Challenges of Human-Robot Interaction in Extreme and Hazardous Environments (CEHE 2019)

A workshop in conjunction with IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (IEEE RO-MAN, 2019)

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    The development and deployment of robotic technology in extreme and hazardous environments, such as nuclear inspection and decommissioning, offshore energy and maintenance, space exploration and deep mining, 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.

    Currently a common challenge across many tested and deployed RAS technologies for harsh environments like those described above is associated with intelligence and autonomy. In many cases, the operator must remotely operate robots from a far using limited visual feedback due to the hazardous nature of the environment for human entry. For such applications in harsh environments, interactions with robots are difficult to model due to reasons such as dynamics, uncertainty, complexity and unpredictability. Therefore the workshop primarily seeks to increase communication and knowledge sharing in regards to these challenges.

    The goal of the workshop is to enable a cross fertilisation of ideas and solutions for issues encountered when attempting to generate complex models of interaction between robots and humans, that can be used in extreme environments. Similarly through this workshop, we aim to better understand the limitations and benefits of different interaction scenarios, when robotic are subjected to extreme and harsh environments.

  • Objective and target audience

    The main objective of this workshop is to bring together researchers working on robotics for extreme environments and researchers in Human-Robot Interaction, in order to allow both groups to share information on approaches to their common problems of how to produce autonomous interactive agents for extreme environments. In such areas, robots are required to reduce the risks associated with operations staff, typically by removing the requirement for people to enter the hazardous environments and to increase productivity in high consequence and cluttered facilities. Hence, the primary topic will be novel interaction with remotely located robotic agents that could be deployed in environments such as nuclear inspection and decommissioning, offshore energy and maintenance, space exploration, deep mining etc.

    This workshop is directed primarily at researchers 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. We feel this could foster the potential for future collaborations.

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

  • Topics

    • Trust in Human – Robot Interaction
    • Human factors for using robotic devices in extreme environments
    • Language and non-verbal communication with Robotic solution
    • Cognitive architecture for variable autonomy
    • Visualisation tools and AI
    • Deep learning for HRI
    • Human-robot interfaces for remotely operating robots in extreme environments, including AR/VR/MxR immersive technologies
    • Safe switching between levels of autonomy for human-in-the-loop tele-operation
  • 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 6 pages. The entirety of the paper material, excluding references, must fit into 6 pages, i.e., text, figures, tables, acknowledgements, etc. There is no page limit for the bibliography or references section. Papers exceeding the (6+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: September 10, 2019

    Notification of Acceptance: September 20, 2019

    Submission of Camera-Ready Papers: October 1, 2019

    Workshop Date: October 12, 2019

    Instruction for Authors

    Please send contributory paper and video to:
    While sending the paper and video provide the keyword “Full Paper-CEHE” and “Extended Abstract-CEHE”.

    Please submit the Camera-ready Papers to: with the keyword “Final Full Paper-CEHE” and “Final Extended Abstract-CEHE”.

  • Organisers

    Ayan Ghosh, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom,

    Pragna Das, RACE, UKAEA, United Kingdom,

    Emily Collins, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom,

    Robert Skilton, RACE, UKAEA, United Kingdom,

  • Keynotes

    (To follow)
  • Final Schedule

    Schedule for the workshop
    Monday, 14th October (13.00 – 16.00)

    14.00 – 14.10 Introduction
    14.15 – 15.00 Keynote (Prof Jacques Penders)
    15.00 – 15.20 Speaker 1 (Dr. Yannis Papaefstathiou)r
    15.20 – 15.40 Speaker 2 (Dr. Pragna Das)
    15.40 – 15.50 Break
    15.50 – 16.10 Speaker 3 (Dr. Radhika Nath)
    16.10 – 16.30 Speaker 4 (Dr. Emily Collins)
    16.30 – 16.50 Speaker 5 (Dr. Ayan Ghosh)
    16.50 – 17.00 Discussion and closure
  • Contact

    For all enquiries please email: