2nd workshop on HRI for extreme and hazardous environments – test methods and evaluation metrics (CEHE, 2020)

A workshop in conjunction with IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (IEEE RO-MAN, 2020)

  • Home

    Robots reduce the risks associated with operations staff, typically by removing the requirement for people to enter the hazardous environments and increase productivity in high consequence and cluttered facilities. The 1st workshop in this series (Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) for extreme and hazardous environments; held at RO-MAN 2019, New Delhi) brought together researchers working on robotics for extreme environments and researchers in HRI, in order to allow both groups to share information on approaches to their common challenges of how to produce autonomous interactive agents for extreme environments. Furthermore, common and interrelated problems were highlighted and discussed, with possible directions of further investigation suggested.

    The 2nd workshop at RO-MAN 2020, will once again bring those communities together, focusing on the development of test methods and metrics for evaluating interactions with remotely located robotic systems, which could be deployed in environments such as nuclear inspection and decommissioning, offshore energy activity and maintenance, space exploration, and deep mining etc. This shall be achieved in line with the RO-MAN 2020 conference theme of Robots with Heart, Mind and Soul, by exploring the development of test methods and metrics with user experience in mind: industrial applications need to build solutions rooted in deeper analysis of the user-experience as they interact with and use robotics. Thus, we will focus on methods and metrics that place the human as central to the human-robot interaction.

  • Objective

    The development and deployment of robotic technology in extreme and hazardous environments, such as nuclear inspection and decommissioning, offshore energy and maintenance, space exploration, deep mining, and search and rescue, have received considerable attention in recent years. Although the above mentioned domains vary in the requirements of the robotic systems that are deployed within them, there are many cross-domain challenges that researchers in robotics in extreme environments are working on: key to this is the human-user who in each scenario remains central to the human-robot team being deployed. A common challenge usually associated with robotic and autonomous systems (RAS) technologies for harsh environments, is that the operator must remotely operate robots from a distance using limited visual feedback, due to the hazardous nature of the environment limiting human entry.

    Therefore our first workshop at IEEE RO-MAN 2019 primarily sought to increase communication and knowledge sharing in regards to these challenges. Additionally for applications in harsh environments, interactions with robots are difficult to model due to reasons such as dynamics, uncertainty, complexity and unpredictability. Therefore, the primary goal of this, our 2nd workshop at IEEE RO-MAN 2020, is to address issues surrounding the development of test methods and metrics for evaluating the performance of robotic systems and interfaces used in such environments, which consider the human experience using the RAS technology as fundamental to the technology’s acceptance and adoption.

    A key barrier to achieving effective HRI within extreme environments is that there are few consistent test methods and metrics for assessing HRI effectiveness, not least because many of the human factors evaluation protocols were developed in the sixties and seventies, before the existence of the levels of advanced RAS used today. It is clear that there is a pressing necessity for validated metrics driven by the desire for repeatable and consistent evaluations of HRI methodologies. This workshop will enable the cross fertilisation of ideas and solutions for issues encountered when attempting to generate complex models of interaction between robots and humans, which can be used in extreme environments. Similarly through this workshop, we aim to better understand the limitations and benefits of different interaction scenarios, when RAS technologies are subjected to extreme and harsh environments.

  • Target audience

    This workshop is directed primarily at researchers/technologists studying coordination between humans, robots and remote virtual agents, for extreme environments. The workshop is also targeted towards industry that aims at the development of robotics solutions for long term autonomy and HRI solutions in extreme environments. However, a secondary goal is to serve as an introduction for HRI researchers to the research domain of robotics and AI for extreme environments. We will also attempt to attract participants who study AI, machine learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented reality, Speech etc. in related fields who may be interested in working with robots or have insights to share with roboticists.

    The workshop mainly targets international, European, and Japanese robotics, AI, and HRI mailing lists to encourage a broad base of participation. Additionally, we will target researchers in the virtual agents and AI community (who may also be interested in robots but may not normally be involved in HRI-related activities) to encourage their participation.

  • Topics

    • Test methods and metrics for evaluating trust in HRI for extreme environments.
    • Human factors and usability measures/metrics for robotic devices in extreme environments.
    • Verification and validation of human-centric robot interfaces for remotely operating robots in extreme environments, including AR/VR/MxR immersive technologies and wearable devices.
    • Repeatability studies of previously published HRI research, specifically including metrics for evaluation that take into account RAS for extreme and hazardous environments.
    • Studies exploring industrial impact of HRI performance measures.
    • HRI data-set generation, formatting, and dissemination for HRI performances within extreme environments.
    • Quantitative and statistical models of human performance for the evaluation of HRI in extreme environments.
    • Case studies within industry 4.0 applications, with particular attention to use cases that have human-in-the-loop tele-operation/semi-autonomous operations for remote robotic manipulators within hazardous environments.
  • Submissions

    Full paper

    We solicit papers describing empirical research (complete or in progress) as well as position papers proposing a methodology or approach. Submissions will be accepted as full papers of up to 4 pages. The entirety of the paper material, excluding references, must fit into 4pages, i.e., text, figures, tables, acknowledgements, etc. There is no page limit for the bibliography or references section. Papers exceeding the (4+references) page limit at the time of submission will be returned without review. Accepted submissions will be invited to be part of oral presentations at the conference venue.


    Extended abstract

    We solicit extended abstracts of up to 2 pages for original ideas at conception phase, or work-in-progress and late breaking results research. We also solicit previously published work for presentation if it involves robots and is likely to be unfamiliar to the Ro-man community. The idea of extended abstract is to allow as many people as possible to share their work with the community. The entirety of the paper material, excluding references, must fit into 2 pages, i.e., text, figures, tables, acknowledgements, etc. There is no page limit for the bibliography or references section. Authors of accepted extended abstracts will be invited to present a poster showcasing their work at the conference venue. There is no requirement to anonymize the list of authors.

    All papers are to be submitted in PDF format. There is no requirement to anonymize the list of authors. Please use the following IEEE double column templates:

    Word Latex

    The papers and proposals for presentations will be peer reviewed by a program committee made up of researchers with expertise on the topic.


    Important dates

    Final Submission Deadline

    July 1, 2020

    Notification of Acceptance

    July 15, 2020

    Submission of Camera-Ready Papers

    July 31, 2020

    Workshop Date

    August 31, 2020


    Instruction for Authors

    Please send contributory paper to: ayan.ghosh@sheffield.ac.uk

    While sending the paper and video provide the keyword “Full Paper-CEHE” and “Extended Abstract-CEHE”.

    Please submit the Camera-ready Papers to: ayan.ghosh@sheffield.ac.uk with the keyword “Final Full Paper-CEHE” and “Final Extended Abstract-CEHE”.

  • Organisers

    Ayan Ghosh, The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, ayan.ghosh@sheffield.ac.uk​

    Emily Collins, The University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, e.c.collins@liverpool.ac.uk

    Pragna Das, RACE, UKAEA, United Kingdom, pragna.das@ukaea.uk

  • Invited Speakers

    To Follow
  • Schedule

    CEHE 2020 will be held on 31 August 2020, Royal Continental Hotel and Meeting Centre, Naples, Italy

    More Details to Follow

  • Contact

    For all enquiries please email: ayan.ghosh@sheffield.ac.uk