Symposium chairs:

Kerstin Dautenhahn, René te Boekhorst (Adaptive Systems Research Group, The University of Hertfordshire, UK)



A two-day symposium running on 14 and 15 April 2005 as part of the AISB 2005 Convention, 12-15 April 2005. The convention will comprise a number of symposia related to the theme of  Social Intelligence and Interaction in Animals, Robots and Agents. The convention will be hosted by the Adaptive Systems Research Group at University of Hertfordshire, on behalf of The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (SSAISB) which is the largest Artificial Intelligence Society in the United Kingdom.


University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK


Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) is a growing and increasingly popular research area at the intersection of research field such as robotics, psychology, ethology and cognitive science. Robots moving out of  laboratory and manufacturing environments face hard problems of perception, action and cognition. Application areas that heavily involve human contact are a particularly challenging domain. Interaction and communication of embodied physical robots with humans is multimodal, and involves deep issues of social intelligence and interaction that have traditionally been studied e.g. in psychology. The design of a robot’s behaviour, appearance, and cognitive and social skills is highly challenging, and requires interdisciplinary collaborations across the traditional boundaries of established disciplines. It addresses deep issues into the nature of human social intelligence, as well as sensitive ethical issues in domains where robots are interacting with vulnerable people (e.g. children, elderly, people with special needs).


Assuming that the future will indeed give us a variety of different robots that inhabit our homes, it is at present not quite clear what roles the robots will adopt. Will they be effective machines performing tasks on our behalf, assistants, companions, or even friends? What social skills are desirable and necessary for such robots? People have often used technology very differently from what the designers originally envisaged, so the development of robots designed to interact with people requires a careful analysis and study of how people interact with robots and what roles a new generation of robot companions should adopt.


The symposium will present state-of-the-art in the field of HRI, focussing on hard problems and open challenges involved in studying ‘robot companions’. The symposium will consist of  invited talks as well as regular presentations. All contributions will be reviewed by the programme committee, presenters (talks and posters) will have contributions in the AISB proceedings. The authors of the best technical papers will be encouraged to submit to a special section/issue of an international journal.

Topics relevant to the symposium are:

           Design of social robots for HRI research

           Requirement for socially interactive robots for HRI research

           Cognitive skills for robot companions

           Evaluation methods in HRI research

           Ethical issues in HRI research

           Creating relationships with social robots

           Developmental aspects of human-robot interaction

           Roles of robots in the home




Christoph Bartneck (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)

Aude Billard (EPFL, Switzerland)

Guido Bugmann (University of Plymouth, UK)

Henrik I. Christensen (KTH, Sweden)

Takayuki Kanda (ATR Intelligent Robotics - Communication Labs, Japan)

Gerhard Sagerer (University of Bielefeld, Germany)

Takanori Shibata (AIST, Japan)


Draft Programme


14th April 2005, Thursday 


8.30-9.00         Coffee

9.00-10.0                 Plenary talk III: Hiroshi Ishiguro: From inter-personal to social relationships with robots - Studies on interactive humanoids and androids

10.00-10.30     Coffee & walking to session rooms

10.30-12.30     Session (2 hours): Challenges in Embodied Interaction

10.30-10.40     Introduction (Kerstin Dautenhahn)

10.40-11.20     Invited talk: Embodied social interaction with robots, Henrik I. Christensen  (KTH, Sweden)           

11.20-12.00    Invited talk: Bringing it all together: Integration to study embodied interaction with a robot companion, Gerhard Sagerer, Jannik Fritsch, Britta Wrede (University of Bielefeld, Germany)

12.00-12.30     Discussion of Session + poster spotlights (one minute for each poster presenter – one overhead transparency)

12.30-1.45       Lunch & Posters (in parallel SSAISB AGM meeting) 

1.45-2.45         Plenary talk IV:

Alison Jolly: Social Intelligence in Primates and Primatologists Session (1.5 hours): The Human Perspective in Social Robotics

Walking to session rooms

2.55-4.25                 Session (1.5 hours): The Human Perspective in Social Robotics

2.55-3.25         Do we need social robots? Challenges of a human-centred perspective, Kerstin Dautenhahn (University of Hertfordshire, UK)

3.25-3.45         Coping strategies and technology in later life, M. V. Giuliani, M. Scopelliti, F. Fornara (ISTC-CNR & University of Roma “La Sapienza”, Italy)

3.45-4.05         Ontological and anthropological dimensions of social robotics, Jutta Weber (University of Vienna, Austria)

4.05-4.25         Discussion of Session

4.25-4.45                 Coffee

4.45– 6.45       Session (2 hours): Robots in Assistive Technology

4.45-5.25         Invited talk: Human Interactive Robot for Psychological Enrichment and Therapy, Takanori Shibata, Kazuyoshi Wada, Tomoko Saito, Kazuo Tanie (AIST, Japan)

5.25-5.45         My Gym robot, P. Marti, T. Shibata, F. Fano, V. Palma, A. Pollini, A. Rullo (University of Siena, Italy & AIST, Japan)

