Tony Belpaeme is Professor of Cognitive Systems
and Robotics at the University
of Plymouth. He is associated with the
Cognition Institute, the
Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems and is a member of the University
of Plymouth Marine Institute. He is a member of the College of the EPSRC.
His research interests include social systems, cognitive robotics, and artificial intelligence in general. At Plymouth he
works alongside Angelo Cangelosi, Davide
Culverhouse and Guido
Bugmann on building robots that take
inspiration from humans, both in their appearance
and their intelligence.
Until April 2005 he was a postdoctoral fellow of the Flemish fund for scientific research (FWO Vlaanderen), and was affiliated with the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, directed by Luc Steels, at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He held a guest professorship at the same university, where he taught introductory artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.
International Journal of Humanoid Robotics
Special Issue on Face-to-Face Communication with Humanoid Robots in International Journal of Humanoid Robotics (IJHR).
To establish better multi-modal communication between people and robots, it is important for robots (or even for computers) to understand and respond in more natural and familiar ways, that is, ways similar to those found in human-to-human communication. Face-to-face communication is one of the most important of these capabilities, and requires a range of sophisticated and interlinked visual and auditory skills. The actions of the robot face need to be coordinated: expressive auditory output needs to be synchronized with the corresponding visually rich dynamics of the humanoid robot face or computer face models. Face-to-face communication becomes even more important when robots have an anthropomorphic form with multi-modal input and output capabilities, as users typically expect human-like social competencies from the robot.
To achieve such communication skills for humanoids it is essential to integrate (1) the interpretation of multi-modal face and gesture data from users, including not only the reading of audio and video input, but also the interpretation of its semantic content, (2) synthesis of appropriate responses (using for example a dialogue manager) and (3) coherent multi-modal face output (synchronizing auditory-visual speech output, facial expressions and head motions).
As has been demonstrated on a number of robotic heads, expressing emotional states together with acoustic information yields a more promising natural interaction, as users perceive the robot to have a personality which resonates with their intuitive sense of interaction.
This special issue will gather expertise from robotics and other disciplines to address various aspects of face-to-face communication, especially those that move forward the realization of physical systems for effective human-robot communication.
Topics of Interest
- Multi-modal input / output for facial human-machine interaction
- Robotic heads for face-to-face communication
- Facial animation/articulation
- Face expression models
- Conversational agents for humanoid robots
- Psychophysics studies of face-to-face communication with humanoid robots
Submission of Papers
Authors should follow the guidelines of the International Journal of Humanoid Robotics (IJHR). The format is described at http://www.worldscinet.com/ijhr/mkt/guidelines.shtml
- Paper deadline: July 15th, 2012
- Notification: September 15th, 2012
- Final paper due: October 15th, 2012
Takaaki Kuratate (Technical University Munich, Germany) <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Tony Belpaeme (Plymouth University, UK) <email@example.com>
and Gordon Cheng (Technical University Munich, Germany) <firstname.lastname@example.org> .
Journal of Human-Robot Interaction
Special Issue on
HRI system studies for the
Journal of Human-Robot
We invite you to submit to the fourth issue of the Journal of Human Robot Interaction (JHRI). This special issue will focus on the concept of "systems”. HRI systems are often realized through a complex integration of relevant state-of-art algorithms, software, sensors, and actuators. As such, advances in techniques and approaches for integrating components onto a robotic system are essential to advance human-robot interaction. To develop such techniques and systems requires one to address real-world challenges, particularly those arising from the complex nature of human-robot interaction embedded in dynamic social and/or task environment. Progress in building HRI systems has great practical relevance, as it lifts robotics out of structured environments and towards unstructured dynamic environments while interacting more naturally with operators and naïve users. The special issue aims to highlight system-related papers that report on the advance of the state-of-art in HRI and that share lessons learned from system-related studies.
A unique feature of this special issue is that the authors of accepted papers will be invited to give a 20-minute talk at HRI2013 (the 8th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction). This opportunity will allow the dissemination of systems work to a large and diverse audience of HRI researchers and industry representatives.
- Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Novel HRI systems/applications for real-world use
- Systems work that demonstrate novel ways of human-robot interaction
- Architectures and frameworks for building HRI systems, e.g. shared autonomy frameworks.
