Visiting Academic Professor Svein-Olaf Hvasshovd

svein-olaf.jpgProfessor Svein-Olaf Hvasshovd from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondeim visited UCLan  as a result of PhD Student Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas work with Animal Computer Interaction Design (ACID) technology, an emerging HCI research area exploring how animals can interact with technology. He presented his work on sheep monitoring, protection, health and gathering in Norway. With an average of 20-30% of sheep being lost related to illness and death, and a large amount of time spent locating and gathering sheep his work presents a technology solution to give the position of the sheep(s), the development of a collar to deter predators, inform the farmer of the attack and identify the predatory animal attacking. Alongside this project, a system is also being undertaken to program drones to automatically gather sheep along a set path. This will be done by using inferred cameras to identify the sheep and then in sheep-dog behaviour herd them back into the farm in the fall.  For more information about this project, you can read a brief overview at Ilyena’s ACID site or email Ilyena  or Svien-Olaf.


UCLan Science Festival 2015

IMG_1547Computing @ UCLan ran two activities at the UCLan Science festival, both conceived and created by Dan Fitton. The first provoked players to think about novel interaction methods by racing robots round a track controlled by a Dance Mat or Drum Kit, the other showcased maker technologies and physical games through a ‘digital egg and spoon’ race. Both activities proved hugely popular with large queues to take part throughout all three days of the event. LancsSciFest2015The activities were made possible through the hard work of many members of the computing team – Brendan Cassidy, Matt Horton, Janet Read, Lorna McKnight, Vinh Thong, and Andra Balta.


Pioneering PhD Research

banner v6PhD student Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas is co-organising a workshop on Animal Computer Interaction with Charlotte Robinson and  Clara Mancini (The Open University), and Shaun Lawson and Ben Kirman (University of Lincoln)). The design of computing technology for animals is a relatively new branch of HCI and there are many research questions being asked in this new area.  Ilyena’s research, which is showcased at, focusses on seeking ways for dogs to interact in natural ways with technologies and on how they can be active participants in research studies in this space.   Her most recent work is a workshop paper adapting Hart’s ladder of participation for dogs.  Previous work has used image recognition to map the direction a dog is facing to study interaction with screens.  In the near future Ilyena will be looking to recruit dog owners to assist in her work.  Contact her via the ACID website.



DC-logoBCS HCI Summer Doctoral Consortium

Date: 2nd June 9:00am – 4:00pm
Location: University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
Chairs: Dr Joseph ‘JoFish’ Kaye, Flickr and Yahoo! Labs, Dr Leon Watts, University of Bath
Web Site:

What is a Doctoral Consortium?
A doctoral consortium is a one-day event where you explore your PhD topic, the practical problems of doing your research and you share your experiences in a critical but supportive context. This event will enable you to network with peers and established experts within the field of HCI while building confidence and motivating you to do even better with your research. Crucially a DC provides students with a valuable opportunity to present, discuss, and receive feedback on their work and ideas.

BCS-Funded Travel Bursaries available! Please check the web site for further info