AAAI 2016 Spring Symposium on "Enabling Computing Research in Socially Intelligent Human-Robot Interaction: A Community-Driven Modular Research Platform"



EVENT: AAAI 2016 Spring Symposia

LOCATION: Palo Alto, California, USA



  • Submission deadline: Friday, January 8, 2016
  • Notification: Friday, January 15, 2016
  • Camera-ready deadline: Tuesday, January 22, 2016
  • Symposium: Monday, March 21, 2016 to Wednesday, March 23, 2016


The schedule can also be downloaded here.

The AAAI Digital Proceedings can be found here.



Mon., Mar. 21

Tue., Mar. 22

Wed., Mar. 23

09:00 - 09:45

Introduction: Objectives, Hardware, and Appearance
(Mark Yim)

Introduction: Software, Behaviors, and Beta Program Proposals
(Ross Mead)

Introduction: Recap, Brainstorming, and Survey Planning

(Ross Mead)

09:45 - 10:30

Community Input: Survey Results
(Ross Mead)

Invited Speaker (35-minute presentation + 10-minute Q&A)
(Doug Dooley, Freelance Animator)

10:30 - 11:00




11:00 - 12:30

Paper Presentations (15-minute presentation + 3-minute Q&A)


11:00 - 11:18

Feasibility Investigation of Low Cost Highly Functional Hardware Options for a Community Designed Social Robot

(Andrew Specian, Nick Eckenstein, and Mark Yim)


11:18 - 11:36
Extendable Pantograph Arms
(Rick Goldstein and Manuela Veloso)


11:36 - 11:54
How Humanlike Should a Social Robot Be: A User-Centered Exploration

(Hee Rin Lee and Selma Sabanovic)


11:54 - 12:12
Trust Dynamics in Human – Autonomous Vehicle Interaction: A Review of Trust Models
(Chandrayee Basu and Mukesh Singhal)


12:12 - 12:30
Long-Term Acceptance of Social Robots in Domestic Environments: Insights from a User’s Perspective
(Maartje de Graaf, Somaya Ben Allouch, and Jan van Dijk)

Paper Presentations (15-minute presentation + 3-minute Q&A)


11:00 - 11:18

The SERA ecosystem: Socially Expressive Robotics Architecture for Autonomous Human-Robot Interaction
(Tiago Ribeiro, André Pereira, Eugenio Di Tullio, and Ana Paiva)

11:18 - 11:36

Towards An Architecture for Knowledge Representation and Reasoning in Robotics
(Mohan Sridharan)

11:36 - 11:54

RoGuE : Robot Gesture Engine
(Rachel Holladay and Siddhartha Srinivasa)

11:54 - 12:12

Eliciting Conversation in Robot Vehicle Interactions

(David Sirkin, Kerstin Fischer, Lars Jensen, and Wendy Ju)

12:12 - 12:30

OpenWoZ: A Runtime-Configurable Wizard-of-Oz Framework for Human-Robot Interaction

(Guy Hoffman)

Breakout Session:
Robot Prototyping and Future Directions

12:30 - 14:00




14:00 - 14:45

Invited Speaker (35-minute presentation + 10-minute Q&A)
(Andra Keay, Director at Silicon Valley Robotics )

Invited Speaker (35-minute presentation + 10-minute Q&A)
(Nate Koenig, CTO at Open Source Robotics Foundation)


14:45- 15:30

Breakout Session: Social Robot Hardware Design and Appearance

Breakout Session: Social Robot Behavior and Interaction Design


15:30 - 16:00




16:00 - 16:25

Lightning Talks (3-minute presentation + 1 question)

16:00 - 16:05

Inevitable Psychological Mechanisms Triggered by Robot Appearance: Morality Included?

