies by individual: for example, one person asked, ‚ÄúWho is he?‚ÄĚ instead of ‚ÄúWhat is it?‚ÄĚ when seeing the robot for the first time. Perceptions also differed: one person commented after interacting with Pepper: ‚ÄúIt is scary!‚ÄĚ, whereas another thought its voice was the cutest.
  • Emotions: I could see lots of amusement, occasional frustration, also some apprehension. Obviously some of the emotions may have been brought up by the artificial situation and by being observed by researchers, but the first reactions to the robot were still interesting to witness.
  • Expectations: Some people started the dialogue as if talking to a real person who could understand requests like “Do you have mashed potatoes?”,¬†“Gimme everything”, or¬†“Well let’s see, how about we check that Soossibaari at Konetalo?” Soon they realized that the robot doesn’t (yet) possess that much intelligence and its knowledge is limited, and reverted to simple and brief statements.
  • Speech recognition: Challenging, especially when noisy. One of the restaurants, Newton, was hard for Pepper to understand in spoken form. I mean, really hard. Several people tried it three or four times in different ways (‚ÄúNyytton‚Ķ Nyyton‚Ķ Newton‚Ķ Nyyttoni‚ÄĚ) before giving up and either selecting it from the tablet or, as happened more often, saying ‚ÄúReaktori‚ÄĚ or some other restaurant. Although I had programmed five variations of the possible pronunciations of the word, it failed to recognize them most of the time. Otherwise Pepper did all right, except for occasional rudeness, such as telling “okay, bon appetit” to a person who was asking it to read the menus out loud and claimed: “I’m blind, I can’t read”. In all fairness, the person wasn’t really blind, so perhaps Pepper detected the deception attempt ūüėČ In any case, it seems to be quite difficult to make the robot understand foreign names in Finnish, or vice versa. (There may be some sort of a language tag that could be input into the dialogue syntax, though. Something I‚Äôll need to look into.)

All in all, a very good experience on the field! Many thanks to the good people at Industrial and Information Management, and of course to the participants.

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3DFysio-projekti: Fysioterapian opettajan ajatuksia kuntoutusteknologian hyödyntämisestä fysioterapeuttikoulutuksessa

Teknologian hyödyntäminen fysioterapiassa ja koulutuksessa

Kuntoutusteknologia kehittyy ja sen hyödyntäminen fysioterapiassa yleistyy ja monipuolistuu jatkuvasti. Teknologiaosaaminen on yksi fysioterapian ydinosaamisen osa-alueista, joten sen osa-alueen opetus on tärkeää huomioida fysioterapeuttikoulutuksessa. Teknologiaosaaminen on huomioituna useiden Tampereen ammattikorkeakoulun (TAMK) fysioterapian koulutusohjelman opintojaksojen osaamistavoitteissa. Kurssiopetuksessa kuntoutusteknologia tulee parhaiten esille terapeuttisen harjoittelun opintojaksossa ja pelillisyyden osalta lasten fysioterapian opintojaksossa.

Teknologian käyttö fysioterapiassa liittyy tutkimiseen, ohjaukseen ja neuvontaan, terapeuttiseen harjoitteluun ja fysikaaliseen terapiaan itsenäisenä toimintana, mutta myös osana laajempaa moniammatillista kuntoutusta. Fysioterapiassa korostuu teknologiaa hyödyntävä tutkiminen (esim. goniometrit, biofeedback, ultraääni), teknologian käyttöön liittyvä asiakkaan ja omaisten ohjaus, neuvonta ja motivointi (esim. aktiivisuusmittarit). Fysioterapiassa korostuu myös teknologiaa hyödyntävän terapeuttisen harjoittelun suunnittelu, toteutus ja seuranta (esim. tasapainoon, kävelyyn ja lihasvoiman harjoitteluun liittyvä teknologia) sekä teknologian käyttö oireiden mukaisessa terapiassa, kuten esim. kivun tai lihastonuksen hallinnassa (esim. sähköärsytyslaitteet). (Suomen Fysioterapeutit, 2016.)

