Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz takes over the consortium management of ZEN-MRI

With the appointment of Johannes Kraus to Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, the leadership of the consortium is changing. JGU’s expertise in researching the precise design of robots’ interaction strategies in public spaces will be expanded.

The ZEN-MRI project team is growing! Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has now been an official project partner since March. With the appointment of Johannes Kraus to JGU, the consortium management has been transferred from Ulm University to Mainz University. Ulm University will remain a partner in the project and, through its Human Factors Department, will contribute expertise in the field of research into the psychological foundations of human interaction with technical systems.

Expansion of expertise through the "General Experimental Psychology" department

The project partners are delighted that the expertise of the “General Experimental Psychology” department, where Johannes Kraus’ junior professorship is based, will now enable additional expertise to be gained in researching the precise interpretation of the robots’ interaction strategies in public spaces. To this end, an experimental psychology approach is being used to take a closer look at robot communication and test prototypes. For example, the Ulm railway station passage and the project robots will be recreated in a virtual reality environment. In Mainz, questions are likely to be investigated concerning the exact timing, content and design of the robot’s communication with humans. 

The first member of staff, Marlene Wessels, has already joined Professor Kraus’ team. She brings in-depth expertise on the topic of audiovisual perception of pedestrians in road traffic and experimental research to the team.

Foto: Thomas Abé