About us

We are a group of researchers who aim at gaining a better insight into human behaviour and its underlying mechanisms in a world which becomes increasingly complex. We engage in multiple areas of human factors, such as highly automated driving, the use of collaborative robotic systems, the automation of ships, as well as new software solutions. We provide fundamental as well as more applied findings from a psychological and cognitive science perspective, with a focus on mental workload, adaptability, acceptance, and cognitive functions as well as influencing factors. Our findings create a basis for a human-centred development of new technologies and the development of measures to support the users in interacting with new systems. Our work is funded by different national and international research grants as well as various business partners.




Podcast on "Technology acceptance and adaptation to technology"

In this podcast, Eva talks about her journey in the technology world and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM).

Some of our latest research and findings are presented, including the role of trust and adaptability in technology adoption. Eva also highlights other factors that influence technology acceptance: social environment & norms, experience, voluntariness or habits. Want to listen in #EducationNewscast Podcast



New blog post on "adaptability"

In our new blog post, we look at adaptability in the context of software implementation. You can find the article on the website of our partner #Synaworks.


Within the article, theoretical concepts are described but also connections to other constructs such as technology acceptance are explained.

You can find the whole blog post on the Synaworks website.


Member of the MOTION Institute

As of today, Magnus Liebherr is part of the MOTION Institute (MObility TransformaTION) and will represent our interests in the field of human factors and bring a psychological perspective to the institute's work.

The MOTION Institute bundles and represents research activities in the areas of innovation, mobility, in particular in the fields of materials research, computer science, electrical engineering, mechatronics, marine engineering and logistics, HMI, reactive flows as well as market and sales processes in the automotive and mobility industry sector. It supports joint research activities and the application for joint research tenders/ third-party funded research contracts. An important field of MOTION is the exchange with the automotive and supplier industry, the logistics sector and shipping as well as with other mobility sectors.


Mobility Workshop (Krefeld)

On Wednesday, we organized a mobility workshop in Krefeld. The first results from our BestMOD project were presented - and, of course, intensively discussed!

The central insight was that the use of sustainable means of transportation is linked to the habit of using cars. So far, so logical - but what does this mean for interventions regarding a more sustainable (mobile) future? The conversations with citizens and stakeholders from Krefeld enriched us and gave us new perspectives on our research. Thank you!

Special thanks goes to our presenting colleagues Lukas Spengler and Ingmar Kranefeld, and of course to everybody who was able to join our workshop!


Official "Kick-Off" of the Strali Project

Yesterday, we marked the official launch of the Strali project in Essen. The event was graced by warm words of welcome from the Mayor of Essen, Mrs. Yacob, the Vice-Rector of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Prof. Marròn, and the BMDV. It was heartening to witness the enthusiastic participation of both interested citizens and city representatives.


Following an engaging panel discussion in which we unveiled intricate project details, participants were given the valuable opportunity to engage with project members and delve deeper into the various facets of our initiative. This event was a resounding success, reinforcing the significance of our project in a tangible way.


Encouraged by this positive experience, we are now invigorated and back to the drawing board, focusing on meticulously planning the upcoming data collection phase.


Project Meeting "Cobotank" at Reederei Deymann

Have you ever sat in the loading bay of an inland cargo vessel and had productive talks on how to move on with the research and development work in your project? Well, we just did! 😉 Earlier this week, the #CoboTank team has met onboard the inland vessel Otto Deymann sr. and has conducted an intense workshop for a brief review of milestones achieved and the planning of the ones ahead. The presentation of the miniature demonstrator is coming up soon!


A big THANKS to #ReedereiDeymann for welcoming us onboard and ashore!


CoboTank aims to develop a collaborative robot for the loading and unloading process of inland tank vessels and to investigate the potential of fully automating the robot. The research project CoboTank is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport in the innovative port technologies funding program (IHATEC).


