Second International Symposium on New Frontiers in Human-Robot Interaction

A two-day symposium at AISB 2010, 31 March - 1 April 2010
De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom


The symposium is supported by the European project Roboskin.


News: The draft programme is available (please use reload to get the most recent version)


Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Patrizia Marti (University of Siena, Italy), Yorick Wilks (University of Sheffield, UK), Giorgio Metta (IIT, Italy - as keynote speaker of the AISB convention), see below titles and abstracts.



Motivation and Background

Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) is a growing research field with many application areas that could have a big impact not only economically, but also on the way we live and the kind of relationships we may develop with machines. Due to its interdisciplinary nature different views and approaches towards HRI need to be nurtured. This symposium will provide a platform to discuss collaboratively recent findings and challenges in HRI.

The first symposium on “New Frontiers in Human-Robot Interaction” was held as part of AISB 2009 in Edinburgh, Scotland, see programme:
The symposium organized in 2009 was characterized by excellent presentations as well as extensive and constructive discussions of the research among the participants.

Different categories of submissions are encouraged that reflect the different types of research studies that are being carried out. The symposium will encourage a diversity of views on HRI and different approaches taken. In the highly interdisciplinary research field of HRI, a peaceful dialogue among such approaches is expected to contribute to the synthesis of a body of knowledge that may help HRI sustain its creative inertia that has drawn to HRI during the past 15 years many researchers from HCI, robotics, psychology, the social sciences, and other fields.


Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

Developments towards robot companions

User-centred robot design

Robots in personal care and health care

Robots in search and rescue

Sensors and interfaces for HRI

Human-aware robot perception

Dialogue and multi-modal human-robot interaction

Robot architectures for socially intelligent robots

HRI field studies in naturalistic environments

Robot assisted therapy

Robots in HRI collaborative scenarios

Robots in schools and in other educational environments

Robots as personal assistants and trainers

Robot and human personality

New methods and methodologies to carry out and analyze human-robot interaction

Robots as companions and helpers in the home

Robots as assistive technology

Long-term or repeated interaction with robots

Creating relationships with robots

Expressiveness in robots

Sustaining the engagement of users

Personalizing robots and HRI interfaces

Human-robot teaching

Robots that learn socially and adapt to people

User experience in HRI

User needs and requirements for HRI

Robots as autonomous companions

Robots as remote-controlled tools

Embodied interfaces for smart homes

Ethnography and field studies

Cross-cultural studies


The symposium encourages submissions in any of the following categories. The submission should clearly state which category the article falls under:

*N* Completed empirical studies reporting novel research findings
In this category we encourage submissions where a substantial body of findings has been accumulated based on precise research questions or hypotheses. Such studies are expected to fit within a particular experimental framework (e.g. using qualitative or quantitative evaluation techniques) and the reviewing of such papers will apply relevant (statistical and other) criteria accordingly. Findings of such studies should provide novel insights into human-robot interaction studies.

*E* Exploratory studies
Exploratory studies are often necessary to pilot and fine-tune the methodological approach, procedures and measures. In a young research field such as HRI with novel applications and various robotic platforms, exploratory studies are also often required to derive a set of concrete research questions or hypothesis, in particular concerning issues where there is little related theoretical and experimental work. Although care must be taken in the interpretation of findings from such studies, they may highlight issues of great interest and relevance to peers.

*S* Case studies
Due to the nature of many HRI studies, a large-scale quantitative approach is often neither feasible nor desirable. However, case study evaluation can provide meaningful findings if presented appropriately. Thus, case studies with only one participant, or a small group of participants, are encouraged if they are carried out and analyzed in sufficient depth.

*P* Position papers
While categories N, E and S require reporting on HRI studies or experiments, position papers can be conceptual or theoretical, providing new interpretations of known results. Also, in this category we consider papers that present new ideas without having a complete study to report on. Papers in this category will be judged on the soundness of the argument presented, the significance of the ideas and the interest to the HRI community.

*R* Replication of HRI studies
To develop as a field, HRI findings obtained by one research group need to be replicated by other groups. Without any additional novel insights, such work is often not publishable. Within this category, authors will have the opportunity to report on studies that confirm or disconfirm findings from experiments that have already been reported in the literature. This category includes studies that report on negative findings.

