REELER end-conference with webinar, December 11 in Copenhagen

REELER End-conference

On December 12, 2019, REELER held its end-conference, which marked the terminus of the REELER project running from 2016 to december 31 2019. Here, researchers presented the main project findings to an audience of 100 people comprising fellow researchers and the interested public gathered at DPU or attending the webinar.

On this page, you can re-watch the livestream, read more about the researchers and their presentations, or download our poster.


You can read much mor about our findings at:


Check-in live and online

Welcome to REELER and webinar by Prof. Cathrine Hasse, Project Coordinator.
Ethnographic research in robotics by research assistant Jessica Sorensen and postdoc Karolina Zawieska.

Mentimeter questions

Experimental approaches: Socio Drama and Mini-Publics by Prof. Kathleen Richardson and Prof. Cathrine Hasse

Mentimeter responses

Coffee break

Development of robots: coping with uncertainty, bounded rationality, and complexity by Prof. Andreas Pyka.

Economic impact of robotization: Just the usual structural change? by postdoc Ben Vermeulen.

Mentimeter responses

REELER Toolbox, BuildBot and BRICKSTER by R&D Director Maria Bulgheroni.

Summing up Perspectives on Robots by REELER partners.

Fairground. Opportunity to play BuildBot or Brickster, surf the REELER Toolbox and REELER Roadmap and get a copy of REELER's Perspectives on Robots.

Speakers - in order of appearence

Project Coordinator, Prof. Cathrine Hasse, Aarhus University, has an expertise in studying the relation between learning and culture in organizations with a special focus on universities and technical laboratories as workplaces. She is trained as an anthropologist and a cultural psychologist and her many years of academic research into materialconceptual cultural learning processes has steadily increased her insights into a wide variety of engineering activities, physics at university level, as well as in schools. She was Coordinator of the FP7 project UPGEM that investigated gendered career paths in Physics in Europe.

Research assistant Jessica Sorenson, Aarhus University, completed her Master’s degree in Anthropology at Aarhus University. Her thesis project was an ethnographic study of decisionmaking among robot makers in Denmark, and how they negotiated values in their design processes. Her research interests are interdisciplinary collaboration and the role of materials in mediating interactions. Since 2016, Jessica has been with the REELER project, and since 2018 has provided administrative support for the research program Future Technology, Culture and Learning.

Postdoc Karolina Zawieska, De Montfort University, is a researcher in social robotics and roboethics. She earned her PhD in Inclusive Design & Creative Technology Innovation from the University College Dublin (UCD). Karolina is currently working in the REELER project as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility. Since 2014, she has been a member of Poland’s delegation to the CCW UN Meetings of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS). She has also been involved in the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems.

Prof. Kathleen Richardson, De Montfort University, is Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI. She earned a PhD in Social Anthropology from University of Cambridge, for studying the making of robots in labs at MIT. As British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (BAPDF) at the University College London, she investigated therapeutic uses of robots for children with autism spectrum conditions. She has been part of the DREAM project (Development of Robot-Enhance Therapy for Children with AutisM), and the Digital Bridges Project, a technology and arts collaboration between Watford Palace Theatre and the University of Cambridge.

Prof. Andreas Pyka, University of Hohenheim, graduated in Economics and Management at the University of Augsburg in 1998. Thereafter, he spent two years as a postdoc at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in Grenoble, France. From 2002 to 2003 he held a guest professorship at the Austrian Research Centers "System Research" in Vienna and habilitated in 2004. Two years later he joined the University of Bremen where he became a professor for Economic Theory. In 2009 he was appointed to a professorship at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart where he has since held the chair for innovation economics.

Postdoc Ben Vermeulen, University of Hohenheim, works at the intersection of innovation economics and engineering. He earned a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Einhoven University of Technology, where he subsequently held a position as postdoctoral fellow. Within the REELER project, Ben has developed and used computer models to investigate the macro-economic impact of robotics and AI on the labor market, and to investigate evolutionary new product development & design processes and the role of market segmentation and the technological structure therein.

R&D Director Maria Bulgheroni, Ab.Acus, is an electronic engineer and director of Ab.Acus since 2006. Since 1995, she has been in charge of the R&D management for research centres, clinical centres, and private companies. Her expertise is in the pianification and management of research projects and in the design and development of software applications. Her main working fields are assistive technology, biomechanics, scientific and diagnostic instrumentation management, factory automation. She is also involved in teaching activities in academic and professional environments.

Brief summary of presentations

Prof. Cathrine Hasse opened by presenting the Human Proximity Model and via this model provided examples of collaboration within and across the three circles. Examples were given of the negative effect of the lack of user involvement in the design phase coupled with normative thinking taking its point of departure in the technology rather than the human. Emphasis was on what the use of REELER’s awareness-raising tools and the employment of alignment experts could contribute.

Watch this presentation here

Research assistant Jessica Sorenson (and postdoc Karolina Zawieska, via video) shared REELER’s research methodology, including the reasons and grounding for ethnographic research, the methods of investigation and analysis employed, the challenges the researchers faced, and the contributions this type of ethnographic fieldwork stands to bring to the field of robotics –especially by bringing robot makers’ imaginaries of work and robotization, and citizens’ imaginaries of robots closer to lived realities.

Watch this presentation here

Prof. Cathrine Hasse and Prof. Kathleen Richardson shared two of REELER’s stakeholder engagement tools, and the ways in which REELER has sought to give voice – not only to the affected stakeholders but also to robot makers through these two different tools, respectively: mini-publics, a form of democratic deliberation; and Sociodrama / social drama, action methods for perspective-taking and ethical reflection.

Watch this presentation here

Prof. Andreas Pyka showed how robot development is fraught with uncertainty, bounded rationality, and complexity and how these factors could be addressed by robot developers engaging in iterative development processes (develop-test-plan) - especially within innovation networks that also include end-users and directly and distantly affected stakeholders as prominent and creative knowledge sources for innovation.

Watch this presentation here

Postdoc Ben Vermeulen took attendees through envisioned future work scenarios, then explained how economic data and agent-based modelling supported or rejected aspects of these imaginations of robotization. The presentation included an overview of expected structural change, and an evaluation of policy interventions, differentiated by labor market conditions.

R&D Director Maria Bulgheroni presented three awareness-raising tools developed in the REELER project: BuildBot, a perspective-taking board game; the online Toolbox, an interactive website for exploring REELER’s findings; and Brickster, a simulation of choices in the design process. The focus of this presentation was on how to build multidisciplinary engagement into robot development.

Watch this presentation here

End-conference poster

Full Presentation

Watch the livestream