Special Sessions

Important dates





expired Proposals for Workshops and Tutorials

Proposal Submission Deadline: December 22, 2019

Notification of Acceptance: January 15, 2020

Call for Special Sessions


Towards intelligent and natural Human-Robot Interaction in Medical Robot applications

Organizers: Hang Su, Chenguang Yang

E-MAIL: hang.su@polimi.it

Over the past decades, the necessity of Human-friendly products in the healthcare industry has led to significant advancements in technologies for medical robot applications, such as exoskeletons, surgical robots, rehabilitation robots, elder care robots, and many other healthcare systems. In particular, artificial intelligence and advanced sensor fusion techniques facilitate intelligent and natural human-robot interaction. However, there are still many new challenges that require innovative techniques and solutions. The interaction between humans and medical robots is not fully exploited in the current medical robot systems. Thus, we are seeking more advanced sensing or control techniques to guarantee not only the performance but also intelligent and natural humanrobot interaction.
To this end, advanced techniques such as multi-modal sensing, sensor fusion, deep learning-based classification, hierarchical control, intelligent control, model predictive control, and other techniques or novel system should be further studied in the various medical scenarios. The main objective of this special session is to develop advanced solutions for improved human-robot interaction in medical robot applications. Sensing and control methods are inspired to improve the state-of-the-art of the medical robot system in both clinical or non-clinical studies.


Safe and Acceptable Human-Robot Collaboration

Organizers: Mohamad Bdiwi, Alberto Finzi, Andrea Orlandini, Nicola Pedrocchi

E-MAIL: andrea.orlandini@istc.cnr.it

The purpose of this special session is to explore how collaborative robots can interact with humans in a safe and acceptable way fostering their integration in real world contexts.
The special session will focus any human-robot collaboration (HRC) application with a specific attention to industrial scenarios (one of the most promising application areas for HRC). This special session will focus on three aspects of human-robot collaboration: (1) investigation of cognitive features and functions to support human-robot interaction during the execution of collaborative tasks, (2) technological development for guaranteeing safe and effective human-robot collaboration and (3) human behavior and expectations as a means to understand the acceptance aspects of collaborative robots in real scenarios.
This special session is also related to a Workshop held in RO-MAN 2017 "Human-Robot Collaboration for an improved Quality of Work" and will continue to pursue deeper understanding on HRC.


Human-Assistive Technologies in the "Real World"

Organizers: Daisuke Chugo, Sho Yokota, Koji Makino, Hiroshi Hashimoto

E-MAIL: chugo@kwansei.ac.jp

Human-assistive technologies are in high demand for overcoming the challenges of an aging society. Many assistive technologies considering human factors have been widely proposed in many conferences, journals, and of course, previous Ro-Man symposiums. The goal of these technologies is to be of practical use to their target people, which may include handicapped or elderly people, and make them happy in their daily life.
However, many reports have presented only concepts or technical achievements in laboratory rather than describing the evaluation of these technologies in actual use. There is a reason for this tendency; if we want to discuss technologies in the real world, we will have many difficulties (we call these, collectively, a "difficulty wall"). These studies will require complex procedures, for example, clearing safety reviews and implementation of informed consent. Furthermore, they will require cooperation between different fields, for example, therapists and doctors, and prototypes of these studies need to fulfill several governmental safety standards. To pass this wall, researchers need to be extremely energetic and have time, money, and human resources.
Passing this difficulty wall will lead to many benefits. Through demonstrations in the actual situation, we sometimes find technical problems that go unnoticed in the laboratory. Furthermore, the people we are actually trying to help can provide important feedback. As a result, we strongly believe that research on human-assistive technologies will be promoted by overcoming the difficulty wall.
Thus, the organizers propose a special session to discuss some case studies considering human-assistive technologies in the "real world." Our goal is to share many findings concerning real-world problems through real voices of actual situation and promote each study on human-assistive technology.


