UW CSE MSR Summer Institute 2018

Social Robotics: Challenges, Opportunities, and New Directions


Locations are subject to change. Please check back for updates. Meeting room layout is available here.
  • Technical meeting sessions will be Mt. Washington B&C.
  • Breakfasts will be Mt. Washington A.
  • Lunches be at the Waterfront Checkerboard.
  • Dinners will be in the Olympic Ballroom.


Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday


6:00 - 7:00 pm
Welcome reception (Waterfront Checkerboard)
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Dinner (Olympic Ballroom)


8:00-8:30 am
Breakfast (Mt. Washington: A)
8:30-9:00 am
Opening Remarks and Introductions (Mt. Washington: B&C)
9:00-10:30 am
Session 1 - Social Robotics Reseach I
  • 9:00am-9:30am Hae Won Park, Living with Social Robots: Long-tem Interaction and Personalization
  • 9:30am-10:00am Malte Jung, Teamwork with Robots
    I present empirical findings from several studies that show how theory and methods that were originally developed to understand the role of emotions in marital interactions can help us to not only further our understanding of teamwork but also to inform how we study and design robots in support of teamwork.
  • 10:00am-10:30am Cindy Bethel , Applications in Social Robotics: Past, Present, and Future
    This presentation will cover different aspects of my research work over the years including: search and rescue robotics, child secret-keeping behaviors, the use of robots for gathering sensitive information from children, Therabot (a therapeutic social companion), and the integration of robots into tactical teams. This will provide a variety of application areas that represent important areas where social robots can and will make an impact on people and society. The talk will also feature a discussion of other technologies that are important to the advancement of social robotics. Additionally there will be a brief discussion of important areas related to unexplored applications and problem domains, where robotics have the potential to make a significant societal impact.
10:30-11:00 am
Coffee break
11:00-12:30 pm
Session 2 - Social Robotics Reseach II
  • 11:00am-11:30am Bilge Mutlu, Design materials and tools for social robotics
  • 11:30am-12:00pm Joyce Chai
  • 12:00pm-12:30pm Sean Andrist , Just Let the Robot Do Its Job! Situated Interaction Challenges in the Open World
12:30-2:00 pm
Lunch (Waterfront checkerboard)
2:00-4:00 pm
Outside activities: hiking, biking, canoeing
4:00-5:30 pm
Reception on boat "Lady Alderbrook"
5:30-7:00 pm
Session 3 - Social Robotics Research III
  • 5:30pm-6:00pm Henny Admoni, Nonverbal Behavior for Socially Assistive Robotics
    Nonverbal behavior provides a rich source of information about human mental states like goals, intentions, and knowledge. Socially assistive robots can use nonverbal behaviors (e.g., eye gazes or gestures) to both understand their human partner's current needs and express their own internal states intuitively. However, there are many open questions about what nonverbal behaviors really mean in a human-robot interaction and how robots should interpret or produce such behaviors when providing assistance.
  • 6:00pm-6:30pm Laurel Riek , Full Stack Human Robot Interaction
    This talk will discuss several higher level research questions in HRI that my lab has explored in recent years, including context perception, team coordination, preference learning, and design, as well as some recent exciting trends in the field overall.
  • 6:30pm-7:00pm Selma Sabanovic , We're in this together -- Studying social robots in group interactions
    Recent years have seen the proliferation of robots in different domains of everyday life, including healthcare, domestic assistance, education, and transportation. Research in these domains has focused largely on evaluating the interactions and effects of robots on individuals, although many of these interactions are likely to take place in the context of groups. Motivated by naturalistic observations of human-robot interaction in public spaces and organizations, I will discuss how we can go beyond a dyadic understanding of human-robot interaction and social robot design by studying group effects on HRI in lab and field experiments. Group effects are well established in social psychology, and suggest that intergroup interactions are more aggressive and negative than ingroup interactions. Translating this to HRI means that interactions between humans and robots could be more negative if robots are seen as outgroup members, and more positive if robots are seen as ingroup members. Observations of open-ended between people and robots also suggest that people interact with robots differently when they are in groups than when they are alone. Our research explores whether group effects from human interaction transfer to HRI, how group dynamics affect HRI, and how they can be used to induce positive interactions with robots. I will also discuss the need to attend to dynamic social roles in group interactions, and to solve new perceptual and interaction challenges to make robots capable of engaging in group interactions.
7:00-8:30 pm
Dinner and discussions (Olympic Ballroom, Ballroom Terrace)


