Interactive stories for social robots can be of value for society, for example in healthcare. So how do you design a nice conversation between a robot and a person with dementia?
Project duration: 1 March 2021 – 30 June 2022


The Robotstories research project introduces a new vision on authorship for the 21st century: from a writer of literature and creative individual, towards co-creative authorship aimed at social impact. In cooperation with literary collective Wintertuin, Vrije Universiteit and ArtEZ, we explore whether literary narrative techniques can make it possible to bring robots to life. By our own imagination, to start real conversations with people who have dementia.

A collective of three writers from Wintertuin – including HKU alumni from the Writing for Performance school – rely on their writing skills to give a soul to Pepperrobot Memo. In the social context of elderly care, Robotstories seeks ways to apply this social robot to the specific purpose of improving the wellbeing of people with dementia. This is done in cooperation with the nursing homes Vitalis WoonZorgGroep and AxionContinu.

Video (in Dutch): Nick and Nena

From the professorship Performative Creative Processes, Jorrit Thijn and professor Nirav Christophe are involved with this study into new writing and storytelling methods to turn social robots into an interactive medium. This is done with existing models for cocreation, as well as newly developed innovative writing methods, user-friendly interfaces and iterative processes. Another part of the Robot Stories project is the development of educational modules for teaching how to write interactive stories for robots, for use at the writing courses at ArtEZ and HKU.


Wintertuin, Vrije Universiteit, ArtEZ, Vitalis WoonZorgGroep and AxionContinu

Lecturing researchers HKU

Jorrit Thijn, Nirav Christophe