CDS TC Task Force on Human-Robot Interaction

Aim and Scope:

The main goal of the Human-Robot Interaction Task Force is to establish a network within the CDS TC to bring together academic and industry interest in human-robot interaction (HRI) in the context of developmental robotics. The TF will promote the HRI in developmental robotics through providing support (1) at dissemination events, such as summer schools, workshops, technical sessions and conferences, and (2) for publications such as special issues of relevant journals.
The scope of the task force includes the following topics:

  • Social Human-Robot Interaction
  • Social interaction impacting on development and learning
  • Social signal processing
  • Methods, algorithms and technologies for supporting HRI in the context of developmental robotics.
  • Databases and corpora for HRI and developmental robotics research.

TF Chair:

Tony Belpaeme
School of Computing and Mathematics
Plymouth University
Plymouth, UK

TF Members:

Kerstin Fischer
Department of Design and Communication
University of Southern Denmark
Sonderborg, Denmark

Verena Hafner
Dept. of Computer Science
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Yukie Nagai
School of Engineering
Osaka University
Osaka, Japan

Brian Scassellati
Department of Computer Science
Yale University
New Haven, CT USA

Recent Activities:

Workshops and conferences

  • Yukie Nagai received the AI Award of the RoboCup Japan Open (2015) and Presidential Award for Achievement of Osaka University (July 2014).
  • TF member Brian Scassellati is co-chairing the Cognitive Science conference in 2014. The conference spans a joint robotics exhibition that includes both Cognitive Science and AAAI (which is co-located). The event will be a great opportunity to promote HRI and AMD work among two very large communities.
  • Brian Scassellati keynote at IROS2014 on “Human-Robot Interaction: Socially Assistive Robotics”.
  • The TF was intensely involved in the organisation and the directing of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. HRI2013 (Tokyo, Japan, 3-6 March 2013) and HRI2014 (Bielefeld, Germany, 3-6 March 2014).
  • TF member Yukie Nagai organized the Workshop on “HRI: a bridge between Robotics and Neuroscience” at HRI2014. The goal of the workshop was to bridge the gap between HRI studies and cognitive modelling and developmental modelling studies.
  • TF member Fischer gave a talk on “The Role of Language in Bootstrapping Cognition: A Cognitive Linguistic View” at the IEEE ICRA 2013 conference.

Summer schools and training

  • Tony Belpaeme co-organized the 2nd Summer School on Social Human-Robot Interaction, 24-28 August 2015, Aland, Finland. Also receiving support from IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.
  • The International Summer School on Social HRI, Cambridge, UK (26 to 30 August 2013) brought together PhD students and young researchers for an intensive five days of lectures and ateliers covering a wide range of topics in social HRI.
  • TF member Verena Hafner co-organised the German-Israeli Minerva School on Cognitive Robotics, February 24-27, 2014 in Berlin, Germany ( and the Dagstuhl Seminar on Spatial Reference in the Semantic Web and in Robotics, March 31-April 4, 2014 at Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany (
  • TF chair Belpaeme gave a lecture series on “Cognition, Social Interaction and Cognitive Robots”at the Interdisciplinar College (IK2014, Germany,
  • TF member Hafner presented at the Workshop on „Attention Models in Robotics: Visual Systems for Better HRI“, HRI2014, Bielefeld, Germany (March 3, 2014).
  • TF member Fischer taught at the Xperience summer school in October 2013 in Mallorca on “Bootstrapping for Interactions between Humans and Robots”.
  • Furthermore, the TF has been running smaller activities to introduce undergraduate students to developmental robotics and interaction, such as the Workshop on biosignal-based Human-Robot Interaction at South Carolina State University, which involved students from both Biology and Computer Science programs and provided hands-on experience on brain computer interfaces (February 27 and March 4, 2014).


  • TF member Fischer will publish a book on “Designing Speech for a Recipient”in which she analyses the mechanisms of formulating for a particular communication partner by comparing speech to children, to foreigners and to robots.