Monday, April 22, 2013

Summer School on Social Human-Robot Interaction

On the off-chance that there's anyone reading this who may be interested, but who hasn't heard this elsewhere (...), then I'd like to mention a research-oriented summer school on Social Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) that will take place this coming August at Cambridge University, U.K. from the the 26th to 30th of August 2013.

Organised primary under the purview of the project I am employed by (ALIZ-E), and also involving the Accompany project, the aim of the school is to provide both theoretical background and practical skills to support researchers in the area of Social HRI. In stating 'social' the emphasis is moved away from industrial robots (or robots in manufacturing/automation contexts), for which interaction with humans in also necessary, and towards the use of robots in contexts where those characteristics of human-human interaction are more important (for example, companion robots, education support, caring in hospital/home, etc).

The application process has started already, with the deadline for submitting applications on the 30th April. With support from the IEEE and EuCognition, there will be a limited number of scholarships available for participants.

There's a list of topics being covered now available on the conference website, with the programme yet to be finalised. A little taster though:

The summer school will have a wide-ranging programme of lectures, discussions and hands-on ateliers on topics such as social signal processing, robotics and autism, child-robot interaction, multi-modal communication, natural language interaction, smart environments, robot assisted therapy, interaction design for robots, tools and technologies, and ethics. The school is participants who seek background and hands-on experience in the interdisciplinary science and technology supporting social human-robot interaction.
I'll be doing a little something on Cognitive Architecture for Social HRI at the school, and so emphasising aspects of cognitive processing and organisation for robot control and behaviour relevant (or at least of interest) to social interaction. Which is of course a fascinating subject that you would be foolish to miss :-p