[robotics-worldwide] [IEEE RO-MAN06] Call for Proposals: Robot Companion Design Contest for Students

Kerstin Dautenhahn K.Dautenhahn at herts.ac.uk
Wed Jul 5 06:55:45 PDT 2006

the 15 July deadline is fast approaching...


RO-MAN 06: The 15th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive 
Communication, 6-8 September 2006, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK

Sponsored by: COGNIRON, the IST-FET Integrated Project on "Cognitive Robot 
Companions" (www.cogniron.org). Submit a robot design and you may win a prize!

A Robot Companion in the Home: Robot Design Poster Contest for Students

Why submitting a poster proposal?

Much has been published in the media about service robots and correspondingly 
expectations are high. New robots are turned out by industry and academia at an 
increasing rate and the variety is enormous: many look humanoid, others 
machine-like or cartoon-like. Some robots seem funny, others intimidating. Of 
particular interest are service robots, i.e. robots that can perform a variety 
of assistive tasks in human-inhabited environments. It is unclear at present 
which designs will be best accepted by customers and thus succeed on the 

Of special interest are robots that have to deal with humans in a natural 
setting. This requires a thorough evaluation of the requirements of the human 
partners and the design of the robots, taking into account not only 
technological advancement but also issues like safety, expectation, trust, ease 
of use etc. Therefore, increasingly science and engineering activities are 
devoted to the area of Human-Robot Interaction. Intense research efforts are in 
demand of groundbreaking ideas especially regarding straightforward solutions 
to hard problems. Building robots that have to function reliably with humans in 
a real home environment is far from trivial and a number of problems seem 
almost insurmountable. But maybe we.re just too traditional and old fashioned 
in our approach? The ROBOT DESIGN POSTER CONTEST FOR STUDENTS gives you the 
possibility to shake up the robot community in a non-formal and enjoyable way 
with your own fancy proposals for developing and building robots. Ideas should 
develop the concept of a ROBOT COMPANION, i.e. a robot for a home environment 
that can perform a variety of tasks, assist people and will be accepted as a 

Smart engineering, creative designs or unorthodox materials might solve some of 
the hard problems in a surprisingly original . and sometimes even 
embarrassingly simple - way. To come up with such revolutionary approaches 
requires flexible and open minds from researchers that are not (yet) biased by 
academic traditions and established networks. In other words, we need YOU, the 
enthusiast and daring student (undergraduate or postgraduate) and we want to 
know about your ideas. We therefore invite you to take part in our Robot Design 
Poster Contest for Students.

The aim of the contest is to collect a good number of high quality posters 
containing novel, unusual, artistic, and entertaining ideas about the design 
and/or construction of robots that have to interact with humans. Posters should 
provide sufficient details about the novel idea(s), the size and appearance of 
the robot that is portrayed, functionalities, as well as behavioural, 
communicative and interactive abilities. The posters will be on display during 
the conference. Only a limited number of poster boards are available, thus a 
pre-selection based on novelty of the ideas and relevance to the conference 
will be made.

How to Submit:

To be liable for participation, we need a short (up to 500 words) summary of 
your poster briefly outlining the initial idea that will be further elaborated 
on the final poster. The summary should be text only (no drawings, pictures 
etc.) and send as an e-mail (no attachments) by 15 July 2006 to 
K.Dautenhahn at herts.ac.uk. Poster proposers will be notified by 24 July 2006 
about the availability of poster space and the acceptance of their proposal.

Poster presenters will have to register for the conference. The deadline for 
early registration fees will be extended, for authors of accepted poster 
contributions only, to 30 July 2006.

The best 2 posters will be announced at the conference and their designers will 
have an opportunity to present their work to the IEEE RO-MAN06 audience.

***The COGNIRON project sponsors a prize for the two best posters of 800 Euros 
for the first prize and 500 Euros for the second prize***

Let your imagination run free and unrestricted, but be sure that your poster 
presented at the conference attracts attention by short but easy to grasp 
justifications of the design and a visually pleasing layout.

Looking forward to your submissions!

Kerstin Dautenhahn and Rene te Boekhorst
(Organizers of Robot Design Poster Contest)


---For electronic registration and information about accomodation and travel 
see: http://ro-man2006.feis.herts.ac.uk/

Plenary Speakers:

Prof. Shuji Hashimoto (Waseda University, Japan): "KANSEI Robotics to Open a 
New Epoch of Human-Machine Relationship - Machine with a Heart"

Prof. Illah R Nourbakhsh (Carnegie Mellon University, USA): "A Roadmap for 
Technology Literacy and a Vehicle for Getting There: Educational Robotics and 
the TeRK Project"

Prof. Lucy Suchman (Lancaster University, UK): "Reconfiguring Human-Robot 

Half-day tutorials:

Cognitive Robotics (Lecturers: Kazuhiko Kawamura, Vanderbilt University, USA; 
Will Browne, University of Reading, UK)

Coding Video Data in Human-Robot Social Interaction: Behavior and Reasoning
(Lecturers: Peter H. Kahn, Jr., Nathan G. Freier, Rachel L. Severson, Cady 
Stanton, University of Washington, USA)

Socio-Emotional Interaction with Virtual Humans (Lecturers: Stacy Marsella and 
Jonathan Gratch, University of Southern California, USA)

Social Interactions with Robot Companions (Lecturers: Britta Wrede, University 
of Bielefeld, Germany; Kerstin Dautenhahn, University of Hertfordshire, UK; 
Rachid Alami, LAAS, France)

All conference attendees will receive 30 days free online access to the 
International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems http://www.ars-journal.com/

Demonstration event:

Including three European Integrated Projects: Cogniron, Neurobotics, I-Swarm, 
part of the European IST .Beyond Robotics Proactive. Initiative 

Attendance of the Conference Banquet at Hatfield House is included in the 
registration fee. Also, all conference attendees will receive 30 days free 
online access to the journal database of the International Journal of Advanced 
Robotic Systems

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