CosmoCaixa, Isaac Newton, 26, Barcelona

Registration for these workshops is free for attendants of New Friends 2016


10.00 – 18.30, Sala Tau,

Socially Assistive Robotics (SAR) Design: discovering new techniques in therapy and education to improve social skills of children


Beste Ozcan, Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, National Research Council of Italy, Mehmet Sinan Bermek, University of Sapienza in Rome, Maria Alejandra Garcia-Corretjer, School of Engineering, La Salle Campus.


Robotics & AI (Artificial Intelligence) is one of the most exciting areas of technology for the future enhancement of human existence. In recent years, innovators globally have developed an increasing range of applications for robotics and AI, and one of the most intriguing areas is the design ; development of SAR (Socially Assistive Robotics).

Research and testing in this field have already proved that these types of robots can augment certain types of educational ; therapeutic practices with children. To date, we know they can help with relieving tension, enhancing concentration and increasing psychological ; emotional engagement. However, what are the most effective types of social robots for different contexts and how we do design ; build those in the most human-centered; effective ways possible?

This workshop will be the first in a series that will aim to answer those questions and begin the process of developing a framework for SAR development in the future, ensuring that children are getting the best possible interactive SAR experiences in the fields of education and therapy.

Workshop program overview:

Welcoming participants and open introduction about the workshop

11.00 Coffee break

11.30Marialejandra Garcia Corretjer, researcher at La Salle, Barcelona

Presentation about ​ realizing empathy: a tool for designing socially assistive robots (SAR): This talk is focused on the theoretical understanding of Empathy and its Realization between people and interactive, intelligent objects. Though realizing empathy seems intuitive, it is quite a complex cyclical conversational process needing a specific set of elements and variables to be in place for that relationship to be sustained and create meaning for each other as a result. We will also have an overlook at how this process can become tangible in the development of designing social robots.

12.00​ Open discussion

12.30 ​- Graham Rittener, Founding Partner of Zinc, Barcelona

Presentation about designing socially assistive robots (SAR) based on deep insights: Zinc was hired by a startup to design a new social robot specifically for children that spend long periods in hospitals – often in isolation – due to severe illnesses. This presentation will talk about how we got a deep understanding through our research of the emotional and practical requirements of the children in their environments, and how we were able to define the complete specifications of the robot based on that research.

13.00​ Open discussion

13.30 Pause

14.30 ​- Cecilio Angulo, Associate Professor UPC, Barcelona.

Presentation about the use of social robots in children hospitals as well as the CASPER project about design thinking for creating the new robot.

15.00 Open discussion to have the outcome.

16.30 Coffee break

17.00 MIND MAP of the workshop


14.30 – 18.30 Parallel Workshops

14.30 – 18.30, Sala Gamma,

Ethical, Legal and Social Issues Regarding Social Robots in Therapy and Education (Twinned Workshop)

ELS of Social Robots in Therapy and Education at New Friends 2016, Barcelona, Spain, November 2, 2016

ELS of Social Robots in Therapy and Education at JSAI-isAI , Yokohama, Japan, November 14, 2016.

Jo Bac, University of Aberdeen, Eduard Fosch Villaronga, School of Law bUniversity of Bologna, Christoph Lutzc, CIRSFID BI Norwegian Business School, Aurelia Tamò, University of Zurich



Our aim is to conduct parallel research between Europe and Japan on the ethical, legal and social (ELS) issues concerning the adoption of social robots in the contexts of therapy and education.

The twinned workshop has multiple objectives:

  • Collect all the ELS concerns, problems and difficulties concerning this type of technology – focusing on ethics, privacy and liability
  • Enable discussions on the ELS aspects on an interdisciplinary and multicultural scale
  • Provide a comprehensive roadmap for solving these issues

This twinned workshop brings together researchers from different disciplines, backgrounds and cultures to provide interdisciplinary insights into the current legal and ethical discussions about the impact of robots on society. This will serve to gather different scenarios on the topic. It will deepen our understanding of the real concerns and problems that researchers, teachers, therapists, and legal scholars are currently facing. It will also ensure an appropriate balance between innovation and user rights.



