International Conference on Social Robotics


This year, one full-day and six half-day workshops will be hosted on October 26th and 30th on topics relevant to social robotics and the general theme 'Individual Differences'.

The workshops are:

WS1: Evaluation Methods Standardization in Human-Robot Interaction

The first International Workshop "Evaluation Methods Standardization in Human-Robot Interaction" aims at bring together researchers from different research fields in order to share their experiences and their methodologies about Human-Robot Interaction studies. The objective is to explore existing evaluation methods, to share knowledge about good and bad practices (applied in HRI), to elaborate guidelines for HRI evaluations, and to discuss about common standards.

Submission deadline: 20 September 2015

WS2: First Workshop on Evaluating Child-Robot Interaction

With robots finding their ways into our daily lives, researchers have started to explore interaction scenarios for children. No matter if these children are normally developed or have special needs, evaluating Child-Robot Interaction (CRI) is a big challenge for several reasons. Firstly, when working with children, researchers have to pay specific attention to ethical issues and safety. Secondly, commonly used methods such as questionnaires do not work well particularly with younger children. Previous research has shown that children have a strong tendency to be either very positive or very negative on subjective measures and need support in expressing how they feel about technology. Given this, researchers often choose time-consuming behavioral measures from observations to evaluate CRI. However, these are not necessarily comparable between studies and robots. Thirdly, we face methodological challenges in investigating the constantly changing behaviour and development of children. Particularly in long-term studies, children change with respect to e.g., literacy, memory, or their abilities for dealing with social interactions and their own emotions. Hence, there is a need to develop methods that can be used to evaluate and benchmark the quality of CRI in a safe, ethical, and reliable way.

This half-day workshop aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines to share their experiences on these aspects. Looking across disciplinary boundaries, we want to discuss advantages and short-comings of using different evaluation methods in order to compile first guidelines for future CRI research. The discussion will be based on invited talks and submitted extended abstracts (up to 2 pages) presented in a poster session.

Submission deadline: 19 September 2015

WS3: Toward a Framework for Joint Action

The International Workshop "Towards a Framework for Joint Action" is a the third of a series of multidisciplanery workshops. The first edition took place at RO-MAN 2014 and the second one during HRI 2015.

This workshop series aim to bring together researchers from several disciplines to discuss the development of frameworks for analysing and designing human-robot joint action. The workshop provides the opportunity to researchers interested in joint action, roboticists but also philosophers and psychologists, to discuss the topic in depth and to contribute to the elaboration of a framework for human-robot joint action.

Submission deadline: 15 September 2015

WS4: First International Workshop on Educational Robots (WONDER)

Social robots are increasingly being studied as companions supporting and helping humans in different applications (e.g., home, healthcare, work spaces, public spaces, education, etc.). The study of robots acting as educational agents is an emerging field of social robotics. The last few years have seen the emergence, worldwide, of collaborative projects studying the role of robots in educational applications, for example, robots acting as tutors to support teachers and students, tools for therapy of children with autism, instructors in the factory, and learning companions in healthcare applications.

This workshop will bring together for the first time researchers interested in the design, development and evaluation of robots acting as educational agents. We anticipate the main outcome of the workshop to be the identification and investigation of open issues for educational robots, ranging from usability and personalization to long-term autonomy in real world environments.

Submission deadline: 20 September 2015

WS5: Improving the quality of life in the elderly using robotic assistive technology: benefits, limitations, and challenges

The aim of this workshop is to widen the debate on how best to ensure that robotics fully enters the mainstream of well-being, health and social care service provision for the rapidly rising proportion of the elderly in the developed and developing countries. It will focus on the problems that have bedeviled acceptance of technology which, although designed to help the elderly to cope with the problems of ageing and to maintain their autonomy and independence, has frequently been roundly rejected. The programme has been designed to address these problems with the pro-active involvement of the workshop participants throughout. Its four sessions will broadly cover how best to bridge the generic acceptance gap with the elderly; the concerns that arise; the inherent lifestyle changes involved; and inevitable interaction issues that occur. During the workshop, prominent researchers that are investigating the application of social robotics to an ageing population will share their experiences and discuss about its application on several areas, such as entertainment, assistance, and surveillance, among others. As this is destined to be a long term problem that will not go away, the intention is to establish an Interest Group that will act as an ongoing think-tank that will continue to build on the knowledge gained through the dynamics of the day.

Submission deadline: 4 October 2015

WS6: Bridging the Gap between HRI and Robot Ethics Research

Robot ethics is a relatively new domain in which various scholars explore the ethical issues facing computer scientists, engineers, programmers, developers, ethicists and philosophers. There are many different approaches for addressing the ethical issues related to robots (e.g., in both retrospective and prospective manners) as well as many different approaches to what ethics means in relation to robots (e.g., addressing quality of life issues versus usability and acceptance issues).

Social robotics researchers need to address legal, societal and ethical issues before robots become widespread within our society. Not only should researchers focus on preventing undesired outcomes, but they also need to investigate the social roles that robots can (not) or should (not) perform in the future according to the opinions of potential future users and in the light of the ethical and societal values at stake. When ordinary people start using autonomous technologies, such as robots, in their everyday lives, robotics researchers need to map all possible interaction scenarios and their potential consequences for both individual users and society as a whole. If the rise of robotics is similar to that of personal computers a few decades ago, we can expect some important legal, societal and ethical issues to emerge from robotics as well. Therefore, robotics researchers need to attend to these issues if we want to anticipate the potential (negative) consequences of the ubiquitous use of robots in our society as well as to design robots that foster our preferred ethical and societal values.

This workshop aims to bring together HRI scholars from multiple disciplines to stress the need to incorporate the users’ needs not only from a usability perspective but also from an ethical perspective. We therefore believe it is vital to involve prospective users as active testers in the design process. Their opinions and perceptions help researchers, designers, and engineers to create social robots that fit the special needs and demands of potential future users. We believe that also philosophers, legal scholars, policy makers should be involved in the deliberation process about the design of future robots.

Submission deadline: 20 September 2015

WS7: Third International Workshop on Culture Aware Robotics (CARs@ICSR)

Culture is not the first aspect that comes to mind when discussing human robot interaction. But our cultural upbringing does to a large degree influence our patterns of behavior and interpretation. Thus, culture is present in the development of robotic systems right from the start, unconsciously influencing how robots look, what we envision with them to do, and how they are programmed to interact with the user. Thus, culture significantly shapes how we interact with each other and with other social entities such as robots, and a better understanding of cultural differences and commonalities will have significant scientific, design, and societal implications. This workshop aims at improving awareness on the topic and facilitates communication among researchers from different cultures and those interested in culture as a factor in interacting with robots. The scientific focus of the activity is directed to culturally-aware robotics, which refers to a brand-new area in social robotics and human robot interaction and is closely related to the emergence of the field of culture aware computing in computer science and related disciplines. The main focus is on understanding the influence of culture on many human processes that affect human-robot interactions be it directly or indirectly. Culture aware robots can thus be defined as robotic systems, where culture-related information has had some impact on its design, runtime or internal processes, structures, and/or objectives.

Submission deadline: 20 September 2015