Workshops & Tutorials

Please visit the individual workshop websites for their Call for Papers and deadlines.

Workshop 1: Human-Agent-Robot Teamwork
Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Virginia Dignum, Catholijn Jonker, Maarten Sierhuis
March 5, 2012, 8am – 5pm

Teamwork has become a widely accepted metaphor for describing the nature of multi-robot and multi-agent cooperation. By virtue of teamwork models, team members attempt to manage general responsibilities and commitments to each other in a coherent fashion that both enhances performance and facilitates recovery when unanticipated problems arise. Whereas early research on teamwork focused mainly on interaction within groups of autonomous agents or robots, there is a growing interest in leveraging human participation effectively. Unlike autonomous systems designed primarily to take humans out of the loop, many important applications require people, agents, and robots to work together in close and relatively continuous interaction. For software agents and robots to participate in teamwork alongside people in carrying out complex real-world tasks, they must have some of the capabilities that enable natural and effective teamwork among groups of people. Just as important, developers of such systems need tools and methodologies to assure that such systems will work together reliably and safely, even when they have been designed independently.

The purpose of the HART workshop is to explore theories, methods, and tools in support of humans, agents and robots working together in teams. Position papers that combine findings from fields such as computer science, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, anthropology, social and organizational psychology, human-computer interaction to address the problem of HART are strongly encouraged. The workshop will formulate perspectives on the current state-of-the-art, identify key challenges and opportunities for future studies, and promote community-building among researchers and practitioners.

Workshop 2: Advances in tactile sensing and touch HRI
Giorgio Cannata, Lorenzo Natale, Fulvio Mastrogiovanni, Giorgio Metta
March 5, 2012, 8am – 5pm

The problem of “giving robots the sense of touch” is fundamental in order to develop the next generations of robots capable of interacting with humans in different contexts: in daily housekeeping activities, as working partners, as caregivers etc.. Through tactile sensing it is possible to measure or estimate physical properties of grasped of touched objects, and feedback from tactile data may enable the detection and the safe control of the interaction of the robot with object or humans; finally touch based cognitive processes can be involved by developing self-awareness of the body and in differentiating “me” from “not me”
opening new relevant problems.

The objective of this Workshop is to present and discuss the most recent achievements in the area of tactile sensing starting from the technological aspects, up to the application problems where tactile feedback plays a fundamental role.

The Workshop will cover, but will not be limited, to the following three main areas:

  1. Technological aspects of robot skin design and implementation including: advanced transduction devices, large scalesensing technologies, embedded electronics, system level solutions, etc..
  2. Software and algorithmic aspects related to tactile data processing: software engineering, robot control, touch based reactive behaviors, touch classification, object recognition, etc..
  3. Cognitive issues related, but not limited, to skin‐based behaviors and task level control, including: human-robot interaction, learning and assistive technologies etc..

Workshop 3: Gaze in HRI From Modeling to Communication
Frank Broz, Hagen Lehmann, Yukiko Nakano, Bilge Mutlu
March 5, 2012, 1pm – 5pm

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the role of social gaze in human-robot interaction, both how to measure social gaze behavior by humans and how to implement it in robots that interact with them. Social gaze, gaze directed at an interaction partner, has been a subject of increased attention in human-robot interaction research. While traditional robotics research has focused work on robot gaze solely on the identification and manipulation of objects, researchers in HRI have come to recognize that gaze is a social behavior in addition to a sensor. This workshop will approach the problem of understanding the role of social gaze in human-robot interaction from the dual perspectives of investigating human-human gaze for design principles to apply to robots and of experimentally evaluating human-robot gaze interaction in order to assess how humans engage in gaze behavior with robots. Computational modeling of human gaze behaviour is useful for human-robot interaction in a number of different ways. Such models can enable a robot to perceive information about the state of the human in the interaction and adjust its behaviour accordingly. Additionally, more humanlike gaze behaviour may make a person more comfortable and engaged during an interaction. It is known the gaze pattern of a social interaction partner has a huge impact on one’s own interaction behaviour. Therefore, the experimental verification of robot gaze policies is extremely important. Appropriate gaze behaviour is critical for establishing joint attention, which enables humans to engage in collaborative activities and gives structure to social interactions. There is still much to be learned about which properties of human-human gaze should be transferred to human-robot gaze and how to model human-robot gaze for autonomous robots. The goal of the workshop is to exchange ideas and develop and improve methodologies for this growing area of research.

