International Conference on Social Robotics


Three full day workshops will be held on 27 October 2013 on topics relevant to social robotics and the general theme 'Social Intelligence'.

The workshops are:


Christian Kroos and Damith Herath

In everyday life, we constantly encounter situations in which machines do not fulfil their designated function or do not meet our expectations. It is foreseeable that with the rise of social robots, real or perceived misbehaviour will be common place until technology and algorithms mature sufficiently. In research, however, failures and malfunctions are not necessarily an unfortunate course of events, best to be completely avoided. Misbehaving robots, the hypothesis of the workshop, can sometimes teach us more about social interactions than their successful counterparts. After all we are still on the fringe of the development: we lack long-term, large-scale experience of social interactions between humans and robots and we are still on the search for a guiding model.

While science and engineering aim at minimising the occurrence of dysfunctional behaviour in machines, the arts embraced the concept of creative failure from the beginning of modernity. Errors were seen as an important source of new ideas and spawned novel and sometimes far reaching developments. Sometimes they were even a wilful part of the concept of the work of art from the start. Jean Tinguely's self-destroying machines might be mentioned or—with typical user expectations in mind—Norman White's 'Helpless Robot'. Thus, in a manner of speaking, it suggested itself to bring robotic art (and art employing machines in general) in contact with the scientific and engineering side, promoting interaction and allowing confrontation. The workshop is directed towards people active in any of the aforementioned domains. Engineers and scientists are encouraged to report on robots that did not behave according to expectations in the interaction with humans and, if possible, how the resulting behaviour was perceived and judged by the users. For artists, we welcome any contribution where unexpected behaviour of a machine was or became an essential part of the work of art.

Video submissions due: 1 September. Workshop Homepage


Rony Novianto and Jonathan Vitale

Social robots will not be accepted in society unless they exhibit social intelligence. They will need cognitive capabilities that support the necessary social intelligence. Research in various fields, including artificial intelligence, robotics, computer vision, cognitive psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience, provides important work on cognitive capabilities. However, there is a little work on orchestrating various cognitive capabilities to achieve social intelligence. Attention is known to play a crucial role in intelligence. It affects other cognitive processes, including perception, action selection, decision making, planning, emotion and learning. It potentially provides a mechanism to orchestrate these cognitive capabilities required to achieve social intelligence. Research on attention remains challenging in all levels from visual perception to decision making and planning. This workshop aims to examine the role of attention in social intelligence and to foster the emergent area of attention in social robotics.

Full/short papers due: 1 September. Workshop Homepage


Wendy Moyle (chair), Elizabeth Broadbent (co-chair), Ho Seok Ahn, Michelle Kelly, Dikai Liu, Adrian McDaid, Hung Nguyen, Ravi Ranasinghe, Shane Xie

As the world's population ages and the prevalence of long term health conditions grows, healthcare systems struggle to provide the services and staff to help people, and healthcare costs continue to rise. New technology may provide solutions and robotics is increasingly proposed for innovative applications in healthcare; there is increasing research regarding the acceptance, feasibility and efficacy of healthcare robotics. There is a significant component of human robot interaction when robots are deployed in healthcare applications, and also a considerable social component. This workshop will focus on current progress and issues for the social robotics component.

Extended abstracts due: 31 August. Workshop Homepage