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Special Sessions

Call for Papers to Organised/Special Sessions

Papers are solicited for the following Organised/Special Sessions. Any author who wishes to contribute to a Special Session should contact the corresponding Special Session organiser(s).

1. Special Session on "Human-Assistive Technologies in the "Real World""
Organizers: Daisuke Chugo (, Sho Yokota (, Koji Makino (, Hiroshi Hashimoto (
Contact: Daisuke Chugo (

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. However, many reports have just presented concepts or technical outcomes in laboratory rather than confirming those effective or convenient in actual use. From this, when we discuss technologies in the real world, we would have many difficulties. These studies require complex procedures, for example, clearing safety reviews and implementation of informed consent. Furthermore, they require cooperation among different fields, for example, therapists and doctors, and prototypes related to these studies need to fulfill several governmental safety standards or rules. To pass the problem, researchers need to be extremely energetic and have time, money, and human resources.
Passing this difficulty problem will lead to many benefits. Through demonstrations in the actual fields, we can find technical problems that go unnoticed in the laboratory. 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. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
(1) Assistive robotics for elderly and handicapped people
(2) Human support technologies in real world
(3) Service robotics on human system interactions
(4) Understanding of human perception and cognition
This special session is promoted by IEEE Industrial Electronic Society, Technical Committee on Human Factors ( and Clawar Association.

2. Special Session on "Social and Affective Robots"

Organizers: Jaeryoung Lee (, Chubu University, Japan; Ognjen Rudovic (, MIT Media Lab, USA; Rosalind W. Picard (, MIT Media Lab, USA
Contact: Jaeryoung Lee (

The main aim of Social and Affective Robot Special Session is to bring together researchers working in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, and exploit jointly the most recent advances in these two fields. This special session is oriented towards sharing the ideas of participants with diverse background ranging from robotics, machine learning, computer vision and social psychology. The goal is to facilitate the integration of social robotics and affective computing as an emerging field. In particular, the goal of the special session is to identify new concepts and challenges (methodologies, ethical questions) in designing and learning of robots that are affect-sensitive. To this end, a number of topics are to be addressed:
(1) Design of social robots, including studies showing the influence of the robot design on the social interactions with humans.
(2) Modelling of human affect from data recorded during HRI.
(3) The fusion of different modalities (audio, visual and physiological) for estimation of humans’ affective states during HRI.
(4) Applications of social robots to elderly care, entertainment and wellbeing, and also assistive tools for individuals with autism and/or other neurodevelopmental conditions.
In addition to these, other contributions addressing the social and affective dimension of HRI are highly encouraged.

3. Special Session on "Cultural factors in human-robot interactions"
Organizers: Nak Young Chong (, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan; Amit Kumar Pandey (, Softbank Robotics Europe, France; Alessandro Saffiotti (, University of Örebro, Sweden; Antonio Sgorbissa (, University of Genova, Italy.
Contact: Antonio Sgorbissa (

The groundbreaking objective of this special session is to investigate the design of culturally competent robots, that is, robots able to re-configure their way of acting and speaking, when offering a service, to match the culture, customs, and etiquette of the person they are assisting. Investigating the role of cultural factors in human-robot interaction and - ultimately - making robot culturally competent is key to address one of the major problems in robotics: how to increase acceptability by being more sensitive to the user’s needs, customs and lifestyle, thus producing a greater impact on the quality of life of users and improving the system’s efficiency and effectiveness. From the commercial perspective, cultural customization is crucial to overcome the barriers to marketing robots across different countries.

The special session is promoted by the joint EU-Japan project CARESSES - Culturally Aware Robots and Environmental Sensor Systems for Elderly Support, started in January 2017 (

Any paper related to the investigation of cultural factors in human-robot interaction is welcome, but papers with the following emphases are particularly welcome:
(1) Guidelines for designing culturally competent robots;
(2) Frameworks, languages and tools for acquiring and encoding cultural knowledge;
(3) Reasoning and planning with cultural constraints;
(4) Adapting the robot behaviors depending on the user's cultural identity;
(5) Adapting verbal and non-verbal interaction styles depending on the user’s cultural identity;
(6) Interpreting sensor data in different cultural contexts;
(7) Learning an individual's cultural identity through interaction;
(8) Testing and evaluating the impact of cultural factors in the acceptance of robots;
(9) Cultural factors in specific robotic application domains;
(10) Standards for culturally-aware and culturally-competent robotics.