5.45-6.05         Robots as Isolators or Mediators for Children with Autism? – A Cautionary Tale, B. Robins, K. Dautenhahn, J. Dubowski (Univ. Hertfordshire & Univ. Surrey Roehampton, UK)

6.05-6.25         “Robotic rich” environments for supporting elderly people at home: the RobotCare experience, A. Cesta, A. Farinelli, L. Iocchi, R. Leone, D. Nardi, F. Pecora, R. Rasconi (Universita di Roma “La Sapienza” & Italian National Research Council, Italy)

6.25-6.45         Discussion of Session

7.30-10.00       Excursion with dinner (optional)


15th April 2005, Friday

8.30-9.00         Coffee

9.00-10.00      Plenary talk V: Luc Steels: Stages and challenges in evolving language-like communication for robotic agents

10.00-10.30     Coffee  & walking to session rooms

10.30-12.30         Session (2 hours): Human-Robot Interfaces

10.30-11.10     Invited talk: Communication robots for elementary schools, Takayuki Kanda, Hiroshi Ishiguro (ATR, Japan)

11.10-11.50     Invited talk: Effective spoken interfaces to service robots: Open problems, Guido Bugmann (University of Plymouth, UK)

11.50-12.10     Evaluation criteria for human robot interaction, Catherina Burghart, Roger Haeussling (University of Karlsruhe, Germany)

12.10-12.30     Discussion of Session

12.30-1.45       Lunch & Posters

1.45-3.45                 Session (2 hours): Attitudes and Perspectives on Robot Design

1.45-2.25         Invited talk: Cultural differences in attitudes towards robots, C. Bartneck, T. Nomura, T. Kanda, T. Suzuki, K. Kato (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands & Ryukoku University & ATR & Toyo University & Osaka University, Japan)

2.25-3.05         Invited talk: Challenges in designing the body and the mind of an interactive robot, Aude Billard (EPFL, Switzerland)

3.05-3.25         Child and adults’ perspectives on robot appearance, S. Woods, K. Dautenhahn, J. Schulz (University of Hertfordshire, UK)

3.25-3.45         Discussion of Session

3.45-4.15         Coffee 

4.15-5.45                 Sessions (1.5 hours)

4.15-4.35        Alternative model-building for the study of socially interactive robots, M. Beynon, A. Harfield, S. Chang (University of Warwick UK)

4.35-4.50         Practical and Methodological Challenges in Designing and Conducting Interaction Studies with Human Subjects, M. Walters, Sarah Woods, K. L. Koay, K. Dautenhahn (University of Hertfordshire, UK)

4.50-5.10                Discussion of Session

5.10-5.45         Panel and Final Discussion

End of Symposium


Poster presentations

**Ethical issues in human-robot interaction

Blay Whitby (University of Sussex, UK)

**The necessity of enforcing multidisciplinary research and development of embodied socially intelligent agents

Julie Hillan (University of Washington, USA)

**Human-robot interaction experiments: Lessons learnt

Cory D. Kidd, Cynthia Breazeal (MIT Media Lab, USA)




You can register for the symposium as part of the AISB’05 convention registration. The 31 January 2005 is the early registration deadline. See the AISB’05 webpage for other related symposia running during the first half of the convention.



Please send PDF versions of extended abstracts (2-4 pages maximum) by 31 October 2004 to “K.Dautenhahn AT herts.ac.uk” AND “R.teBoekhorst AT herts.ac.uk”.

Submissions reporting on innovative HRI experiments and implementations are particularly encouraged.  Conceptual papers, reviews, project overviews, or discussion papers identifying innovative approaches/perspectives in the area of HRI are also welcome (please identify clearly in your submission the nature of the paper).



Please send a  PDF version to “K.Dautenhahn AT herts.ac.uk”. Additionally, please send a hardcopy to the following address:


Prof. K. Dautenhahn (AISB-HRI)

School of Computer Science

University of Hertfordshire

College Lane

Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AB

United Kingdom


PDF file and hardcopy must arrive by 14 January 2005.

Formatting instructions for the camera-ready copies of accepted papers can be found on the AISB’05 webpage.



           Christoph Bartneck (Eindhoven University of Technology The Netherlands)

           Rene te Boekhorst (Adaptive Systems Research Group, University of Hertfordshire)

           Henrik I. Christensen (KTH, Sweden)

           Guido Bugmann (University of Plymouth, UK)

           Kerstin Dautenhahn (Adaptive Systems Research Group, University of Hertfordshire)

           Takayuki Kanda (ATR Intelligent Robotics - Communication Labs, Japan)

           Tatsuya Nomura (Ryukoku University, Japan)

           Gerhard Sagerer (University of Bielefeld, Germany)

           Takanori Shibata (AIST, Japan)



**31 October 2004: Submissions due

**22 November 2004: Notification deadline

**14 January 2005: camera ready copies due  (PDF and hardcopy)

**31 January 2005: early registration deadline

**12-15 April 2005: AISB 2005 convention