Societal Applications of Robots and the Barriers: Towards an Ecosystem

European Robotics Forum (ERF) 2018,  March 13th, 16:15 - 17:45

The workshop is a direct result of future actions and needs derived from previous highly successful workshops in this series, involvements in various related EU projects and the euRobotics SIRo-SA Topic Group meetings. It will be part of The European Robotics Forum (ERF 2018), the most influential meeting of the robotics community in Europe, will be held in Tampere, Finland, on 13-15 March 2018.

Social robots are getting more available to the public. Such robots have enormous potential to play essential roles in our everyday life, such as in scenarios like companionship, child-care, educational, special educational, entertainment, healthcare, co-worker, to name a few. However, there are still various constraints that end-users, robot providers and other involved stakeholders face, which prevent social robots from entering the society with full potentials. There is a great need to create common ground and shared understanding about social robots, its potentials & applications, and the barriers.

This workshop not only aims to addresses the above aspect, but also to facilitate a platform for new initiatives put forward by the Digitising European Industry (DEI): Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH), and the mutual impact it can make with social robotics.

Thus, this workshop will foster discussing the potential of an ecosystem around social robotics with the three main stakeholder groups: end-users, industry and government/NGO as well as what role regional Digital Innovations Hubs (DIH) play in this ecosystem.

Objectives and Expected Impact

This workshop will provide a unique platform to bring different stakeholders together and exchange thoughts and brainstorm for the following Objectives:
  • Identify Societal Applications of Robots for Innovation potentials.
  • Share feedback from End User and Public after some early deployment of such robots.
  • Identify current Technological, R&D and other barriers to Market for mass adaptation of such robots.
  • Listen to Policy Makers/EC about their expectation and future directions.
  • Get Input from Audience through Groups Brainstorming, Panel Discussion.
    • How can we create an ecosystem around social robotics? What are the existing ecosystems (if any) and their goals?
    • How to strengthen a committed network culture?
    • How to change the role of the local parties, especially end-users to take a more active role?
    • How can the Digital Innovation Hubs help to sustain the ecosystem?
    • What are the needs of the different stakeholders in the ecosystem?

Program outline (13/03/2018, 16:15 - 17:45)

  • Introduction (5 min) (16:15-16:20)
  • Position statements Industry: Innovation, Services and Barriers (20 min) (16:20-16:40)
    • Amit Kumar Pandey, SoftBank Robotics Europe, France
    • Franziska Kirstein/John Erland Østergaard, Blue Ocean Robotics, Denmark
    • Nadine Bender, KUKA Germany, Germany
  • Position statement Academics/Research organizations: Applied R&D and Barriers (20 min) (16:40-17:00)
    • Praminda Caleb-Solly, Bristol Robotics Laboratory and Institute of Bio-Sensing Technologies, UK
    • Marketta Niemelä, Senior Scientist, MPs, PhD (IS), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, FInland
  • Position statement End User: The Real Potentials, Needs and Barriers (10 min) (17:00-17:10)
    • Alberto Sanna, Director, e-Services for Life and Health, Scientific Institute San Raffaele, The San Raffaele Smart City, Milan, Italy
  • Position statement Policy Makers/EC: The Expectations and European Plans/Roadmap (10 min) (17:10-17:20)
    • Anne Bajart, Robotics and AI unit, European Commission (EC), Luxembourg
  • Panel discussion, participants/audience feedback (20 min) (17:20-17:40)
  • Concluding remarks (5 min) (17:40-17:45)
Expected Output

The workshop will ensure involvement of people from leading European Projects, leading Social Robotics Companies, End User Organization and Policy Makers.

The session aims to gather material and input for producing white papers to provide feedback to euRobotics and European Commission (EC) on these aspects and how to address those barriers to ensure leading role of Europe in this field.

Open up new social robotic business potentials through establishing a shared ground among stakeholders.




Please follow the ERF 2018 official link:

This workshop is technically supported the SIRo-SA (Socially Intelligent Robots and Societal Applications) topic group of euRobotics

This workshop is partially supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 project CARESSES (Culture Aware Robots and Environmental Sensor Systems for Elderly Support), under grant agreement No 737858 and from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication of Japan.

This workshop is partially supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 project MuMMER (MultiModal Mall Entertainment Robot)( research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 688147

This workshop is partially supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 project BabyRobot Project, under grant agreement No 687831 


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