Full-day workshop (9:00-18:00).

The workshop schedule comprises invited talks, a panel of experts, extended abstract and position paper presentation and breakout sessions.

Confirmed invited speakers: Tony Prescott (University of Sheffield), Kerstin Dautenhahn (University of Hertfordshire), Iolanda Leite (KTH Royal Institute of Technology).

Building upon the results of the break-out sessions, we will report the outcomes of the workshop in a white paper.

LOCATION: “Große Mani” room on the second floor.

SESSION I (9:00-10:30) 

9:00-9:30 Welcome  

9:30-10:00 Keynote: Tony Prescott (University of Sheffield)


Studies in developmental psychology have revealed that younger children take an “animist” view of living things—for them to be alive means to move or to be active.  Around age seven, a more “vitalist” biological understanding emerges and begins to underpin children’s thinking about life, death, and health.  This new conceptual framework recognises that organisms have life cycles, and that body parts including internal organs, play a critical role in maintaining life.  We are exploring the hypothesis that children’s ideas about what constitutes a living thing will impact on their perceptions of robots, and particularly, on whether they will see a robot as being more like a person or like a machine.  This talk will review these studies in relation to the underlying development theory and consider some implications for how we design robots for applications in child education and healthcare.

10:00-10:30 Pitch talks and introductions of workshop participants

COFFEE BREAK (10:30-11:00)

SESSION II (11:00-12:00) 

11:00 – 12:00 Panel 1: Designing robots for and with children Confirmed panelists: Chronis Kynigos (University of Athens), Janet Read (University of Lancashire), Lara  Lammer (TUW), Miquel Domenech/Jordi Albó Canals (UAB)

LUNCH (12:00-13:00)

SESSION III (13:00-15:00)

13:00-13:45 Poster session 

13:45-14:15 Keynote:  Kerstin Dautenhahn (University of Hertfordshire)


Robot-assisted therapy for children with autism is a growing area of research. Robots have been shown to motivate and engage children with autism, and thus provide a comfortable and enjoyable environment where learning can take place. I will provide a few examples of work we have been doing over the past 10 years with our interactive, humanoid robot Kaspar. It has been used in case study evaluations with about 170 children who interact with the robot over several weeks or months. Games that the children play with the robot are fun-based, but include specific therapeutic or educational objectives, e.g. turn-taking, learning about appropriate tactile interaction (Robins et al., 2014) or learning to identify and name body parts (Costa et al. 2014). An example of long-term studies with Kaspar is the work of Wainer et al. (2014), involving 6 children with autism and each of them experiencing 23 sessions. Results show that social interaction and collaboration among dyads of children improved after an intervention period of triadic interaction with the Kaspar robot. I will also describe lessons learnt from field studies which have been running for over a year now, whereby teachers in schools or parents in their own homes use the robot to interact with children with autism.

B. Robins, K. Dautenhahn (2014). Tactile Interactions with a Humanoid Robot – Novel Play Scenario Implementations with Children with Autism. International Journal of Social Robotics 6: 397-415.
S. Costa, H. Lehmann, K. Dautenhahn, B. Robins, F. Soares (2015). Using a humanoid robot to elicit body awareness and appropriate physical interaction in children with autism, International Journal of Social Robotics 7 (2), 265-278.
J. Wainer, B. Robins, F. Amirabdollahian, K. Dautenhahn (2014). Using the humanoid robot KASPAR to autonomously play triadic games and facilitate collaborative play among children with autism. IEEE TAMD (IEEE Trends in Autonomous Mental Development) 6(3): 183-199.

14:15-15:00 Panel 2: The role of child-development in CRI 

Confirmed panelists: Mark Neerincx, (Delft University of Technology) Takayuki Kanda (ATR), Amanda Sharkey (University of Sheffield)

COFFEE BREAK (15:00-15:30)

SESSION IV (15:30-18:00)

15:30-16:00 Keynote: Iolanda Leite (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)


Growing up, children undergo several developmental stages. While a lot of the child behavioral research takes this into account and looks at age differences, this is still not the norm in child-robot interaction. In this talk, we present a series of empirical results that evidence the risk of making conclusions based on a limited age range or, perhaps even more critical, aggregating findings across multiple developmental stages. Based on a set of single- and repeated-interaction experiments around child-robot conversation and storytelling, we show that different age groups behave differently during the interaction and do not always show the same trends in post-interaction measures.

16:00-17:00 Breakout session 

17:00-17:30 Discussion from the breakout session 

17:30-18:00 Wrap-up

Workshop end

18:15 – 20:00 Conference Reception