STUDENT DESIGN COMPETITION 

IMPORTANT DATES

10 December 2021 (23:59 PDT): Submission Deadline

8 January 2022: Acceptance Notification

18 January 2022: Camera-ready Deadline

Closer to the conference, we will ask you to submit your presentation material: a video showcasing your project and design process, and, optionally, an additional interactive presentation of the robot that you created. Additional details on these submissions will be provided to you after acceptance of your project. However, do not forget to document and (video-)record your design process from the very start!

The Design Challenge and Context

The theme for this year’s Student Design Competition will be “Science Fiction Prototyping”. Student teams are asked to create a short story of a scene where robots and agents are used in society, set in a future society more than 10 years from now. In doing so, please think of technologies that may be realized in the future, rather than depicting technologies that are immediately feasible today. Since the theme of this year’s conference is “Breaking Boundaries,” we also recommend that you think about the geographical boundaries, real and virtual boundaries, research area boundaries, ethnic boundaries, etc. related to this theme.

When writing your story, we recommend that you keep the following three points in mind, but you are free to write as you wish.

  • Embodiment of the future through gadgets: gadgets that symbolize changes in the future society should appear in the story.
  • A concrete view from the character’s point of view: The impact of the gadget should be examined from the point of view of a character with a specific personality, will, and emotion, rather than from an abstract point of view.
  • Dynamic simulation through plot: The process of transformation of the characters’ consciousness and social conditions over time should be depicted, not just a fragmented scenario.

In addition, the following questions may help you write your story.

  • What kinds of systems and events could make that society a reality?
  • What are the problems that the technology could bring?
  • Are there people who find the world difficult?

In addition, please provide evidence of the kind of research and development that could make the technology a reality. The evidence does not have to be entirely realistic, but it should at least show the budding ideas in a logical manner.

Mandatory submission:

  • A story, and one picture for explaining the system

Format:

  • Any kind of formats (Manga, Graphic Novels, Picture Arts, Movie, and Video games) are allowed.

What is Science-Fiction Prototyping?

It is a method to discuss and share the future image with others by creating a “prototype” of a vision that has not yet been realized, based on the idea of science fiction.

Prototypes created by SF prototyping include:

  • 1. Realization of the future through gadgets: The emergence of gadgets (products, cities, social systems, etc.) that symbolize changes in the future society
  • 2. A specific view from the character: The impact of gadgets is considered from the perspective of a character with a particular personality, will, or emotion, rather than from an abstract perspective.
  • 3. Dynamic simulation by plotting: not only a fragmentary scenario, but also a process in which the consciousness and social conditions of characters change over time.
  • What is the difference from Design Fiction or Speculative Design?

Resources:

How to create your robot?

In this year, it is not mandatory to submit real working robot form. But it might be helpful to make picture as realistic as reviewer can understand your approach.

How to take part to SDC 2022?

Form a team (5 people max., but you can also participate as an individual) and prepare the initial submission to be submitted via the HRI website before December 10, 2022. Creating and submitting an initial submission is how student teams enter the competition and indicate that they are working on a project. Each initial submission should be a 1–2-page document, that includes the following information:

  • Project title and authors (names, school/university, and email addresses).
  • An abstract of 100 words or fewer.
  • A brief description of the design or application scenario: who will interact with the robot? Where? What kind of activities will the robot and humans do together? The description can be technical and/or behavioral. Feel free to add pictures and drawings to explain your idea.
  • A brief description of your design process: How did you generate ideas? Challenge them? Revisit them? You can include the different robot ideas/concepts you have explored (and not just the final one). You can do that by adding pictures of your ideas, making videos, including drawings, 3D models, post-its, etc.

Application scenario needs below three items:

  • 1. Realization of the future through gadgets: The emergence of gadgets (products, cities, social systems, etc.) that symbolize changes in the future society
  • 2. A specific view from the character: The impact of gadgets is considered from the perspective of a character with a particular personality, will, or emotion, rather than from an abstract perspective.
  • 3. Dynamic simulation by plotting: not only a fragmentary scenario, but also a process in which the consciousness and social conditions of characters change over time.

Jury and Awards

The HRI community is very diverse, including researchers and practitioners from computer science and engineering, social science, art and design, and a goal of the competition is to recognize outstanding contributions from any of these disciplines.

We expect that there will be several awards along several categories that include interaction, design, creativity, and implementation. This year, we will be paying special attention to the design process that the teams engaged in to create a social robot.

The award-winning teams will have a social time with experts in the field of HRI. During this time, teams can ask questions, connect, and network with renowned researchers in HRI.

Below items will be evaluated during jury:

  • Scenario is described for more than 10 years now.
  • Appropriateness for “breaking boundaries” goal

The theme for this year’s Student Design Competition will be “Science Fiction Prototyping”. Student teams are asked to create a short story of a scene where robots and agents are used in society, set in a future society more than 10 years from now. In doing so, please think of technologies that may be realized in the future, rather than depicting technologies that are immediately feasible today. Since the theme of this year’s conference is “Breaking Boundaries,” we also recommend that you think about the geographical boundaries, real and virtual boundaries, research area boundaries, ethnic boundaries, etc. related to this theme.

