Workshops – March 2, 2015

W1. HRI Education Workshop: How to design and teach courses in Human-Robot Interaction (full day) – Portland Room

Organizers: Carlotta A. Berry, Cindy L. Bethel, and Selma Sabanovic

The purpose of this workshop is to share best practices for teaching an introductory course in Human-Robot Interaction for undergraduate and graduate students. The motivation for the workshop is to create a standard set of best practices and shared curriculum ideas for teaching human-robot interaction which is still a young field. This workshop will give stakeholders the opportunity to frame the direction of HRI education as the field continues to grow. This workshop will revisit some of the topics addressed at the Young Researchers in HRI workshop held in conjunction with HRI ‘06.

During the workshop, participants will discuss the format, topics, and prerequisites necessary to teach an introductory multidisciplinary HRI course for graduates and undergraduates, as well as how the topic of HRI can be integrated in education in various fields. Participants will also discuss the essential assignments including homework and labs that are necessary to teach the preferred concepts. Participants will discuss options for a low-cost robotics platform including necessary configuration, sensors, and peripherals.

Link to: HRI Education Workshop Information


W2. The Emerging Policy and Ethics of Human Robot Interaction (full day) – Salon B 

Organizers: Laurel Riek, Woodrow Hartzog, Don Howard, AJung Moon, and Ryan Calo

As robotics technology forays into our daily lives, research, industry, and government professionals in the field of human-robot interaction (HRI) in must grapple with significant ethical, legal, and normative questions. Many leaders in the field have suggested that “the time is now” to start drafting ethical and policy guidelines for our community to guide us forward into this new era of robots in human social environments (HSEs). However, thus far the effort has been skewed toward policy-focused or technology-focused discussions, with little cross-disciplinary conversation, creating problems for the community. Policy-related researchers can be concerned about robot capabilities that are scientifically unlikely to ever come to fruition (like the singularity), and technologists can be vehemently opposed to ethics and policy encroaching on their professional space, fearing it will impede their work.

Our workshop aims to build a cross-disciplinary bridge in a more balanced way that will ensure mutual education and grounding. The workshop has three main goals: 1) Cultivate a multidisciplinary network of scholars who might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet and collaborate, 2) Serve as a forum for guided discussion of relevant topics that have emerged as pressing ethical and policy issues in the HRI field, and 3) Create a working consensus document for the professional community that will be shared broadly.

Link to: Emerging Policy and Ethics of HRI Workshop Information


W3. Enabling Rich, Expressive Robot Animation (full day) – Medford Room

Organizers:  Elizabeth Jochum and David Nuñez

HRI researchers and practitioners often need to generate complex, rich, expressive movement from machines to facilitate effective interaction. Techniques have included live puppeteering via Wizard-of-Oz setups, sympathetic interfaces, or custom control software. Often, animation is accomplished by playing back pre-rendered movement sequences generated by offline animators, puppeteers, or actors providing input to motion capture systems. Roboticists have also explored realtime parametric animation, affected motion planning, mechanical motion design, or blends of offline and live methods. Generating robot animation is not always straightforward and can be time consuming, costly, or even counter-productive when human-robot interaction breaks down due to inadequate animation. There is a need to compare various approaches to animating robots, identifying when particular techniques are most appropriate, and highlighting opportunities for exploration and tool-building.

Topics include:
• What is a useful taxonomy for describing generation of robot animation?
• What are the assumptions, advantages, and constraints of techniques for offline (i.e. pre-rendered) or live generation of robot animation?
• What are existing tools for animating robots, and what new tools could be built? Are there existing frameworks that could be extended to enable easier generation of animation?
• How do the morphologies and other physical constraints of robots impact robot animation?
• What techniques and lessons can roboticists co-opt from computer animation, animatronics, and game development for real time animation of robots?
This workshop intends to engage multidisciplinary researchers and practitioners in dialog new techniques and tools to enable rich, expressive animation in robots.

Link to: Enabling Rich, Expressive Robot Animation Workshop Information


W4. Behavior Coordination between Animals, Humans, and Robots (full day) – Eugene Room

Organizers: Hagen Lehmann, Luisa Damiano, and Lorenzo Natale

This workshop intends to bring together researchers investigating one or more aspects of behavior coordination in three different research domains: human-human interaction, human-animal interaction, human-robot interaction.

Our goal is to develop an interdisciplinary dialogue directed towards cross-fertilization between these fields, and to stimulate front line research engaged in (a) deepening the scientific understanding of the natural mechanisms underlying behavioral coordination through their robotic modeling; (b) facilitating and enhancing human-robot cooperation on the basis of the implementation of these mechanisms in human-robot interaction.

The workshop aims at involving in this bi-directional transmission of knowledge between the domain of the ‘natural’ and the domain of the ‘artificial’ all the disciplines included in the traditional and in the synthetic study of behavior coordination: cognitive sciences, developmental psychology, developmental anthropology, developmental robotics, primatology, the sciences and the epistemology of self-organization, the sciences and the epistemology of complex systems, social robotics, HRI, etc.

The interdisciplinary discussion on behavior coordination that will take place during the workshop will focus on dyadic behavior, conceived as the basic systemic unit of coordinated behavior, and on some of the key mechanisms for effective coordination currently under exploration, such as joint attention, action observation, task-sharing, action coordination, perception of agency, motor synchronization.