Stakeholders' Views on Social Robots in Education

Organizers: Matthijs Smakman, Scarlet Siebert, Nils F. Tolksdorf

E-MAIL: nils.tolksdorf@upb.de

The current technology push in artificial intelligence (AI) has begun to have a huge impact on different areas of our society. The main focus of this special session is on social robots in (early) education which may offer an opportunity to improve learning and to develop new approaches in the field of pedagogy due to their embodiment, sociability, and adaptivity.
Given the nature of education (e.g., group settings) and children being a vulnerable target group (due to their age, understanding of technology, and dependency on others), however, it is important to critically examine new technology intended to be used in education. However, most explorations of the use of social robots in education focus primarily on children and teachers; with regard to the perspectives of other stakeholders, the state of knowledge is limited. Therefore, this special session aims at broadening the perspectives on social robots in (early) education by investigating views from a wider scope of relevant stakeholders such as (a) children, (b) parents, (c) educators, (d) industry, (e) scientists regarding social robots and their potential as an educational aid.


Children and Robots

Organizers: Meng Wang, Mohammad Shidujaman, Peng Yu, Lafifa Jamal

E-MAIL: wangmeng@xstudio.org.cn

With the advancement of technology, robots are becoming more and more affordable for normal families. Meanwhile, it is getting more and more popular to utilize a robot as an interactive avatar in exhibition, education, and etc. Children nowadays chat with robots, play with robots, and even can build their own robots. The interaction between children and robots is an important and interesting research topic.
Children are young and developing, and they are "digital natives"born in a world filled with technology. The communication and interaction between children and robots is obviously age relevant, and should not be treated the same way in typical human-robot interaction. Thus, we propose this session to encourage research concentrating on the design, case study and new technology for interaction and communication between children and robots. This special call is intended for researchers from multidisciplinary areas spanning robotics, education, human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, art and design. As a result, this special session will foster assessment methods, design methodologies and emerging technology for interaction and communication between children and robots.


The role of mental models and privacy implications on trust in Human-Robot Interaction

Organizers: Alessandra Rossi, Maartje de Graaf, Matthew Rueben, Mohammad Shidujaman

E-MAIL: a.rossi@herts.ac.uk

Trust is a fundamental component of social interactions to foster people's acceptance of a robot for a successful and long-term Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). At the same time, trust can be affected by several factors, such as the incapability of a robot to adapt its behaviour to people's needs, and a violation of privacy. This Session aims to explore different aspects of Human-Robot Interaction that can affect, enhance, undermine and recover humans' trust in robots, with a specific aim on privacy concerns and mental models.
The session will focus on the impact of people's expectations, beliefs and concerns on their trust in robots during a Human-Robot Interaction. In particular, this session will bring together leading researchers in the fields to share and discuss ideas and findings to guide the design and development of robots that are able to effectively collaborate with human users.


Societal consequences of human-robot interaction

Organizers: Giulia Perugia, Eduard Fosch-Villaronga, Alexander Mois Aroyo, Alessandra Sciutti, Ginevra Castellano

E-MAIL: giulia.perugia@it.uu.se

As social robots will become increasingly autonomous and present in our daily life in the upcoming years, the field of HRI and Social Robotics should investigate the challenges that their pervasive presence could provoke, and set legal and ethical boundaries to their use. We welcome papers that explore how the interaction with norm-violating robots (e.g., cheating robots) could affect human behavior (e.g., conformity), and investigate human misconduct with robots in terms of discrimination (e.g., racism) and mistreatment (e.g., bullying). We also accept papers that present legal and ethical frameworks on social robotics' use and data collection.


When Robots Become Members of Human Communities They Must Face the Powerful Role of Norms

Organizers: Bertram F. Malle, Paul Bello

E-MAIL: bfmalle@ brown.edu

As robots enter human communities, they become part of social structures known as norms— social, moral, and legal rules of how to behave and not behave in specific contexts. Community members are expected to follow these norms, and if robots are becoming members of human communities—even in highly restricted roles—people will expect robots to follow norms as well. Which norms they should follow, and how those norms could be implemented in robotic architectures is currently unknown. This session brings together a diversity of disciplines and methodologies to provide insights into the powerful role of norms—in human and human-robot society.


