Social Robotics

Are you interested in social robots, such as robots in education, healthcare and hospitality, and are you ambitious to work in a multidisciplinary research project? Then this minor is designed for you! The minor programme is designed for students from various fields such as: healthcare, communication, engineering, education, media, and business. In this programme you’ll be able to use knowledge from your field and find creative ways to utilise your skills. Students from the field of healthcare for example can bring their own knowledge to help design a social robot for healthcare purposes.

There are no formal entry requirements, but you are expected to have attained English CEFR level B2. If you are unsure about your level, you can do a (free) written and spoken assessment. Contact the programme coordinator for more information. We expect a background or strong interest in the Sport Business.

Entry requirements

To enter this minor, you need to have a strong interest in social robots. Students do not need programming knowledge to participate in this minor. However, if you have basic programming knowledge, you will be able to utilise these skills.


The Social Robotics minor focusses on the interaction between robots and humans in education, healthcare and hospitality. Robots such as NAO, Pepper, RUBI, QRIO, Keepon, Paro, Huggable, Robovie, Kaspar, Robota, and KindSAR are just a grasp of the robots that will be discussed and analysed in this minor. Using the theoretical concepts regarding Human-Robot-Interaction (HRI) you will design and eventually validate a social robot for a specific purpose.

During this minor you’ll gain relevant knowledge on HRI-principles, design methods and research skills on how to complete a research project related to social robots.

Examples of projects:

  • The robots as a teacher assistant. During the minor, student studied how robots can support primary school teachers and increase the learning outcomes of children, see (video in Dutch).
  • Healthcare robots. We also developed and applied robots for a children’s hospital (Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis) in Netherlands. These robots stimulate children to exercise, increase children’s involvement in sport and play, and distracted them from being sick.

Learning objectives

  • The student can explain and discuss basic HRI theories, terms, and principles;
  • The student can apply HRI-principles to design a social robotic system;
  • The student can explain and apply different design methods to design and build a social robot;
  • The student can apply practical knowledge of HRI to complete a research project regarding social robots and present it to an interdisciplinary audience.


The programme takes place during one semester and contains the following courses:

Title ECTS
Human Robot Interaction 5
Design Methods for Social Robots 5
Project Social Robots 20

In the first course we’ll start by looking at the basic principles of Human Robot Interaction (HRI), and what state-of-the-art robots can and cannot do within their current technological limits. In this course we’ll look at social robots being applied in education, healthcare and hospitality.

In the second course you will gain knowledge on several design methods for designing social robots. With this knowledge (combined with the knowledge of HRI) you will then design your own social robot. The Project Social Robotics focusses on building and applying a social robot in a certain context, researching its effectiveness, and analysing the interaction. You will therefore set up an experiment and in the end write a scientific paper based on your findings.


This minor will be assessed based on the two courses and the project. The course Human Robot Interaction will be assessed by a written exam, the course Design Methods for Social Robots will be assessed by an assignment and the project will be assessed by a written research paper.


The literature used during the minor will consist of cutting-edge research papers. You will receive definite information before the start of the minor.


The timetable and the teaching days are not yet known.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs.

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