Person of the day: University Lecturer Aino Ahtinen & wish for summer happiness :)

Hey everybody,

my name is Aino and I work in the Lab of Pervasive Computing as a University Lecturer since April 2018 (as a Post-doc since 2014). I teach psychology (from the human-centered technology design perspective), human-centered robotics (human aspects and user experience on robotics design) and cross-cultural design (how to consider different cultural aspects in design). I love sharing my strong practical expertise (already 18 years on the field!) related to the various areas of human-technology interaction with the students and guiding their work in hands-on projects. In my courses, theory is always connected to practical work – the insights, skills and ideas are constructed by doing, trying out and reflecting on it. To motivate other people is my passion at work. I also get energy from working as part of the team where the great atmosphere and the team spirit lead our work. We have a lovely team <3

Before TUT I worked in Nokia and VTT for many years as a user experience designer. Those years are the source of my strong practical experience on the user research field. The most important application area for me personally is the physical exercise apps – I have worked in several projects around them and I wrote my PhD thesis about that topic (how to motivate people to be more active with the help of mobile apps). After making of PhD I headed towards physically active ways of work (how to make people more active at sedentary work) and we developed the Brainwolk walking meeting concept and also the break exercise concept. Both are used actively in my daily office work as well as in my teaching. My current project, 3DFysio, studies the use of a physiotherapy app in a long-term rheuma patients’ rehabilitation, in co-operation with TAMK, Apila and Kineso Oy. After telling all this it may not become as a surprise if I tell you that I was supposed to become a gymnastic teacher but actually I am very happy now to be able to fulfill my dream by motivating people to integrate even a little bit physical activity to their workdays.

My work has always been very multi-disciplinary and I enjoy that a lot. My newest research and teaching topic, human-centered robotics, is very interesting in that sense. The vision related to the human-centered robotics is that whatever we do with the robots, it should be valuable, beneficial and usable for human beings. Our human-centered robotics team is a little bit different from the other teams that I have worked in previously, because now we have also robots as our team members. That brings in many new challenges for understanding the team members, and for being able to communicate with them fluently 😀 However, Nao robot has already proved its capabilities in making people to move in robot-assisted break exercises, and sometimes it feels as if we understood each other. Nao is also showing many other skills on the teaching robot case study with City of Tampere.

If I happened to have some free time I really like to do all kinds of cross-country activities, especially hiking, skiing, riding Icelandic horses (exactly, not any other breed), biking, also sometimes orienteering. I will also restart kayaking in the future. Renovation of old furniture from 1800-1900 is also my hobby, which is a bit on hold now though. During this summer, I enjoy working in my garden with all of those tiny vegetables and flowers.

On behalf of TUT Pervasive Computing Blog, I wish everybody the greatest and happiest summer ever:

”Ei tarvii junien kulkea
Mun tarakal sä pääset kyllä perille
Tehtaat voi ovensa sulkea
Mun puutarhas on mansikoita kaikille
En aio käyttää kenkii ennen elokuuta
Kun kadut kaupungissa, on kaikki autioina
Jos mietit mistä mut voi tavoittaa
Se riippuu siit mihin mä riippumaton ripustan”

(by Mikael Gabriel)

Cheers, Aino A.

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