4. Special Session on "Cognitive Interaction Design"
Organizers: Kazunori Terada (, Gifu University, Japan; Seiji Yamada (, National Institute of Informatics, Japan.
Contact: Kazunori Terada (

Cognitive models of users, machines are important factors to build interactive artifacts that can constantly adapt to the users, including social robots, user adaptive systems, and adaptive user interface. Because the cognitive model plays an important roles in understanding and predicting complicated behaviors of users, robots and machines, and the understanding is necessary to interaction design between humans and learning robots, agents, animals. Thus we are developing a novel framework of interaction design that explicitly utilizes the cognitive models. We call the interaction design framework "cognitive interaction design (CID)'', and gather the presentations of excellent and challenging studies which are closely related to CID for organizing this proposed special session "Cognitive Interaction Design''. In CID, we especially focus on the common cognitive process in human-human communication as well as the interactions between humans and animals/agents. Then we implement the cognitive model of others at an algorithmic level and utilize it for the design of artifacts.

CID is concerned with various research fields for modeling humans, robots, animals; robotics, human-agent interaction, human-computer interaction, human-animal interaction, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and social psychology. This diversity of CID is beyond the traditional research area on human-robot interaction, and we believe that CID will significantly extend fundamental contribution to HRI and HCI, and develop practical applications of human-robot interaction. CID is a growing up research field, and we hope this special session will provide opportunities to share the common target of various CID studies and have constructive discussion on CID.

5. Special Session on "Cloud Technologies: Empowering Robots to Connect Society"
Organizers: George Samaras ( University of Cyprus; Andreou Panayiotis ( UCLan Cyprus; Sten Hanke ( Austrian Institute of Technology; Luís Santos ( University of Coimbra.

The main aim of this session is to bring together researchers working on robotics, cloud computing, data analytics, innovative ICT services development, and machine learning and together exploit recent advances in these fields combined. The special session is designed towards discussing innovative, breakthrough research ideas that can potentially create social and economical value to society. In particular, distributed machine learning, robot-cloud architectures, standards and information sharing are promoted as key innovations that should be brought to discussion towards novel application domains. Papers addressing cloud-connected robots in the following areas are particularly welcome:
(1) Big-Data Analytics and Cloud-based Distributed Machine Learning
(2) Distributed service provision using cloud technologies for Active and Healthy Ageing
(3) Adaptable and Connected Social Robotic Systems
(4) Distributed Robot-Cloud Architectures and Services.

6. Special Session on "Intention in Social Robotics"
Organizers: Mary-Anne Williams ( University of Technology Sydney, Australia; Williams Judge, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia; Anthony Cohn, University of Leeds, UK; Reid Simmons, Carnegie Mellon University, USA.

Imagine an intelligent robot with social skills that was fun to work with and that could help you achieve tasks efficiently. We are organising an exciting special session at RO-MAN that will focus on Intention in Social Robotics. A self-driving vehicle is a social robot, not only does it need to drive on the road safely but it must communicate with and anticipate the behaviour of nearby cars and people; a delivery robot has to anticipate the behaviour of people to provide a useful service. Understanding human intention is critical to anticipating human behaviour. The critical research question is how can we design social robots to understand human intention and anticipate human motion and desires. The purpose of this special session is to explore how social robots can understand and predict people's intention without requiring humans to explicitly indicate or express what they are trying to do or about to do next.

Relevant topics include:
(1) Human-robot interaction and collaboration
(2) Human attention and intention
(3) Privacy and security
(4) Legal and ethical implications of social robots that understand people.


We are inviting proposals for special sessions relevant to the themes of IEEE RO-MAN 2017.

The goal of special sessions is to provide a forum for oral presentations that are highly specialized in some particular theme, focused on new topics or innovative applications of established approaches. A special session consists of four to six papers, which, for example, address a particular theme or consist of work done in some particular international project. Prospective organizers are invited to submit proposals for special sessions through Papercept by February 6, 2017.

Proposals for special sessions are required to contain the following information:

- title for the proposed special session;
- one page summary of the special session including its motivation and goals;
- prospective authors who will be\have been invited to submit papers to be included in the special session;
- list of organizers (names, affiliations and short bio).

There is a two page limit for each proposal. Selected special sessions will be advertised through the conference and will be open for submission to everyone.

The minimum number of papers per special session is four. Proposals for special sessions and the corresponding papers must be submitted via the Papercept submission site for the conference. All papers will be peer-reviewed and will appear in the conference proceedings. The organizers will be Associate Editors (AE) for the proposed session. They are also responsible to assign reviewers and make judgement proposals of the submitted paper for the special session. Papers co-authored by the special session organizers will be managed by other AEs to avoid conflicts of interest. Please note that special session papers will be subject to the same rigorous review process which applies to regular papers not included in special sessions. If less than four papers submitted to a special session are accepted based on the reviewing process, the Program Committee reserve the right to re-assign these accepted papers to regular sessions.

We look forward to hosting your Special Sessions at RO-MAN2017.

Organized/Special Sessions Co-Chairs
Jorge Dias, University of Coimbra, Portugal;
Friederike Eyssel, CITEC, Germany

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