Fysioterapeuttiopiskelijoille kuntoutusteknologia tulee todenn√§k√∂isimmin parhaiten esille TAMK:n hyvinvointiklinikalla, jossa jokainen opiskelija suorittaa ammattitaitoa edist√§v√§n viiden viikon mittaisen harjoittelun. Hyvinvointiklinikalla on k√§yt√∂ss√§ kuntoutusteknologiaa hy√∂dynt√§vien mittareiden osalta mm. kehonkoostumusmittari, Firsbeat ‚Äďhyvinvointianalyysi, polkupy√∂r√§ergometri, Valedo Shape ja Valedo Motion (sel√§n tutkiminen), tasapainodynamometri ja kuntosalilaitteistoa.

Kuvassa mitataan henkilön huojuntaa seisoma-asennossa tasapainon kartoittamiseksi.

TAMK tekee myös yhteistyötä monien eri tahojen kanssa, jotka hyödyntävät kuntoutusteknologiaa. Muun muassa TAYS:in fysiatrian osaston testilaboratoriossa opiskelijat pääsevät näkemään ja kokeilemaan voimadynamometria, ultraääntä, pinta EKG-laitteistoa ja kävelyn analysointia voimalevyanturilla. Myös joka toinen vuosi järjestettävät apuvälinemessut ovat oiva keino päivittää tietoa kuntoutusteknologiasta. Fysioterapeuttiopiskelijat ovatkin messujen ajan avustamassa ja ohjaamassa asiakkaita kokeilemaan eri toimintoja.

Etäkuntoutus herättää pohdintaa opiskelijoissa

Et√§kuntoutus toimii fysioterapiassa osana ryhm√§muotoista harjoittelua, jatkokuntoutusprosessissa tai osana l√§hikontaktissa tapahtuvaa fysioterapiaa. Kun viimeisen vuoden fysioterapeuttiopiskelijoilta kysyttiin: ‚ÄĚMink√§laisia teknologiaratkaisuja tied√§t olevan olemassa tai k√§ytett√§v√§n et√§kuntoutuksessa?‚ÄĚ vastauksissa nousi esille monelle tuttuja asioita. √Ąlypuhelin, askelmittari, aktiivisuusranneke, sykemittari sek√§ kuntoutusohjelmat kuten Physiotools ja Fysiofile. Tosin yksitt√§isi√§ kommentteja tuli my√∂s p√§√§lle puettavista √§lyvaatteista tai jumppaohjaajarobotista tai kipup√§iv√§kirjasovelluksesta.

Keskustelussa nousi esille, että tuleva ikääntyvä sukupolvi osaa vieläkin enemmän ja paremmin hyödyntää teknologiaa ja käyttää erilaisia sovelluksia. Pohdintaa herättikin etäkuntoutus fysioterapeutin näkökulmasta. Fysioterapeutti tekee töitä käsillään ja luottaa fyysiseen kosketukseen sekä tarkkoihin silmiin. Fysioterapeutti luottaa käsien tuntumaan tutkimalla lihaskireyksiä ja liikelaajuuksia, silmät tarkkailevat ryhtiä ja liikettä monesta suunnasta, moniulotteisesti. Teknologian lisääntyessä fyysisen kosketuksen merkitystä ei tule unohtaa. Se lisää mielihyvähormoneja kehossa ja vähentää stressihormonien määrää.

Kuvassa Tanita ‚Äďkehonkoostumusanalysaattori, jolla pystyt√§√§n suorittamaan nopea ja tarkka kehonkoostumusmittaus. Mittauksessa arvioidaan mm. kehon metabolinen ik√§ suhteessa kalenteri-ik√§√§n, kehon rasvaprosentti sek√§ erotellaan sis√§elinten ymp√§rille kertyneen rasvan m√§√§r√§.

Jutun kirjoitti Tampereen ammattikorkeakoulun fysioterapian lehtori Hannu J√§rvinen, joka osallistuu 3DFysio ‚Äďprojektiin.

Posted in Digikuntoutus, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Person of the Day: University Teacher Sakari Lahti

Hailing from Kokkola, my story at TUT begins back in 1997 when I came here to study physics. I graduated in 2002 but soon understood that I would never be the next Einstein. Therefore, in 2008 I decided to switch my career to something easier: digital systems and computer engineering. I graduated again at TUT in 2014 and continued on to doctoral studies supervised by Prof. Timo D. Hämäläinen.