8:00-9:00 am
Breakfast (Mt.Washington: A)
9:00-10:30 am
Session 4 - New Applications for Social Robots I (Mt. Washigton: B&C)
  • 9:00am-9:30am Maja Mataric , The Promise and Challenges of Socially Assistive Robotics: Robots That Care
    Robots, machines that were originally invented to automate work, are also becoming helpful by not doing any physical work at all, but instead by motivating and coaching us to do our own work, based on evidence from neuroscience and behavioral science demonstrating that human behavior is most strongly influenced by physically embodied social agents, including robots.The field of socially assistive robotics (SAR) focuses on developing intelligent socially interactive machine that that provide assistance through social rather than physical means. The robot's physical embodiment is at the heart of SAR's effectiveness, as it leverages the inherently human tendency to engage with lifelike (but not necessarily human-like or otherwise biomimetic) agents. People readily ascribe intention, personality, and emotion to robots; SAR leverages this engagement to develop robots capable of monitoring, motivating, and sustaining user activities and improving human learning, training, performance and health outcomes. Human-robot interaction (HRI) for SAR is a growing multifaceted research field at the intersection of engineering, health sciences, neuroscience, social, and cognitive sciences, with rapidly growing commercial spinouts. This talk will describe our key research findings research into embodiment, modeling and steering social dynamics, and long-term adaptation and learning for SAR, grounded in projects involving multi-modal activity data, modeling personality and engagement, formalizing social use of space and non-verbal communication, and personalizing the interaction with the user over a period of months, among others. Most importantly, all described results will be from real-world user populations, including stroke patients, children with autism spectrum disorders, elderly with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia; this talk will cover the major challenges and frontiers of SAR research.
  • 9:30am-10:00am Frederick Shic, Social robots for autism research
    In this talk, I will discuss a variety of recent studies that use robots to understand and move towards augmenting therapy in children with ASD. This presentation will focus both on developmental relationships between social-robot interactions and child play, as well as on nuances related to robot-augmented therapies for core social and communicative deficits in ASD. We will discuss current trends in the context of the maturation of the field.
  • 10:00am-10:30am Elin Bjorling and Emma Rose, Designing Social Robots to Measure and Reduce Teen Stress
10:30-11:00 am
Coffee break
11:00-12:30 pm
Session 5 - Panel on new Technologies for Social Robots (Vision, NLP, Dialog, AI, ML)
  • 11:00am-11:40am Five-minute state-of-the-art overview by panelists
    • Ali Farhadi - Computer Vision
    • Debadeepta Dey - Machine Learning
    • Hanna Hajishirzi - Natural Language Processing
    • David Traum - Dialog
    • Andy Wilson - AR/VR
    • Daniel McDuff - Affective Computing
    • Dan Weld - Intelligable AI
  • 11:40am-12:30pm Panel discussion of how social robotics technology challenges can be addressed
12:30-2:00 pm
Lunch (Waterfront checkerboard)
2:00-5:30 pm
Outside activities: hiking, biking, canoeing
5:30-7:00 pm
Session 6 - New Applications for Social Robots II
  • 5:30pm-6:00pm Richard Ladner, Social Robots for Accessibility
  • 6:00pm-6:30pm Kurtis Heimerl, Technology and Poverty through the lens of Universal Internet Access
    Kurtis will give an introduction to the field of ICTD, information communication technologies and development, through the lens of his own work on universal Internet access. ICTD, starting from a very technical core, has taken on more and more investigation of social factors in the deployment of technology among marginalized communities. Kurtis has ongoing deployments of novel access technologies in the Philippines and Indonesia and will explore the potential applications of social robotics to ICTD problems.
  • 6:30pm-7:00pm Belinda Y Louie, Supporting the Language Development of English Language Learners
    I will present the work of two federal grant projects (2 millions and 3 millions) which aimed at increasing teachers' capacity to support the increasing number of English Language learners. Will the current trend of teacher professional development meet the needs of English language learners?
7:00-8:30 pm
Dinner and discussions (Olympic Ballroom, Ballroom Terrace)


8:00-9:00 am
Breakfast (Mt. Washington: A)
9:00-10:30 am
Session 7 - Societal Challenges for Social Robots (Mt. Washington: B&C)
  • 9:00am-9:40am Overview talks by panelists to set up societal challenges to be discussed
    • Peter Kahn
    • Eric Horvitz
    • Emily McReynolds
    • Leila Takayama
  • 09:40am-10:30am Discussion of challenges raised by panelists and participants
10:30-11:00 am
Coffee break
11:00-12:15 pm
Session 8 - Discussion and white paper writing breakout
12:15-12:30 pm
Closing remarks
12:30-2:00 pm
Lunch (Waterfront checkerboard)