Course Instructors

Prof. Angelique Taylor

  •   Instructor
  •   Office hours: Tuesdays from 11am-12pm, Bloomberg 262
  •   amt298@cornell.edu



Tauhid Tanjim

  • Teaching Assistant
  • Office hours: Thursdays from 11am-12pm, Tata 251
  • tt485@cornell.edu



Annie Spahn

  • Grader
  • as2757@cornell.edu




Course Description

Robots are making their way into our everyday lives, working across many applications including in people’s home, healthcare, and retail settings to name a few.  As these systems become more integrated into our lives, it is important that they are designed to be useful, functional, and socially acceptable; however, this remains a key challenge for the field of human-robot interaction (HRI).  This course covers core computational, engineering, social challenges, and approaches for effective HRI in human-centered environments.  Topics include research methods, robot design and anthromorphization, perception of people, groups and teams, spatial interaction, emotion and intent design in HRI, social signal processing – recognition and synthesis, and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) for HRI. Students should expect to learn about seminal research in HRI, gain hands-on experience with physical mobile robots, and implement systems for real-time interaction with users.

Course Outcomes

  • Review seminal HRI papers and use critical thinking to analyze robots’ impact on society.
  • Program physical mobile robots to perform simple behaviors for HRI using Robot Operating System (ROS).
  • Design a user study to measure and evaluate its effectiveness.

Course Format

  • Lectures – Tuesday 9:45AM – 11:00PM ET, Bloomberg 161
  • Labs – Thursday 9:45AM – 11:00PM ET, Tata 251 

This course consists of weekly lectures and laboratory assignments.   Attendance and participation in lectures and labs are required.  

In lab, students will gain hands-on experience with physical mobile robot systems developing simple robot behaviors for HRI.  All labs are due one week from the assigned date unless explicitly stated otherwise.


This course is interdisciplinary and will involve collaboration among technical and non-technical students. Prior course history should include Human-Computer Interaction, Autonomous Mobile Robots, or User Experience/User Research. Course sessions consist of seminar-style lectures with five projects in total.



Students enrolled in this course come from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Thus, students should be prepared to work in teams with students from IS, CS, ECE, and MechE departments. Students with NO programming experience are expected to work with students more familiar with software development.

Final grades are evaluated based on class participation, lab assignments, and final project as follows:

  • Paper Presentations – 25%
  • Class participation – 10%
  • Lab assignments – 20%
  • Writing Assignments – 15%
  • Final project – 30%

Robot Platform

This course involved developing robot behaviors on a physical mobile robot platform. We are using the recently released open-sourced robotics platform, Turtlebot v4, created by Clearpath Robotics. This robot is Robot Operating System (ROS) enabled system. The mobile base is fully integrated with the mobile base running Ubuntu 20.04, ROS 2 Galactic and onboard sensor drivers, a front-facing OAK-D-Pro camera, 2D LiDAR, and Raspberry Pi.

Late Policy

Late assignments will be dropped one letter grade per day late. Lab assignments are due one week after they are assigned at 9:00AM unless stated otherwise.

Summary of Course Topics

  • Research Methods
  • Robot Design and Anthromorphization
  • Perception of people
  • Groups and Teams
  • Spatial Interaction
  • Emotion & Intent
  • Design in HRI
  • Social Signal Processing – Recognition & Synthesis
  • AR/VR for HRI


Students are expected to treat their classmates and course staff with respect. All individuals from different cultural backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations are welcome here. When students encounter incidents that violate this, they are encouraged to inform the instructors so these issues can be addressed in a timely manner (See Cornell’s Computer Science Community Statement of Values of Inclusion).


 We are happy to accommodate all students in terms of accessibility. Please contact the course instructors when you need help. Furthermore, the Office of Student Disability Services has available resources.