I found myself occupied with at least as much teaching as researching. I have teached on Digital Design, DSP Implementations, Logic Synthesis, Microprocessors, System Design, and Computer Architecture courses among others, as well as supervised B.Sc. theses. This March I was appointed as a university teacher at our laboratory. My research involves high-level synthesis, i.e. how to describe digital systems using “high-level” languages such as C++.

My passion in leisure time is different kinds of games. These include not only PC games but also board games and pen & paper role playing games (not to be confused with LARPing). I wonder how many employees at our laboratory have delved in dungeons and battled dragons with their friends in their formative years. Some of us still do it weekly :). I am also deeply interested in physics, cosmology, philosophy, history, and politics. I take advantage of the Tamppi Areena gym to prevent being a total couch potato.

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Visit to European Robotics Forum (13-15.3. in Tampere-talo)

European Robotics Forum visit provided a very pleasing overview to all kinds of robotic related topics and most importantly, it was a good opportunity to experience a great variety of different robots in action. There were small and large robots, robots of many different shapes, human-like and machine-like robots, robots in different colors, friendly looking and a bit scary ones, quiet and noisy robots, even one musical robot. Many many robots for different purposes from assembly to preventing loneliness, from preparing drinks to carrying Moomin. The topics of the speeches varied from harsh environment robotics to ethical aspects, from care robots to exoskeletons.

This was the first robot of the day.

Some personal insights/experiences from the conference:

‚ÄĘ The robotic arms are actually very fascinating. At best, their movements can be perfectly¬† beautiful. I got hooked on looking at the smooth movements of the two-armed robot by ABB. By using one‚Äôs imagination and combined with other elements such as appropriate music one could create stunning installations and trials for several different purposes outside of the factory setting. I got one crazy idea, which you may be able to experience later on‚Ķ Stay tuned!

The fascinating robotic arms with so smooth and beautiful movements.. It is the shame that the movements are not visible on the picture.

‚ÄĘ It seems that even the simplest and most machine-like robotic products can be re-designed to promote different feelings and enjoyment by combining the product with some aesthetic elements. For example, the dish collecting robot that moved autonomously on the restaurant area of the conference was a very relaxing experience. Why? Because it played relaxing music at the same time as it was moving. It was really nice to relax within the close proximity of the dish robot for a while. Who would have imagined that a dish robot (basically a moving robot cart) would make you relaxed in a conference?
‚ÄĘ UX and in general, the softer side of robotics, is more and more coming to the field. Several speeches dealt with human-related aspects and many stakeholders are interested in getting UX people in their projects. It is a very good sign.

Which one is the teacher, and which one is the robot, out of these two options?

I am still missing one robotic experience РI wanted try out an exoskeleton and become a superwoman, but it was not available at this point. Maybe next year!

I am so cute <3



What do you think about me? What purposes I have been designed for?

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International students love Pepper!

Hi everyone! It has been a month I am working on Pepper now and my Master thesis topic is related to the cultural aspects in Human-Robot Interaction. I am particularly studying the expectations of international students with Pepper depending on their cultural values and how they interact with it. In this one month, I had a lot of request for making an appointment with Pepper! It is already a celebrity now. Few international students have interacted with Pepper. Although Pepper cannot do much yet, students have been very excited to interact with it as much as they can. In fact, they love Pepper! They have found Pepper very cute and tried out different voice commands and tablet apps. It has been interesting to notice the cultural impact while interacting with Pepper. Some would be very friendly from the beginning, and some would get comfortable after a while.

Pepper is also entertaining in the office, by friendly interference in conversations and flaunting its dancing skills. The robot family is very much attached with Pepper and we are proud to have this celebrity in our team.

Cheers: Aparajita, on behalf of the robot family (Aino, Kirsikka, Aleksi, Aparajita, Nao and Pepper)

Some students prefer to come to see Pepper in groups.


This student stood at a distance during initial interaction but got comfortable later.


Pepper greeting the student…


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