Robby van Delden is a researcher focusing his efforts on embodied forms of play with impact at the Human Media Interaction group of the University of Twente. He received a BSc degree in Industrial Design Engineering (Average grade >8) with a thesis on the (re-) design of an intelligent lectern and intuitive presentation software (8). He received a MSc degrees in Human Media Interaction and one in Industrial Design Engineering (Emerging Technology Design track). His combined thesis focused on the design of a tangible rehabilitation game for children with a hemi-paresis and this resulted in a full paper for ICEC 2012. During his studies at the university he worked as a tutor for high school students, where he was one of the contact persons at Eureka Bijles.
His PhD research with the title (Steering) Interactive Play Behavior was part of a large Dutch academic and (non-)profit organization ICT research project with various research institutes: COMMIT/ Universal Access for All, and focused on interactive play. He tries to combine the benefits of play with the engagement of gaming and the possibilities of exergaming technology, such as the Kinect. This research entails two main case studies : 1) a large space where children can play tag in an interactive way and 2) providing a playful experience for heavily handicapped people using an interactive ball. Both include an attempt to overcome the large amount of sedentary behaviour in current society and might be able to provide a more social experience. For this, he tries to find out if and how we are able to steer play in subtle ways, to encourage physical activity, encourage and change social interactions, keeping engagement high, trigger creativity and to make people alert on their surroundings. His thesis is nearly finished and it is expected he will get his degree in early 2017.
In the end of 2014 he initiated the *Bot project, which was granted as part of the COMMIT/ project. StarBot was a project investigating the impact of telepresence robots in everyday life, done with Merijn Bruijnes over a period of a year. The project deals with the opportunities and the social, ethical, and technical issues that come forward when we start using these `Skype on wheels’-robots in our every-day lives. Merijn (and Robby over a telepresence robot) were invited speakers for this project at TEDx-TwenteU 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_DCyt732yk.
Mainly together with dr. Dennis Reidsma he supervises a number of BSc and MSc students on topics related to interactive play. In total he tutored 9 student projects, 10 related bachelor theses (9 CreaTe and 1 Computer Science), and 1 master thesis. Occasionally he also gives guest lectures for Creative Technology bachelor students on designing for special needs and interactive play. Some of these student projects are done with Rehabilitation Centre De Hoogstraat and LEDGo, this initiated cooperation lead to a granted valorisation project GREAT as part of COMMIT/. GREAT focuses on motivating adaptive interactive gait rehabilitation on an interactive LED floor.
He is currently employed as a non-tenure assistant professor (tutor, lecturer and researcher) at Human Media Interaction (HMI) until February 2018. He (assists) in the course Media, Games, and UX for (prospective) high school computer science teachers, as part of the Inf4All project. He is a lecturer for the course Game Design, involved in the overarching New Media module, and lecturer/tutor for Intelligent Interaction Design, both mainly for Creative Technology students but also including Technical Computer Science and the occasional Industrial Design student at the University of Twente. He also assists in a course on Design of Persuasive Health Technologies (for psychology masters and creative technology students), and HMI courses such as Designing Interactive Experiences, and the Human Media Interaction project, and projects for EIT-ICT (HCID) master students.
In total he has (co-) authored 9 peer-reviewed international conference papers, 3 workshop papers, 2 book chapters, 1 technical report and 2 journal papers. Furthermore, his projects have appeared in several news papers (AD, Telegraaf), TV-shows (RTV-oost News en Uit de Kunst), the national news (NOS) and a radio broadcast (Radio 1 EénVandaag).