Sefora brings Pharaon to Denmark

Sefora Tunç is a PhD student, scientist in training, at the University of Twente. She is researching how to get older people to help design new technology. No longer the engineer who invents something and then tests it out with the target group, but the target group at the steering wheel!

For Pharaon, she did a study with some people from the Plusbus. She got them to think about a virtual trainer. What is that? Suppose in the future you want to apply for a study or treatment, you might have to answer some questions online, on the internet. Many hospitals and organisations will then choose to have an illustrated puppet have a conversation with you. So what kind of puppet do you want to see? Which one inspires trust? Which ones do people find odd. Sefora found out and designed “Robin” together with six older people.

As is our common for researchers, we sometimes travel to a conference and share our results with colleagues from other countries. Last summer, Sefora went to Denmark. Because going by herself is also boring, she asked her father to come along.

Femke: Sefora, how was the trip?

Sefora: It was great fun and I got to know a lot of people. It was also really special to travel with my father.

Femke: And what did you think of it?

Sefora’s father: It was a unique experience to travel with my daughter and participate in an academic conference. What struck me was the diversity of topics and the passion with which researchers like Sefora present their work. It was also fascinating to see how technology and science come together to provide solutions to everyday challenges.

Femke: Thanks for your report and what a nice photo!

You can learn more about Robin, the virtual puppet that Sefora co-designed by reading the Conference paper (click here)