Professor Venture Gentiane and her team received the Honorable Mention Award for the Robot Design Competition in the IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication in 2023.

Title: Yōkobo – A Behavioral Object to Strengthen Human-Human Relationships

“Yōkobo” is a behavioral object designed by a research team consisting of experts from various fields to enhance the connection between retired couples. As an outcome of the research, “Yōkobo” is situated at the intersection of a sensorial approach and the trends in robotics that bridge the gap between human and robot interaction, particularly within the domain of Human-Robot-Human Interaction. This initiative unfolded in three phases, guided by a user-centered design methodology.

In the initial phase, the team conducted field studies focused on newly retired couples to identify concepts for experiences that aim to strengthen the bond within couples. In the second phase, the team worked on defining the form of the behavioral object, associated services, and the modalities of its interaction. In the third phase, robotics experts developed a practical prototype, which was utilized for various research and exploration purposes.

“Yōkobo” is the result of collaborative research and development involving the University of Tokyo, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, LS2N in France, Strate Design School, and Orange.