When writing your story, we recommend that you keep the following three points in mind, but you are free to write as you wish.

  • Embodiment of the future through gadgets: gadgets that symbolize changes in the future society should appear in the story.
  • A concrete view from the character’s point of view: The impact of the gadget should be examined from the point of view of a character with a specific personality, will, and emotion, rather than from an abstract point of view.
  • Dynamic simulation through plot: The process of transformation of the characters’ consciousness and social conditions over time should be depicted, not just a fragmented scenario.

In addition, the following questions may help you write your story.

  • What kinds of systems and events could make that society a reality?
  • What are the problems that the technology could bring?
  • Are there people who find the world difficult?

In addition, please provide evidence of the kind of research and development that could make the technology a reality. The evidence does not have to be entirely realistic, but it should at least show the budding ideas in a logical manner.

Competition Guidelines

Procedure

Teams (or individuals) should design, build, and document their projects during the time frame prior to the HRI 2022 Conference. We strongly encourage to photograph and video record their design and development process of the robot, to include during final video presentations.

Participants

We invite students from all stages of their university careers, from undergraduate to postgraduate, and high school students from any disciplinary focus area. While not required, we encourage multidisciplinary, even international, team membership.

Team Size

Please form teams of no more than 5 members. If your team has reason to exceed this number, please check with the SDC Chairs at sdc2022@humanrobotinteraction.org first. Individual applications are also welcome.

Registration

Registration for the competition itself is free, although at least 1 member of each team must register for, and attend, the HRI 2022 conference. Individual participations will need to register for the conference.

Submission

There is no limit to the number of entries per university, school, or organization. We encourage each student to focus on a single team entry, although students are permitted to join multiple teams.

Expenses

We are communicating with conference organizers now, but thus far, there is no sponsorship or reimbursement available for competition costs, such as developing design prototypes, or conference registration. We will post an update to this site if funding becomes available.

Submission and Presentations

Initial Submissions: Participants should prepare an initial submission and submit it via the “paper submission and review” website (deadline: 10 December 2022). Creating and submitting an initial submission is how student teams enter the competition and indicate that they are working on a project.

Camera-Ready Submissions: Teams whose submissions are accepted should submit a 1–2-page camera-ready version, updated to reflect the team’s progress to that date, for inclusion in the ACM digital library and IEEE Xplore. The camera-ready version should follow the double-column IEEE Proceedings Template.

Presentations: During the conference, the SDC session will be a virtual art exhibition of the robot competitions that will include:

  • Videos of the teams showing their process of making a robot.
  • Teams are encouraged to showcase and demo their robot live during the session as the most informative and entertaining representation of their work. This will provide opportunities for the audience to better understand how their robot should be used and was envisioned to interact with people.

There will be interaction sessions during the SDC in zoom in which teams and audience will be assigned different breakout rooms to engage in discussions about the process of making their robot. This will serve to share experience with the conference audience.

Frequently Asked

What are “Robots”?

We want to encourage a broad interpretation of what an interactive robot might be to each team. They could be custom-built objects or components, repurposed products or furnishings, hacked toys or appliances, or whatever teams have on-hand. We recommend letting the context, people, and interaction guide the design.

Can Teams Use Any Hardware or Software on Their Projects?

Teams may use any physical platform for their interactive robots, and should choose based on their chosen interaction context, the people involved, and the activities in which their objects will engage. To control their robots, teams may use any software platform, open or closed source, or even no software if that suits their design.

Is There Any Sponsorship for Expenses to Develop Interactive Everyday Object, or to Attend the HRI Conference?

We are trying to arrange a way to cover (or to offset) teams’ development expense, and/or attendance expense, but it is still not certain. We will post updates here as we learn more.

Can Any Student be a Member of More than One Team?

Students may join more than 1 team and teams should be constituted of maximum 5 elements. Individual submissions are also welcome.

Is There a Social Platform or Service for Finding Teammates?

We do not have a platform set up to help teams form, although you’re welcome to take the initiative. Let us know, and we will post details on the website. If we receive enough interest from individuals or small teams, we may collect and send your email addresses to each other.

Can Student Members Join or Leave Teams after Submitting a Proposal?

Individual members may be added or removed from teams up until 2 weeks prior to the conference. To make such changes, please email the Chairs at sdc2022@humanrobotinteraction.org as soon as possible.

Can Someone who isn’t a Student Participate?

The HRI 2022 Student Design Competition is only open to students, although students at any university level (bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD) may participate.

Can Other People, or Advisors, Help with the Competition Project?

The HRI 2022 Student Design Competition is only open to students, although students at any university level (bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD) may participate.

Can a Team Withdraw After Submitting a Proposal?

Teams are able to withdraw. In this case, please notify the Student Design Competition Chairs at sdc2022@humanrobotinteraction.org at least 2 weeks prior to the conference. For team members seeking reimbursement for conference registration fees, please contact the Finance Chairs at financechairs2022@humanrobotinteraction.org

Student Design Competition Chairs

Malte Jung (Cornell University, USA)

Hirotaka Osawa (University of Tsukuba, Japan)

Dohjin Miyamoto (University of Tsukuba, Japan)

Contact: sdc2022@humanrobotinteraction.org