Interview with Gergely Magyar, MSc. – PhD student and his Erasmus research visit in Italy.

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  1. Can you introduce yourself, which year of your PhD study are you in and what is your scientific interest?

My name is Gergely Magyar, MSc. and I am in the last year of my PhD study. My supervisor is prof. Peter Sincak. The aim of my research is to design an artificial intelligence method for learning from teleoperation during human-robot interaction in social robotics (SHRI). Currently in SHRI robots are teleoperated by experts (in case of elderly people it can be a physiotherapist, in case of teaching kids it can be a teacher of a foreign language). This approach is suitable for studying the immediate influence of robots on humans but not for long-term interaction. My challenge is to solve this problem by learning appropriate behavior from the human teleoperator.  With this approach we can increase the robot’s level of autonomy in social human-robot interaction.

  1. How long were you in Italy – what was your task for the stay?

I spent three months at the Biorobotics Institute of SSSA (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, http://sssa.bioroboticsinstitute.it/. My task was to continue my research and test our teleoperation platform based on Microsoft Azure. Experiments were done with the Japanese university Kyushu Institute of Technology, where we were able to control a robot from Italy and from Slovakia. Results of these experiments were used as proof for Microsoft Research to demonstrate the usability of MS Azure for cloud robotics.

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  1. How would you describe the environment at SSSA – is there an international research team? How would you compare the Italian research institute to our Department of Cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence?

The Italian institute is in Pontedera, close to Pisa and the Ambient Assisted Living laboratory is in a village called Peccioli which was established as part of the  EU project RobotEra (www.robot-era.eu ). 15 researches work there including PhD students (also from abroad like Pakistan and South Korea). The conditions for research in Italy and in Slovakia are on a comparable level and we can state that our research environment is on a high level.

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  1. What do you think about PhD study – research work – collaboration? Did you visit other research institutes abroad?

PhD study gave me a number of experiences and possibilities to meet interesting people in Slovakia and abroad. During my study I had chances to present my work at various conferences in Germany, the Netherland and also I have participated in summer schools in Germany and Finland.

  1. What is your personal message for students of Technical University of Kosice?

I would fully recommend to apply for a stay at a university abroad. Our university and particularly the Department of Cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence has many partnerships with leading institutions in Europe. Time spent in the international and multicultural environment will give you experience for your professional life which you cannot obtain at home. During my PhD study I have had a chance with to meet colleagues from all over the world and I improved my English which is important for my career.