Workshop overview

The development of robots capable of interacting with humans has made tremendous progress in the last decade, leading to an expectation that in the near future, robots will be increasingly deployed in public spaces, for example as receptionists, shop assistants, waiters, or bartenders. In these scenarios, robots must necessarily deal with situations that require socially appropriate human-robot interactions of a specific nature: interactions that are short and dynamic, and where the robot has to be able to deal with multiple people at once. In order to do so, robots typically require specific skills, including robust video and audio processing, fast reasoning and decision making mechanisms, and natural and safe output path planning algorithms. As a result, research on public space robots is often fundamentally different from other work in social robotics and HRI that focuses on long-term, robot companions who interact with humans in one-on-one interactions.

This workshop aims to bring together researchers from diverse disciplines, in order to explore this research area from different perspectives. To allow for a full and productive discussion among all participants, the workshop will include an extended session organised using the Open Space meeting format.

This workshop is the fourth in a series of meetings (and the third workshop) organised around the theme of public space human-robot interaction. Details of previous events can be found on the PubRob website.

Invited speakers

  • Frauke Zeller, School of Professional Communication, Ryerson University, Canada
  • David Harris Smith, Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia, McMaster University, Canada
  • Bilge Mutlu, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Preliminary schedule (subject to change)

The morning session of the workshop will follow a somewhat traditional format, with invited speakers and short "lightning" talks from all other participants. The afternoon session of the workshop is devoted to an "unconference" using the Open Space format. The goal of this event is to allow participants to discuss any topic in public-space HRI that they are passionate about, in small groups of people who care about the same topic. Open Space events are self-organised: topics are proposed by participants, sessions are run by participants, with the organisers facilitating the process.

09:00-09:30 Introduction Workshop Introduction and Overview [slides]
Manuel Giuliani, Mary Ellen Foster

09:30-10:30 Invited talk Leveraging Complex Cognitive Environments for Public Space Human-Robot Interaction
Frauke Zeller, David Harris Smith

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:30 Talks A Social Robot's Knowledge About Territories in Public Space [paper]
Felix Lindner

Detection of Public Gatherings with Low Level Features in Static Data [paper]
Omar Adair Islas Ramírez, Raja Chatila, Mohamed Chetouani

Public-space human-robot interaction in the MuMMER project [paper]
Mary Ellen Foster

Brief statements from other workshop participants

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30-14:30 Invited talk Designing for the Wild, Wild West: Seven Challenges in the Design of Robots for Public Use
Bilge Mutlu

14:30-15:00 Introduction Introduction to the Open Space Format [slides]
Mary Ellen Foster, Manuel Giuliani

15:00-15:30 Coffee break

15:30-17:00 Discussion Open Space sessions
17:00 Closing