Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Shirley A. Elprama

Senior Researcher

Personal Description

In my research, I use a user-centred approach. I want to influence how technology is shaped, based on users’ needs (whether these are surgeons, older adults, children, physiotherapists or other types of users). I have experience with a range of different (living lab) methods and tools. These include but are not limited to interviews and focus groups, co-creation, observation, survey, usability testing, paper prototype and scenarios. I mainly work on robots, but I’m interested in all kinds of technology. I love working in multidisciplinary teams.

I have been working at imec-SMIT-Vrije Universiteit Brussel since 2011 with a master in Human Technology Interaction (Eindhoven, University of Technology, 2011). I prefer studying people in the field where they are using (or not using) technology in environments such as factories, operating theatres but also nursing homes. Currently, I’m working on EU project SOPHIA where I investigate the acceptance of workers of collaborative robots and exoskeletons. In COLLWORK, I collaborate with my imec and FlandersMake colleagues to show companies the potential of collaborative robots.

Before, I worked on the imec.icon RoboCure project (using robots for diabetes education and children; 2017 – 2019). I also have worked on imec.icon WONDER (using robots for older adults with dementia; 2015 – 2017). In ClaXon (2014 – 2016), I researched collaborative robots in manufacturing and conducted field research at Audi Brussels, such as interviewing workers about their attititudes towards using robots and with this involving these workers in shaping the technology.