Robots in social innovation: Focusing on multi-perspective challenges in pediatric and social inclusion

Organizers: Cristina Mele, Roberto Mancin, Marialuisa Marzullo, Cesare Laddaga

E-MAIL: cristina.mele@unina.it

The development of social robot and artificial intelligence is involving a growing number of sectors.
Among those most interested is on health care field, where in recent years, there has been an increase in attention to possible application and the related side activities, of the elderly, and children care. Service robots are transforming the service and healthcare landscape rapidly, but actually the attention dedicated to the care of children was marginal compared to the sector of the elderly, although is in growing.
Furthermore, also the studies in service literature are dealing with innovation brought to health care and tourism, the focus is – in ecosystem-oriented approach – on the decision-making process leading to user's acceptance of robots and the actor-to-actor approach in service deliver. Anyway, the recent attention paid to robots in service provision has led to a partial understanding of key issues as the drivers of users' acceptance/rejection, as well as the benefits for firms adopting new solutions. Parallel to this, some evidences describe firms' poor levels of satisfaction, thus questioning the future usage of robots in service provision.
This special session provides an international forum for academics, developers, and industry-related researchers belonging to the vast communities of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, Healthcare, Management, Neurorobotics etc., to provide an opportunity for sharing knowledge and results in theory, methodology and applications of Social robots in the healthcare field, especially in pediatrics. Therefore, it is possible to gather findings and explore which degree of autonomy might help to improve the introduction of the social robot in the healthcare fields and how to overcome the ethical challenges inherent to it. Although scientific magazines cover significantly moreconcrete service robots, they miss the integrated perspective that academic articles usually offer. The objective of the Special Session is, also, to integrate the growing international community of researchers working on the analysis of social robot to a fruitful discussion on the evolution and the benefits of this technology to the society. Additionally, this special session aims at examining and promoting recent developments in the social robotics field and future directions including the related challenges and how these can be overcome with a particular focus on artificial intelligence methodologies.
This Special Session is intended as a forum for a broad audience, which spans from social robots able to engage human users to social robots in child's care services, and it is a place to exchange opinions, to discuss innovative ideas and to get hints and suggestions on ongoing researches.


"Value in use and Customer engagement with social robots." A service management perspective.

Organizers: Cristina Mele, Tiziana Russo Spena, Marco Tregua

E-MAIL: cristina.mele@unina.it

By shifting the focus from the future and robots' potentiality to real opportunities, the aim of this special session is to discuss on the key factors of acceptance and rejection of robots' service provision. The debate will addresses the role of value-in-context and context congruence to explain the contribution of social and service robots to value creation. The papers to be presented will provide a deeper understanding of customer engagement with social and service robots by including context-specific reasons that serve as important linkages between functional, emotional, and relational features regarding robot acceptance or rejection.
Addressing how service agents and social robots are performing relative to the user experience and value creation offers several implications for scholars and practitioners. The ongoing business debate is mirroring the difficult challenges for markets, since most of the robots currently offer are not bringing expected sales results, leading to the failure of projects or robot products. While business concerns seem to still focus on how to improve design aspects, such as autonomy, appearance, and social interaction ability, attention needs to be paid to value consequences for users in the specific service context.


Applied Emotion/Mind-Aware Neuroimaging in Real-world Human-Robot Symbiosis with Heart, Mind, and Soul

Organizers: Ker-Jiun Wang, Mohammad Shidujaman, Caroline Yan Zheng, Maitreyee Wairagkar, Midori Sugaya, Zhi-Hong Mao, Kai-Tai Song