Project Meeting "Safebin" at RWTH Aachen

Yesterday, in Heidelberg, we delved into the realm of software implementation. Today, at RWTH Aachen University, we found ourself engrossed in the Safebin project, discussing the automation of inland navigation. These may appear as entirely disparate topics, but what unites them is our unwavering focus on the human element in the midst of ever-evolving technologies. Intriguingly, these two seemingly unrelated subjects converge when we explore themes such as technology trust, acceptance, affinity, mental workload, and even fundamental cognitive processes. Our encounter proved to be a captivating exchange, teeming with valuable insights, solutions, and promising pathways for our future collaborative endeavors. Thank you to RWTH Aachen for graciously hosting this thought-provoking gathering


Synaworks Partners Day in Heidelberg

Today was an exciting day at the Synaworks GmbH partner day in Heidelberg. Besides the delicious pretzels, Magnus Liebherr and I were especially thrilled by the insights into the practice of technology acceptance and adoption in the area of SAP software! A big thank you to the Synaworks team for the great organisation, the authentic atmosphere and the valuable input. A beautiful sunrise was on top - and even the construction sites here in Heidelberg want to inform about technology and technology trust!


Conference "New Technologies and Test Fields for Waterways and Ports at the BAW (Karlruhe)

The initiation of the funding programmes "Innovative Port Technologies", "Digital Test Fields Ports" and "Digital Test Fields Waterways" a few years ago has opened up the possibility of developing a large number of innovations to increase the attractiveness of waterways as a mode of transport and also to test them under real conditions!


At the invitation of the Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport, Dr Volker Wissing, the Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport is now offering business and science the stage to present the first results from the funded projects to the public and to discuss future #mobility on the water together. CoboTank is of course represented with its own stand and shows a scaled model of the possible cobot accompanied by a video animation. We are also pleased to have our stand neighbour - the friendly project PortSkill 4.0, with whom CoboTank is developing virtual test scenarios for the operation of the Cobot!


Summer School for Human Factors (Chemnitz)

Eva Gößweinan and Verena Staab participated in this year's Summer School for Human Factors at the Chemnitz University of Technology!


During this intensive week, they had the unique opportunity to work with experts in the field of Human Factors and to give inspiring lectures. The presentations included innovative approaches to improving mobility in our cities and how we can put people's needs at the centre of our efforts. On the other hand, they presented and discussed human-robot interaction in our Cobotank project with the aim of reducing mental workload.


CoboTank project gets first user feedback on cobot

In mid-September, we had the opportunity to present our initial ideas for our collaborative robot to students at the Schiffer-Berufskolleg RHEIN as part of the CoboTank project. We set up two focus groups, each consisting of four students, who discussed and evaluated our proposals for the robot's conceptual form and functions, as well as the design we proposed. We received a lot of input and are now developing a concrete prototype. Our next topic is the graphical user interface, which will also be discussed with potential users.

03. - 06.09.2023

Mensch und Computer 2023 in Rapperswil

We had a great time discussing current research ideas at the Mensch und Computer conference in Rapperswil. The conference was held at OST Ostschweizer Fachhochschule, which is located on Lake Zurich and was a fantastic conference location. The conference is the largest conference series on human-computer interaction in Europe and is an interdisciplinary event between academia and industry. We were able to present the CoboTank project as well as ideas for future studies at the conference and are very grateful for the feedback we received and the inspiring exchange of ideas.

We are already looking forward to Mensch und Computer 2024 in Karlsruhe!


Kick-Off Meeting Project Strali

Our kick-off meeting for the Strali project took place in Duisburg. The individual representatives of the chairs of ABWL and Mobility, General Business Administration & International Automotive Management, Mobility and Urban Planning as well as Mechatronics came together with representatives of the city of Essen to plan the further procedure in the Strali project. We are looking forward to the cooperation in the next three years, to exciting findings and joint publications.


For more information about the project, please read our project description.


We are hiring for our new mFund project "STRALI"

09. - 11.08.2023

UPA Summer School

From August 9th to 11th we had the opportunity to participate in the summer school of the German UPA (Professional Association of German Usability and User Experience Professionals) at the Kloster Bronnbach. Within 2 days we worked on a problem for which we had to develop and test a solution within the framework of the Human Centered Design process. We developed a first prototype using UX methods such as interviews, personas, storytelling, prototyping and usability testing. Applying these techniques and getting feedback from a panel of experts was a great pleasure. We are very excited to be able to apply some of the lessons learned to developing the Cobot as well, as part of the CoboTank Project.