Motivation

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide suffer from motor impairments caused by neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, stroke or multiple sclerosis. Spinal cord injuries often result in tetraplegia, the partial or total loss of use of all four limbs and torso, or in paraplegia when the arms are not affected. Sensory/motor disability or decline adversely affect the lifestyle of these individuals, who are often unable to perform simple routine activities and everyday tasks such as, brushing teeth, shopping, taking a bus, etc. without assistance. It is therefore of paramount importance to restore functionality and help motor-impaired patients to recover full autonomy: in fact, autonomy is often an essential prerequisite for self-confidence, well-being and inclusion in society.

Scope

To respond to this challenge, the goal of this full-day workshop is to bring forward the latest breakthroughs and cutting-edge research on assistive robotic technologies, to open discussions about technical challenges and future research directions for the community, and to identify new applications of emerging technologies. The workshop, held in conjunction with the IEEE RAS flagship conference ICRA'20 (May 31-June 4, 2020), will gather young researchers and specialists in robotics, engineering, neuroscience and rehabilitation medicine from both academia and industry, to informally share their insights and thoughts on this multidisciplinary research area.

Topics of interest

  • Assistive robots for people with disabilities
  • Personal mobility solutions
  • Control for human-robot physical interaction
  • Virtual and augmented reality for physical training and rehabilitation
  • Compliant robotics and cobotics
  • Prostheses and wearable robots 
  • Human-centered design of robotic systems
  • Accessibility
  • Shared control
  • Haptic interfaces
  • Brain-computer and neural interfaces
  • Smart wheelchairs and gyropods
  • Intelligent walking aids

Important dates

  • Notification of acceptance of workshop: December 20, 2019
  • Submission of extended abstracts: March 15, 2020 (site opens March 1, 2020)
  • Full-day workshop: May 31 or June 4, 2020

Intended audience

This workshop is intended for a multi-disciplinary audience. In fact, the design of (socially) acceptable assistive devices requires the joint work of researchers in robotics, ergonomics, mechanical engineering, kinesiology, rehabilitation medicine, ethics and a strong synergy with the public health sector. This workshop aims then to bring together researchers from different communities and to encourage debate on open problems at the intersection of their fields.  

The main target of the workshop is the assistive robotics community working on the definition of user-oriented robotic tasks for mobility assistance purposes. The collaborative robotics community as well as experts in (physical) human-robot interactions will be also concerned with the workshop.

Since perceptual awareness remains a major challenge in human-robot interaction, researchers from the perception and robot navigation communities are expected to bring their expertise in this field and animate and enrich the discussion. Finally, roboticists interested in the mechanical design of ergonomic haptic interfaces will be welcome during the round table.

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