E-MAIL: kew88@pitt.edu

Wearable technologies that connect human with the surrounding smart environment could potentially replace the cellphone and other cumbersome tablet/laptops to become the next generation human-computer interface. It opens a new frontier of using stretchable, sticky and flexible body sensors, galvanic skin response (GSR), photoplethysmogram (PPG), inertial measurement unit (IMUs), and neurophysiological electrodes, such as EEG/EMG/ECG/EKG to measure various brain and body activity signals, and decode meaningful information for multi-modal interactions.
Such dramatic shift of paradigm can be manifested in many technology development from big companies/startups, like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung and Neuralink (Elon Musk), etc., to build more mobile, invisible, ubiquitous, compact computing platforms, such as smart watches, smart glasses, smart headphones, VR/AR headsets, and state-of-the-art Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs), in which the devices embed various kinds of sensors and electrodes to directly/indirectly interpret human body states, intentions, emotions and/or even high level motivations from neural signals, while other "out-of-body" sensors, like cameras, could not observe.
Along with the scientific and practical implementation challenges of such technology, the personal big data collection also brings a lot of social norms, privacy and ethical issues as well. In this Special Session, we want to solicit impactful paper contributions to push the boundary to the limit, in order to explore the most critical issues in applying this futuristic technology to the real-world environment.
Since our human have complex behaviors, which involve multiple disciplinary explanations, the technologies that closely-interact and solve the human-related problems should also reflect such complex multidisciplinary nature. As part of purely theoretical findings, we will also create a multidisciplinary educational and discussion forum, in which we will have industrial applications, art and design, consumer electronics, embedded system and mobile computing, Human-Robot Neural Interaction (HRNI) user experience/interface (UX/UI) design, and social norm and ethical paper presentations to discuss the emotion/mind-aware data collection and the use of AI to fully release the potential of this promising technology. Hopefully our dedicated effort of organizing this Special Session focusing on Emotion/Mind-Aware Neuroimaging could make such futuristic promising technology more human-centered, with more human-like heart, mind, and soul to interact with the people, the robot, and all other smart IoT devices, to enable a seamless Human­-Robot Symbiotic society.


Dialogue Management Systems for Human-Robot Interaction

Organizers: Francesco Cutugno, Barbara Gili Favela, Bernardo Magnini

E-MAIL: cutugno@unina.it

This Special Session proposal is a joint initiative of Associazione Italiana di Linguistica Computazionale (AILC) and Associazione Italiana di Scienze della Voce (AISV), i.e. the two Italian scientific societies on Computational Linguistics and Speech Sciences. The two societies share several interests and they collaborate in many fields, among those dialogue systems is one of the most coherent cultural meeting point.
The Special Session will focus on Spoken Dialogue Systems, currently a leading topic in Social and Interactional Robotics. In this area some ongoing, often unresolved, issues, including accuracy in automatic speech recognition, naturalness of speech synthesis and complexity of semantic domain representation, are fastly going toward a revolutionary turning point allowing researchers to concentrate on multimodal integration, spoken language understanding, and automatic evaluation of the speaker's intents. We expect that several experts, coming from different backgrounds, will contribute to the success of the special session.

Authors should adhere to the following steps for submitting the paper (for camera ready submission) :

  1. Create an account: go to https://ras.papercept.net/, to create a PIN and fill out the form. Ask all your co-authors to do the same if they do not have an account on the system yet, write down the authors' PINs (this information is needed for manuscript processing purposes).
  2. Go to Support Menu (http://ras.papercept.net/conferences/support/support.php) and depending on how you are preparing your paper, download a template for US LETTER PAPER SIZE : LaTeX (http://ras.papercept.net/conferences/support/tex.php) or US LETTER PAPER SIZE MS-Word, (http://ras.papercept.net/conferences/support/word.php)
  3. Use these templates/style files to create the paper and save in PDF format.
  4. Upload the paper: go to https://ras.papercept.net/ and click on "submit a contribution to Ro-Man 2020".
  5. Submit (regular paper, special session paper).
  6. Fill in the form presented on the next page (make sure to enter all author PINs created in Step 1).

Please note, that our conference policy requires that at least one of the authors of the contributing submission must pay the conference registration fee to upload the final camera ready. This is to ensure that at least one of the presenting authors will be registered to attend the conference and deliver the presentation. The link to the registration system will be available on the conference website soon.

*The proposal must be submitted via the Papercept submission site.*
If you have any questions about the special sessions proposal submission, please contact programchair(at)ro-man2020.org

Partners & Sponsors

see more


This website uses cookies to personalize content and analyse traffic in order to offer you a better experience.

I accept Learn More