We are excited to be collaborating with our University colleagues on Cheerbot – a project investigating the capacity for robotic technologies to foster wellbeing in the workplace. Recognising that low staff wellbeing is an issue at universities, this research will explore whether robotic technologies can boost morale and importantly open up conversation and discussion in this area. Earlier engagement sessions across the University helped to identify specific activities that a cheerbot robot might usefully undertake and also highlighted concerns around data privacy and the limitations of a tech-led approach to address wellbeing.

The project which is funded by Horizon Digital Economy, grew from an ideas session in a Responsible Digital Futures workshop and is being led by Neelima Sailaja, Transitional Assistant, Horizon Digital Economy Research.  Also in the team is Helena Webb (Horizon and Computer Science), Karen Lancaster (Engineering), Dominic Thompson (English) and Dominic Price (Cobot Maker Space Lab Manager, Horizon and Computer Science).

Over summer 2024 the team hopes to pilot the cheerbot in the School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham, to work out what kinds of wellbeing activities it can successfully support and how these activities can be achieved ethically and responsibly.