Martin Porcheron

Research

My research is in the area of human-computer interaction and computer-supported cooperative work, and focuses broadly on:

  • the use of and collaboration with technology in conversation,
  • the Internet of Things (IoT) in the home and workplace,
  • the design use of voice interfaces and 'interactive AI' systems,
  • explainable (semi)autonomous systems.

I examine technology in both casual settings such as the home or public spaces, and work settings such as the factory.

Projects

Below is an incomplete list of projects that I contribute to or have recently contributed to. I have a separate list of my publications here.

ALTCAI

January 2019–December 2020

This DfID Transform project is exploring the potential of emerging Interactive Artificially Intelligent Agent technologies as a route to creating rich, trusting and effective digital interactions that are effective in engaging the user low literacy, low connectivity, low base expertise contexts. The project will address these challenges through the extension and evaluation of an existing open source platform informed through ethnographic studies and participatory design. Principally, the project will design and evaluate a prototype interactive AI for providing informal healthcare and wellbeing advice to expectant and nursing mothers in Nigeria.

I am conducting the participatory design efforts of the project. This has involved traveling to Lagos, Nigeria to collaborate with both chemists and perinatal women, to identify crucial health and wellbeing topics and to inform the design of the final system. This work included prototype development and the design and running of workshops and field visits.

RoboClean: Human Robot Collaboration for Allergen-Aware Factory Cleaning

November 2018–April 2020

This project, funded through the University of Nottingham Smart Products Beacon and Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, investigates the potential of human-robot collaboration, integrated with IoT sensors for cleaning and allergen detection on a factory floor. The outcomes of this project will include an interactive connected system enabling novel human-robot collaboration and sensor data collection in a factory by engaging with partners in industry (British Pepper and Spice) and the third sector (the Food and Drink Forum).

My work as a postdoc researcher involves conducting field visits and interviews with industrial partners, observing and understanding the work of cleaning food and drink factories. For this, I have been liaising with both small and multi-national food manufacturers. This ethnographic work is being done to inform the design of the semi-autonomous robot instruction system being developed by the project.

Read more on the Horizon Digital Economy Research website.

Future Everyday Interaction with the Autonomous Internet of Things (A-IoT)

April 2019–October 2019

This EPSRC-funded project investigated the design of interaction mechanisms and user interfaces for future Autonomous Internet of Things systems (A-IoT). These are considered system of interconnected everyday devices that introduce elements of automation in response to or to support everyday life.

My work as a postdoc researcher involved supporting the deployment of a system developed within the project to understand the use of systems for predicting the consumption of projects in the home. I collaborated on the running of research studies with the system and played a substantial role in the analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, and the subsequent publication of our findings. This work was published in the paper Tracking the Consumption of Home Essentials.

Read more on Gateway to Research.

Understanding Conversation Around Technology Use in Casual-Social Settings

October 2013–September 2017

My PhD was funded by EPSRC through the Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training and Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute. I was based in the Mixed Reality Lab at the School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham and supervised by Dr Joel E Fischer (Computer Science) and Prof. Sarah Sharples (Faculty of Engineering).

My thesis adopted a multidisciplinary ethnographic approach informed by ethnomethodology. I focused on the everyday use of devices such as smartphones and smart speakers within groups of friends and family while they are socialising, demonstrating the ways in which devices are used in everyday life.

A copy of my thesis is on the University of Nottingham website.