[robotics-worldwide] HRI08 Workshop Robotic Helpers: Final Call for Papers

Kerstin Dautenhahn K.Dautenhahn at herts.ac.uk
Wed Dec 12 06:12:25 PST 2007

---apologies if you receive multiple copies of this annoucement----



A full-day workshop at ACM/IEEE Human-Robot Interaction Conference (HRI08)
URL: http://homepages.feis.herts.ac.uk/~comqkd/HRI08-WS-RoboticHelpers.html
12 March 2008, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Submission deadline for full papers or extended abstracts:
14 December 2007

Motivation and Background:

Rehabilitation robotics comprises assistive and therapy robotics whereby robots
either compensate for functionalities that a person does not possess (e.g. a
smart knee joint in prosthetic leg) or where robots play a role in the effort
of trying to regain impaired functionalities (e.g. arm function training for
stroke patients). Robotic therapy systems may not be able to provide
a cure or fully compensate for  impairments, but may be able to extend or
enhance certain impaired functions in  order to increase quality of life,
independent living, as well as support   needs for communication and social
interaction (e.g. for elderly people or people with developmental delays).
Finally it is hoped that robotic technology may add to the solution of the
increasing problem of shortage in available personal care due to demographic
changes. Increasing the quality of life of people, providing enjoyment in
otherwise constrained conditions that are restricting expressions of
personality, personal interests, and enjoyment, constitutes an area with a
potentially large user group, including hospitalized people, and people who
could simply benefit from a service robot that serves as a companion in the
home that may do certain domestic and other tasks efficiently and in a manner
that is comfortable and acceptable to people.

The boundaries between assistive robotics, therapy robotics and service
robotics are fluid, with a necessary (but often not fully realized) focus on
human beings, the users, who are crucial to the success or failure of research
and commercial efforts put into the development of robotic systems. Users
(primary as well as secondary, the  latter consisting of therapists, doctors,
family members, parents, etc.)  are ideally involved from the very first phases
of the planning and design  of a new robotic system, continuously through
various stages of evaluation  and prototyping. This research domain is unique
in HRI because of the high level of interaction customization and, ideally,
personalization required to account for users' abilities and interests. For
robotic helpers in assistive and therapy robotics, it is crucial that they are
able to engage users long-term in interaction, providing an enjoyable,
motivating experience. HRI research has shown that the novelty effect quickly
wears off, which may be acceptable in entertainment applications with only
short-term encounters, but for robotic helpers to be useful in  therapy and
rehabilitation they need to be able to keep the interest of the users. The
problem of keeping users engaged is complex, and we cannot expect an easy
answer. At present, it is not clear what social, interactive and communicative
skills are required for robotic

The workshop will provide a state of the art overview and discussion of
important topics relevant to Robotic Helpers. This topic is closely related to
the overall conference theme of Living with Robots, but the workshop will be
oriented specifically towards real world applications in rehabilitation and
robot assisted living.

The workshop will take a multi-disciplinary view, which is necessary in order
to build foundational knowledge that will help in future to design systems that
are able to care for people, and that people care about.

Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to the following list:
*  assistive robotics
*  therapy robotics
*  robot assisted play
*  non-invasive methods of interfacing users
*  interfaces and modalities for user control (e.g. for patients, therapists
*  sustaining engagement of users
*  personalizing interfaces and interaction
*  adjustable autonomy
*  adaptable and adaptive interfaces
*  user needs and interaction
*  user experience
*  evaluation of interfaces and systems in rehabilitation
*  robots as autonomous companions or tools in rehabilitation
*  ethical issues of using robots in assistive technology and rehabilitation
*  related issues

Dates and Location:

The workshop is associated to HRI'08, 12-15 March 2008, Amsterdam, the
Netherlands. The workshop will be held on 12 March 2008.

Workshop Organizers:

--Kerstin Dautenhahn, University of Hertfordshire, UK (use K.Dautenhahn "@"
herts "." ac "." uk for any inquiries regarding the workshop)
--Gert Jan Gelderblom, VILANS, the Netherlands, (gj.gelderblom "@" irv "dot"
--Holly Yanco, Computer Science Department, University of Massachusetts Lowell,
USA (holly "@"cs "." uml "."edu)

Submission of Contributions:

We invite the submission of full papers or extended abstracts (PDF, double
column, ACM SIG Proceedings format, 2-3 pages for extended abstracts, up to 8
pages for full papers). Submissions may be research papers on original work,
system design descriptions, research surveys, project descriptions, or position
papers. Note that papers without any explicit discussion or application of the
context of assistive or therapy robotics will not be accepted. Please send the
PDF submissions to K.Dautenhahn "@" herts "." ac "." uk (files bigger than 2MB
will not be accepted). All submissions will be peer reviewed. Final
contributions in the same format (PDF, double column,  ACM SIG Proceedings
format) and up to 8 pages will be included in the  workshop publication.

Workshop Participation:

The workshop will be limited to 30 participants. Within this constraint anyone
interested in the topic is welcome to attend, as long as he/she has registered
for the workshop and main conference.

Workshop Publication:

Final versions of papers will be made available online (PDF) on the workshops
website.  It is also planned to print the proceedings as a technical report. A
book or  special journal issue publication resulting from the workshop will be
considered but will depend on the number and quality of submissions.

Important Dates:
*  14 December 2007: Deadline for submission of extended abstracts
*  21 January 2008: Deadline for notifications sent to authors
*  11 February 2008: Deadline for submission of final workshop contributions

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