(Bertram Malle and Matthias Scheutz)


16:05 - 16:10

Neato Robotics® Robots as a Robust Mobile Base for Modular HRI Research

(Lilia Moshkina and Frank Meyer)


16:10 - 16:15
On the Use of Modular Software and Hardware for Designing Wheelchair Robots
(Martin Gerdzhev, Joelle Pineau, Ian Mitchell, Pooja Viswanathan, and Genevieve Foley)


16:15 - 16:20

Electromagnetic Platform Stabilization for Moving Robotic Platforms
(Eric Deng and Ross Mead)


16:20 - 16:25

Feasibility Investigation of Low Cost Highly Functional Hardware Options for a Community Designed Social Robot

(Andrew Specian, Nick Eckenstein, and Mark Yim)

Lightning Talks (3-minute presentation + 1 question)


16:00 - 16:05

Wizard-of-Oz interfaces as a step towards autonomous HRI

(Nikolas Martelaro)


16:05 - 16:10

Establishing Sustained and Supportive Human-Robot Relationships

(Sarah Strohkorb, Chien-Ming Huang, Aditi Ramachandran, and Brian Scassellati)


16:10 - 16:15

Ms Robot Will Be Teaching You: Robot Lecturers in Four Modes of Automated Remote Instruction

(Jamy Li and Wendy Ju)


16:15 - 16:20

Enabling Access to K-12 Education with Mobile Remote Presence

(Elizabeth Cha, Qandeel Sajid, and Maja Matarić)


16:20 - 16:25

Introducing Quori: A Community-Driven Modular Social Robot Platform for Human-Robot Interaction

(Ross Mead, Mark Yim, Maja J Matarić, Simon Kim, Braden McDorman, Andrew Specian, Nick Eckenstein, Yue Chen, and Junghyo Lee)


16:30 - 17:30

Poster Session

Poster Session


18:00 - 19:00


Plenary Session




    The goal of this symposium is to kick-off the process of community-informed design and development of Quori, a low-cost robot hardware and software platform to enable computing research in HRI. Quori is being developed by the symposium organizers through NSF support. The hardware design will involve advances in user-centric, affordable design, safety, modularity, generality, and system integration. The software design will involve novel general algorithms and open source robust code bases that enable the hardware platform to operate “out of the box” with a set of socially intelligent behavior primitives enabling computing researchers to focus on their areas of interest without having to develop low-level robot control algorithms and code.

    The symposium will present initial hardware design ideas and plans for Quori, along with exploratory exercises to inform the development of proposed software systems to better meet the needs of the research community. Our “design by quorum” approach is combined with modular hardware and extensible software that centers on creating a standard platform vetted by the community and builds on recent technologies to minimize cost without sacrificing performance. These topics will be discussed through a mix of presentations, posters, invited talks, plenary sessions, and breakouts, to maximize participant interaction. Therefore, advances made through the discussion at the symposium will serve to push the field forward, thereby impacting the computing community at large, including AI and robotics.


    The symposium invites submissions describing opinions and original work, either completed or still in progress, related to one or more of the following:

    • Recognition and generation of fundamental robot social behaviors, such as spacing (i.e., where to be), eye gaze (i.e., where to look), natural language (i.e., what to say), body language (i.e., how to act), and timing (i.e., when to act), among others
    • Human-machine dialog/interaction management, decision-making, and learning
    • Computational models of social dynamics and interaction patterns in human-robot interactions
    • Mapping, localization, path-planning, and navigation in human environments
    • Context/situational awareness and scene understanding in human-robot social interactions
    • Online adaptation to human social behavior and interaction contexts
    • Long-term learning of human behaviors, preferences, and needs
    • Software architectures, tools, and systems for facilitating human-robot interactions
    • Sensor, mechanical, and computational hardware for enabling human-robot interactions
    • Ethics in the design of social robot hardware and software


    Prospective authors are invited to fill the survey and submit to EasyChair any of the following:

    • Full paper (6-8 pages, PDF file)
    • Position paper (2-4 pages, PDF file)
    • Demo video (1-3 minutes, common file formats, e.g., AVI, MP4, etc.) including an extended abstract (1-2 pages, PDF file)

    Submitted papers and abstracts should conform to the AAAI publication format; for templates and examples, follow this link:


    To inform the discussion topics of the symposium, as well as receive shaping input from the community, participation in the Symposium will include completing a survey (anonymous or not, as preferred). The survey can be found until Friday, January 8, 2016 at:

    In general, the organizing committee will be engaging the computing community at large periodically through surveys to elicit input and feedback on the proposed software and hardware systems being developed for the robot platform.


    • Maja Mataric' (University of Southern California)
    • Mark Yim (University of Pennsylvania)
    • Ross Mead (University of Southern California)

    CONTACT (please email to all three of us together about any workshop questions/input/feedback):