*D* Live HRI Demonstrations
Contributors may have an opportunity to provide live demonstrations (live or via Skype), pending the outcome of negotiations with the local organization team. The demo should highlight interesting features and insights into HRI. Purely entertaining demonstrations without significant research content are discouraged.

*Y* System Development Research in this category includes e.g. the design and development of new sensors, robot designs and algorithms for socially interactive robots. Extensive user studies are not necessarily required in this category.

If authors feel that their particular paper does not fit any of the above mentioned categories, then they should indicate this when submitting their paper so that the reviewing process can take this into consideration.


Symposium Chair

Kerstin Dautenhahn, Adaptive Systems Research Group, School of Computer Science, University of Hertfordshire, UK (use K.Dautenhahn "@" herts "." ac "." uk for any inquiries regarding the workshop)


Programme Chairs

Kerstin Dautenhahn (Programme Chair, K.Dautenhahn "@" herts "." ac "." uk), Joe Saunders (Programme Co-Chair, J.1.Saunders "@" herts "." ac "." uk)


Submission of Contributions

We invite unpublished, original work as extended abstracts (up to 3 pages) or full papers of up to 8 pages (double column). In category *D* we invite one page descriptions detailing the demo and its associated research questions. In addition to full paper presentations the symposium will also include panels, invited talks, and poster presentations. The symposium schedule will emphasize critical discussions of the presented research as well as wider issues that are important to HRI. 


Please send the PDF submissions to Kerstin Dautenhahn (K.Dautenhahn "@" herts "." ac "." uk) (files bigger than 2MB will not be accepted) including in the email text the following information: title of paper, author list, contact email, name of attached PDF file. All submissions will be peer reviewed.



Authors of accepted contributions will be asked to prepare the final versions (up to 8 pages) for inclusion in the symposium proceedings (according to the AISB 2010 formatting guidelines - templates will be available later on the AISB 2010 convention website). All accepted contributions will be published in the symposium proceedings. The best symposium papers (according to the reviewers) will be invited to submit a book chapter for a book published by John Benjamins Publishing Company.


Important Dates

11 January 2010 : Submission deadline

11 February 2010: Deadline for notifications sent to authors

1 March 2010 : Camera read copies due

31 March - 1 April 2010: Symposium


Local information

Please see the AISB 2010 website where information will be made available on registration, accomodation etc.


Programme Committee

Adriana Tapus, USC, USA 

Alan Wing, University of Birmingham, UK

Aris Alissandrakis, Tokio Institute of Technology, Japan

Astrid Weiss, University of Salzburg, Austria 

Ben Krose, UVA, the Netherlands 

Ben Robins, University of Hertfordshire, UK 

Bipinchandra Bhakta, University of Leeds, UK 

Christoph Bartneck, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands 

Dirk Wollherr, TUM, Germany 

Dong-Soo Kwon, KAIST, South Korea 

Farshid Amirabdollahian, University of Hertfordshire, UK 

Haizhou Li, Institute for Infocomm Research, Singapore

Hatice Kose-Bagci, University of Hertfordshire, UK 

Hisato Kobayashi, Hosei University, Japan 

Holly Yanco, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, USA 

Julie Adams, Vanderbilt University, USA 

Karl F. MacDorman, Indiana University, USA

Kerstin Severinson Eklundh, KTH, Sweden 

Kheng Lee Koay, University of Hertfordshire, UK 

Kolja Kuehnlenz, TUM, Germany 

Matthias Scheutz, Indiana University Bloomington, USA 

Manfred Tscheligi, University of Salzburg, Austria

Michael A. Goodrich, Brigham Young University, USA

Michael Hillman, Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, UK 

Michael L. Walters, University of Hertfordshire, UK 

Monica Nicolescu, University of Nevada, Reno, USA 

Nuno Otero, University of Minho, Portugal 

Reid Simmons, Carnegie Mellon University, USA 

Sandra Hirche, TUM, Germany 

Sylvain Calinon, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Italy 

Takayuki Kanda, ATR, Japan 

Tatsuya Nomura, Ryukoku University, Japan 

Wolfram Erlhagen, University of Minho, Portugal 

Yiannis Demiris, Imperial College, UK 

Yorick Wilks, University of Sheffield, UK 

Yoshihiro Miyake, Tokio Institute of Technology, Japan


Keynote Speakers (confirmed)

