This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme - Societal Challenge 1 (DG CONNECT/H) under grant agreement No 643647 


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CfP - The Barriers of Social Robotics take-up by Society

The Barriers of Social Robotics take-up by Society

August 28, 2017
Pestana Palace Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal 
Workshop organized in conjunction with the RO-MAN 2017 conference.
Important Dates
- Paper submission deadline: June 25, 2017 (EXTENDED DEADLINE)
- Author notification: July 7, 2017
- Camera-ready submission: July 21, 2017
- Main conference: August 28- September 1, 2017
- Workshop day: September 1, 2017

The research community has been gradually pushing technologies in order to address the problems of an ageing society. In the specific case of robotics, albeit numerous projects and initiatives have been put forward, few to none have succeeded in having an actual autonomous, multi-purpose, social robot (beyond the classic “Skype on Wheels”). From a technology’s perspective, realistically the fact remains, multi-purpose robotic technologies are not yet mature enough to free roam on people’s homes, but the research community is working determinately for it. Moreover, there is the need to overcome the barriers of the suspicious human nature when it comes to robots with the slightest degree of autonomy in their decisions.

The main goal of this workshop on the challenges of social robotics take-up by society is to gather these different stakeholders on Social Robotics for Active and Healthy Ageing, and promote a discussion ranging from the most recent advances in research on machine learning algorithms and human-robot interfaces up to ethical guidelines, legislation, deployment and technology assessment. The session is expected to allow researchers with different backgrounds to share ideas closing the cycle between research, industry and end-users. The aim is to identify challenges and possible solutions that emerge when developers bring their robots to real environments.

Therefore, the main topics to be addressed include, but are not limited to:

·       The design of machine learning algorithms to make autonomous decisions considering their degree of autonomy and impact on acceptability.

·       Assessment metrics on technology evaluation and acceptance.

·       Design of systems that comply with ethical and legal requirements, including ISO standardization and certification.

·       Business Case Studies for Social Robots.


An half-day workshop, including invited talks of experts in relevant areas of the proposed topic and position paper presentations from an interdisciplinary set of selected participants. After each presentation, there will be a discussion on the identified challenges, and the workshop will terminate with a final summary and outlook.
POSITION PAPERS (2 to 4 pages): Accepted submissions will be presented in an oral presentation at the workshop (15 minutes + 5 minutes of Q&A).
All papers will go through a single-blind peer review and selected based on relevance, originality and theoretical and/or technical quality.  
Papers must be formatted according to the guidelines and templates on the main RO-MAN  2017 conference website and sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
At least one author will be required to register and attend the workshop.
Invited Speakers
Jorge Solis (Karlstads University, Sweden)
Marcus Bajones (Technische University Wien, Austria)
Andy Bleaden (Stockport Council, United Kingdom) 
Francesco Ferro (CEO PAL Robotics SA., Barcelona - Spain)
Sandra Passinhas (Law School - University of Coimbra)
Ron Chrisley (Centre for Cognitive Science (COGS), University of Sussex)
Sandra Passinhas (Law School, University of Coimbra)
Sten Hanke (Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Vienna, Austria)
Luis Santos (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Coimbra, Portugal)


Schedule (Tentative and subject to changes)

09h00 - 09h30 - Challenges on Humanoid-Musician Interaction: From Biologically-Inspired Design to Impressions from Musicians - Jorge Solis (Karlstad University)

09h30 - 10h00 - What a Year of Trials with a Mobile Robot in User Homes Reveals about the Actual User Needs - Markus Vincze (Technische Universitaet Wien) 

10h00 - 10h30 - Japan-Sweden Academia-Industry International Collaboration: Challenges in developing a robotic assistive eating device for frail elderly’s independent life - Jorge Solis (Karlstad University)

10h30 - 10h50 Coffee Break

10h50 - 11h20 - Stockport Council – A municipality testing robots and technology with Seniors - Andy Bleaden (Stockport Council - United Kingdom)

11h20 - 11h50 - TBA - Francesco Ferro (PAL Robotics SA.)

11h50 - 12h20 - Robots as New Legal Entities - Dr. Sandra Passinhas (University of Coimbra - Law School)

12h20 - 14h30 - Lunch Break

14h30 - 16h00 - Discussion Forum

The workshop will follow-up with a Discussion Forum, which is expected to allow identifying potential future directions on research & technological development, specialized human resource training and funding models of the associated activities. It also addresses a societal impact from economical and legal perspectives. The discussion aims to point out potential actions that intent to accelerate the take-up and promote Social Robots as a solution to societal problems in the areas of Ambient Assisted Living and Active and Healthy Ageing.

With the increasingly need for technologies to support an ageing society and promote sustainability, robots will soon appear in the frontline as key enabling technologies to compensate for the degradation of elderly capabilities, to act as peers in their social circles, or to help formal and informal carers to better take care of their next of keen. There is a wide range of open challenges that robots can fulfil, yet these carry an equal number of questions, which we aim to discuss in a broadening forum, getting together a number of different specialists in different areas, such as robotics, psychology or law.


This discussion forum is promoted in a Chapter format, where each intents to discuss different thematic, contributing to the different axis of the action. Selected Topics for this Chapter (1st of September, 2017)
  • Big Data and the future challenges in machine learning from an ethical and legal perspective.
  • The Millennial and Geographical Caveat: Are the solutions of the present culturally transferable to the users of the future?
  • Robots as new legal entities: A legal and industrial perspective
  • Public and Private Funding: Opportunities and Impact Assessment
Markus Bajones UTWien - Austria Eunice Ribeiro (to be confirmed) GPPC - Portugal
Jorge Solis KU - Sweden Jorge Dias KUSTAR, UAE
Andy Bleaden Stockport Council Sten Hanke AIT - Austria
Francesco Ferro PAL Robotics SA Bárbara Rodrigues SCML - Portugal
Sandra Passinhas FDUC - Portugal Ana Jegundo Cáritas Diocesana de Coimbra