Tutorial 1: ROS and Rosbridge Roboticists out of the loop
Christopher Crick, Graylin Jay, Sarah Osentoski, Odest Chadwicke Jenkins
March 5, 2012, 8am – 5pm

The advent of ROS, the Robot Operating System, has finally made it possible to implement and use state-of-the-art navigation and manipulation algorithms on widely-available, inexpensive standard robot platforms. With the addition of the Rosbridge application programming interface, interface designers and applications programmers can create robot interfaces and behaviors without venturing into the specialized world of robotics engineers. This tutorial introduces ROS and Rosbridge, and shows how quickly and easily these tools can be used to design and conduct large-scale online HRI experiments, access algorithms for autonomous robot behavior, and leverage the huge ecosystem of general-purpose web-based and application-oriented software engineering for robotics and HRI research. Tutorial attendees will learn the basics of autonomous and teleoperated navigation and manipulation, as well as interface design for online interaction with robots. During the tutorial they will design and write their own remote presence application, as well as develop strategies for incorporating autonomy and dealing with data collection.

Tutorial 2: Cognitive Science and Socio-Cognitive Theory
Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Chris Forsythe
March 5, 2012, 8am – 12pm

One of the strengths of the HRI community is that its practitioners come from a wide variety of professional disciplines. One consequence of this fact, however, is that many more practitioners are adept in the use of existing HRI techniques in their applications than are proficient in the principles of human cognition and social behavior that allow them to develop and rigorously evaluate new innovations. Moreover, even those who are well-schooled in these foundational principles may find the gap between theory and practice so great as to make it difficult to connect their knowledge to their research programmes. This tutorial provides a synopsis of key findings and theoretical advances from cognitive science and sociocognitive theory, with examples of how the results of this research can be applied to the design of human-robotic systems.

Topics covered will run the gamut from basic cognitive science (e.g., perception, attention, learning and memory, information processing, multi-tasking, conscious awareness, individual differences) to sociocognitive issues (e.g., theories of social interaction, dynamic functional allocation, mixed-initiative interaction, human-agent-robot teamwork, coactive design, theory of organizations). Additionally, the tutorial will address new technologies that attempt to leverage the current state of theory (e.g., neuroergonomics, brain-machine interfaces, detection of cognitive states, robotic prostheses and orthotics, cognitive and sensory prostheses). Throughout the tutorial, the presenters will give descriptions and demonstrations of working systems that exemplify the principles being taught. Separately, the presenters have given highly-successful tutorials on relevant subjects at workshops and conferences such as CHI and HCI International, as well as in a variety of industrial and government settings. In this tutorial, they propose to bring together their experience to bear on issues of specific interest to the HRI community.

Human-Robot Interaction Pioneers Workshop
Joshua Peschel (Chair), David V. Lu (Co-Chair)
March 5, 2012, 8am – 5pm

The seventh annual Human-Robot Interaction Pioneers Workshop will be held in Boston, Massachusetts on Monday, March 5, 2012. Exploring human-robot interaction in a small and welcoming forum, HRI Pioneers is the premiere venue for up-and-coming student researchers and will occur in conjunction with the 2012 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. HRI Pioneers is a highly selective workshop designed to empower innovators early in their careers and is a cohort of the world’s top student researchers seeking to foster creativity, communication, and collaboration across the incredibly diverse field of human-robot interaction. Participation in Pioneers Workshop is determined through an independent competitive application process (deadline December 1, 2011).