Patrizia Marti (University of Siena, Italy)

Title: Expressive robots and expressive interaction with robots: a design perspective



Robot technology is surprisingly close to achieving autonomous bonding and sustained socialization with human beings. The concept of sociality in robots has taken on a wide variety of nuances and meanings that basically depend on the ability of machines to support the social model they refer to, and the interaction scenarios they can sustain. Within this framework several kinds of robots have been developed with the purpose to provide the human interlocutors with a “natural interface” and interaction possibilities.

While the definition of a phenomenology of artificial expressions and emotions of robotic creatures is beyond the scope of the keynote, a shift in focus will be taken from the design of expressive robots to the design of expressive interactions with robots as a means to support meaning construction and stimulate a natural interaction with human beings. Design and evaluation cases will be shown to analyse the potentials of new interaction paradigms enabled by the use of smart fabrics and materials. 


Yorick Wilks (University of Sheffield, UK)

Title: Is a Companion a distinctive kind of relationship with a machine?



The talk starts from the perspective of the EC Companions project, and sets out what its aims were to model a new kind of human-computer relationship based on long-term interaction, with some tasks included but not being inherently task-based. A demonstration of its functionality will be given but the main purpose of the talk is a discussion of what it is people want from such a relationship and what evidence we have for  whatever we conclude. Is politeness important? Is an attempt at emotional sympathy important or achievable? Does a user want a consistent personality in a Companion or a variety of personalities? Should we be talking more in terms of a "cognitive prosthesis (or orthosis)?" ---something to extract, organise, and locate the user's knowledge or personal information---rather than attitudes?


Giorgio Metta (IIT, Italy)

Title: From biology to robots: the RobotCub project



Simulating and getting inspiration from biology is certainly not a new endeavor in robotics (Atkeson et al., 2000; Sandini, 1997; Metta 1999). However, the use of humanoid robots as tools to study human cognitive skills it is a relatively new area of the research which fully acknowledges the importance of embodiment and the interaction with the environment for the emergence of motor skills, perception, sensorimotor coordination, and cognition (Lungarella, Metta, Pfeifer, & Sandini, 2003). The guiding philosophy – and main motivation – is that cognition cannot be hand-coded but it has to be the result of a developmental process through which the system becomes progressively more skilled and acquires the ability to understand events, contexts, and actions, initially dealing with immediate situations and  increasingly acquiring a predictive capability (Vernon, Metta Sandini, 2007). To pursue this research, a humanoid robot (iCub) has been developed as result of the collaborative project RobotCub ( supported by the European Commission through the "Cognitive Systems and Robotics" Unit E5 of IST. The iCub has been designed with the goal of studying human cognition and therefore embeds a sophisticated set of sensors providing vision, touch, proprioception, audition as well as a large number of actuators (53) providing dexterous motor abilities. The project is "open", in the sense of open-source, to build a critical mass of research groups contributing with their ideas and algorithms to advance knowledge on human cognition (N. Nosengo 2009). The aim of the talk will be: i) to present the approach and motivation, ii) the illustrated the technological choices made and iii) to present some initial results obtained.



Atkeson, C. G., Hale, J. G., Pollick, F., Riley, M., Kotosaka, S., Schaal, S., et al. (2000). Using Humanoid Robots to Study Human Behavior. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 46-56.

Sandini, G. (1997, April). Artificial Systems and Neuroscience. Paper presented at the Otto and Martha Fischbeck Seminar on Active Vision, Berlin, Germany.

Sandini, G., G. Metta, and J. Konczak. Human Sensori-motor Development and Artificial Systems. in International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Intellectual Human Activity Support(AIR&IHAS '97). 1997. RIKEN - Japan.

D. Vernon, G. Metta, and G. Sandini. "A Survey of Artificial Cognitive Systems: Implications for the Autonomous Development of Mental Capabilities in Computational Agents," IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 151-180, 2007

N. Nosengo. “Robotics: The bot that plays ball” Nature Vol 460, 1076-1078 (2009) | doi:10.1038/4601076a