Some of the questions on which the forum will focus are:
• What are the differences and similarities between human-human and human-animal behavior coordination?
• What are the underlying mechanisms for behavior coordination?
• Which aspects of behavior coordination influence human social perception?
• How can aspects of natural behavior coordination be productively used to facilitate naturalistic Human-Robot Interaction?

Link to: Behavior Coordination between Animals, Humans, and Robots Workshop Information


W5. Link to: HRI Workshop on Human-Robot Teaming (full day) – Salon A

Organizers: Bradley Hayes, Matthew C. Gombolay, Malte F. Jung, Koen Hindriks, Joachim de Greeff, Catholijn Jonker, Mark Neerincx, Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Matthew Johnson, Ivana Kruijff-Korbayova, Maarten Sierhuis, Julie A. Shah, Brian Scassellati

Developing collaborative robots that can productively and safely operate out of isolation in uninstrumented, human-populated environments is an important goal for the field of robotics. The development of such agents, those that handle the dynamics of human environments and the complexities of interpreting human interaction, is a strong focus within Human-Robot Interaction and involves underlying research questions deeply relevant to the broader robotics community.
“Human-Robot Teaming” is a full-day workshop bringing together peer-reviewed technical and position paper contributions spanning a multitude of topics within the domain of human-robot teaming. This workshop seeks to bring together researchers from a wide array of human-robot interaction research topics with the focus of enabling humans and robots to better work together towards common goals. The morning session will be devoted to gaining insight from invited speakers and contributed papers, while the afternoon session will heavily emphasize participant interaction via poster presentations, breakout sessions, and an expert panel discussion.

Link to: HRI Workshop on Human-Robot Teaming Workshop Information


W6. Human-Robot Spatial Interaction (full day) Workshop Canceled

Organizers: Marc Hanheide, Christian Dondrup, Ute Leonards, Tamara Lorenz, and David Lu

Link to: Human-Robot Spatial Interaction Workshop Information


W7. Towards a Framework for Joint Action – Second Edition (full day) – Salon C

Organizers:  Aurélie Clodic, Cordula Vesper, Rachid Alami, Elisabeth Pacherie, Bilge Mutlu, and Julie Shah

For more than a decade, the field of human-­robot interaction has generated many valuable contributions of interest to the robotics community at large. The field is vast, going all the way from perception (e.g., tactile or visual) to action (e.g., manipulation, navigation) and decision (e.g., interaction, human-­‐aware planning). However, when it comes to the development of future robot assistants or robotic team-mates in mixed human-robot teams, there is a need for a deeper understanding of human-­robot joint action that could provide a framework for the different contributions and studies.

It is interesting to observe, from a roboticist point of view, that human joint action is a topic of intense research in cognitive psychology and philosophy. This observation lead us to start a multi-disciplinary initiative, successfully launched during a first workshop at the RO-MAN 2014 conference ( with more than 30 participants. With this second edition, we would like to continue to analyse the fundamental assumptions as well as detailed empirical findings from cognitive psychology and philosophy and connect them with various ongoing research activities in robotics, from the design of control architectures to human-robot interaction.

Link to: Towards a Framework for Joint Action Workshop Information


W8. Cognition: A Bridge between Robotics and Interaction (full day) – Salon D

Organizers: Alessandra Sciutti, Katrin Lohan, and Yukie Nagai

A key feature of humans is the ability to anticipate what other agents are going to do and to plan accordingly a collaborative action. This skill, derived from being able to entertain models of other agents, allows for the compensation for intrinsic delays of human motor control and is a primary support to allow for efficient and fluid interaction. Moreover, the awareness that other humans are cognitive agents who combine sensory perception with internal models of the environment and others, enables easier mutual understanding and coordination.

Cognition represents therefore an ideal link between different disciplines, as the field of Robotics and that of Interaction studies, performed by neuroscientists and psychologists. From a robotics perspective, the study of cognition is aimed at implementing cognitive architectures leading to efficient interaction with the environment and other agents. From the perspective of the human disciplines, robots could represent an ideal stimulus to study which are the fundamental robot properties necessary to make it perceived as a cognitive agent, enabling natural human-robot interaction. Ideally, the implementation of cognitive architectures may raise new interesting questions for psychologists, and the behavioral and neuroscientific results of the human-robot interaction studies could validate or give new inputs for robotics engineers.

The aim of this workshop will be to provide a venue for researchers of different disciplines to discuss the possible points of contact and to highlight the issues and the advantages of bridging different fields for the study of cognition for interaction.

Link to: Cognition: A Bridge between Robotics and Interaction Workshop Information


W9. HRI Pioneers Workshop (full day) – limited acceptance following submission process

Organizers: James Kennedy and Megan Straight

The tenth annual Human-Robot Interaction Pioneers Workshop will be held in Portland, Oregon on Monday, March 2, 2015 in conjunction with the 2015 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction.

Pioneers seeks to foster creativity and collaboration surrounding key challenges in human-robot interaction and empower students early in their academic careers. Each year, the workshop brings together a cohort of the world’s top student researchers and provides the opportunity for students to present and discuss their work with distinguished student peers and senior scholars in the field.

Pioneers is a premiere forum for graduate students in HRI, thus we invite students at any stage of their academic career to consider applying. To facilitate attendance, we expect to provide financial support to accepted students to help mitigate the costs of the workshop and main conference.

Link to: Pioneers Workshop Information