- Technological advances, including but not limited to
- algorithms and demonstrations in computer vision or other sensors supporting HRI
- enabling advances in speech/acoustic signal processing
- advances in language understanding,
- advances in mobility or dexterity of robots
Papers must contain high-quality original contributions and be prepared in accordance with the Journal of Human Robot Interaction standards. We will champion submissions that include either (a) strong novel techniques accompanied with an appropriate evaluation of the proposed technique and including an explanation of relevance to HRI, or (b) systems work that enables novel real-world human-robot interaction accompanied with evidence describing how people used, interacted with, and accepted the developed system. We also welcome novel ways of reporting system work if accompanied by appropriate evidence. Submitted manuscripts must not have been published or be under review for possible publication. All papers will be reviewed in a single-blind process. Submission Instructions: JHRI is a completely open access (OA) journal, supporting free (for authors and readers) and unrestricted access to research information on the Web and open commentary from the community on published papers. Submissions will be accepted online: humanrobotinteraction.org/journal Papers will be reviewed in a single-blind manner. As such, please include authors’ names and affiliations.
- Friday, August 31, 2012 - Submission deadline
- October 12, 2012 - Notification of initial reviews
- October 26, 2012 - Revised submission deadline
- December 7, 2012 - Notification of final reviews
- December 14, 2012 - Final camera-ready submission deadline
- February 1, 2013 - Online publication
- March 4-6, 2013 - Oral presentation at HRI2013
Guest editors: Takayuki Kanda (ATR) and Tony Belpaeme (the University of Plymouth)
- The ALIZ-E project "Adaptive Strategies for Sustainable Long-Term Social Interaction". Integrated project under the 7th framework programme of the European Union. Plymouth coordinates the 8.3 M€ 4.5-year project, of which Plymouth receives 1.4 M€. The ALIZ-E consortium consists of 7 academic partners (Tony Belpaeme as coordinator, Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, Imperial College, University of Hertfordshire, National Research Council Padova), one hospital (San Raffaele del Monte Tabor, Italy) and one SME (Gostai, Paris). ALIZ-E runs from 2010 to 2014.
- The ROBOT-ERA project "Implementation and integration of advanced Robotic systems and intelligent Environments in real scenarios for ageing population”. Integrated Project under the 7th framework programme of the European Union. 2012-2016, 6.602M EUR project, for which Plymouth receives 898,440 EUR. Partners include Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari Sant'Anna, Pisa (Prof. Paolo Dario, Project Coordinator); Instituto Nazionale di Riposo e Cura per Anziani, Ancona, Italy; Youse GmbH, Berlin, Germany; Orebro University, Sweden; University of Hamburg, Germany; Metralabs GmbH, Ilmenau, Germany; STMicroElectronics, Italy; RoboTech Srl, Sarzana, Italy; TechnoDeal, Peccioli, Italy; Municipality of Peccioli, Italy; Lansgarden Fastigheter, Orebro, Sweden.
A number of interesting retro-projected robot faces have sprouted up in 2011, there is MaskBot at Munchen and FurHat from KTH.
Media attention and the facts
- The Nexi robot (I said Kismet, but got quoted as saying Nexi) is not scary, but a ground breaking HRI prototype which has been carefully designed to avoid being perceived as uncanny. Ishiguro's geminoid is scary though.
- Gostai makes robot middleware, it does not make the Nao robot.
- ALIZ-E is of course a consortium consisting of research institutes, universities, an SME and a hospital. Despite ever increasing scholarly performance, schools are not part of our research consortium yet.
- Speech recognition programs don't sound like anything, not even like adults, TTS engines however do.
- Robots will come at night and swap your toothpaste for glue.
Alife Approaches to Artificial Language Evolution
The AAALE workshop (pronounced as "Triple Ale") will be held at the European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2011), at the Cité Universitaire de Paris (France).
Submission deadline: 15 May 2011
Organisers: Luc Steels (University of Brussels and Sony CSL Paris) and Tony Belpaeme (University of Plymouth).
School of Computing, Communications and Electronics
University of Plymouth
Portland Square A318
Plymouth PL4 8AA
Email: tony . belpaeme @ plymouth . ac . uk