Social robots are increasingly utilized in therapy and education. The therapeutic robot seal Paro, for example, helps elderly patients by soothing their moods and giving them emotional support. While it has shown positive effects on patient wellbeing, Paro as well as other social robots in therapy and education raise a range of ELS concerns.

This twinned workshop aims at addressing such concerns in a constructive and proactive manner. It takes up important ELS challenges that come with the introduction of robots in therapy and education. Firstly, it deals with aspects of human dignity and the questions of whether and how social robots endanger individuals’ dignities for example by implying an overly simplistic model of human agency or by discriminating against certain population groups. Secondly, the workshop revolves around the topic of privacy. In this context, social robots, especially those in therapy and education where vulnerable population groups are involved, come with various privacy challenges: surveillance, access to private rooms, excessive data collection, and complex design architectures which conceal robots’ privacy-infringing behavior (black-boxing). Thirdly, social robots create tensions in society and in legal systems because questions such as who or what should be liable for their autonomous acts remain unanswered. In seeking solutions to the problems encountered, we will consider how to allocate liability to different entities such as manufacturers, users, and robots themselves.

The three overarching ELS issues of dignity, privacy and liability shall be discussed in an open workshop format, with the focus on solutions. Researchers from all disciplines, as well as practitioners, are encouraged to submit abstracts stating the ELS problems to be discussed.



The workshop will be run in two countries during the same month: in Barcelona (Spain) at the New Friends 2016 conference on Social Robots in Therapy and Education; and in Tokyo (Japan) at the International Symposia on Artificial Intelligence. Following the latest trend in Europe to cooperate with Japan in common projects – H2020 or in Minerva,  the twinned workshop will provide parallel interdisciplinary solutions that can enrich future international policies, international standards or guidelines



Workshop participants shall write a 1-2 page abstract about the main topics of the Workshop.

Within the scope of the conference (social robots in education and therapy), the main topics of the

workshop are:

– Topic #1: How robots will shape the future of healthcare and education?

– Topic #2: Ethics and dignity of the use of robots in therapy and in education.

– Topic #3: Privacy and data protection issues concerning patients and students.

– Topic #4: After harm occurrence: liability of robots in the context of therapy or education

Participants will be selected according to the level of interest, impact and novelty of their topics. Topics need to match the scope of the conference and the workshop itself even if suggestions are always welcomed. Accepted participants will be required to provide the organizers with a recorded ignite presentation, which will be directly uploaded to the website. Instructions for recording, uploading and formatting the presentation will be provided on the workshop website. The idea is to give all the participants (and also the attendees of the workshop) the possibility to know in advance what issues will be discussed. This is meant to avoid workshop time constraints; help participate remotely those who cannot attend the workshop physically; and expedite the discussion.

Participants will be kindly asked to think about: (1) other sides of the same problem (e.g. the acceptance of robots in society is also relevant from an engineering point of view, not only from philosophical/sociological viewpoint) and (2) (interdisciplinary) solutions to solve that problem.



Communication will be done through several means:

  1. a) Social Media: Twitter, Blog The iii, LinkedIn, Facebook
  2. b) Universities: BI Norwegian Business School, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Carneige Mellon University, ETH, University of Zurich, University of Aberdeen, LAST-JD Program, and others.
  3. c) Others: Robohub (similar to last year: and-educational-robotics/), Creation of a website, and diffusion among close colleagues, Eurobotics, LSN, College of Europe, and others. also the attendees of the workshop) the possibility to know in advance what issues will be discussed. This is

meant to avoid workshop time constraints; help participate remotely those who cannot attend the workshop physically; and expedite the discussion.

Contact details:,,,

Contact person, Eduard FoschVillaronga, CIRSFID, University of Bologna,Italy. Fellow Institute of Law and Technology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

Email: ;

Workshop URL:


14.30 – 18.30 Sala Àgora,

Social Robots in Education


Jordi Albo Canals, La Salle Ramon Llull University, Jacqueline Kory Westlund, MIT Media Lab, Wafa Johal, École Polytecnique Fédérale de Lausane amp & Rolex Learning Center, Elizabeth Broadbent, The University of Auckland


Education research also often involves field work and long terminteractions, which bring their own unique challenges. This workshop is designed to bring together researchers, practitioners, and students who have social robots for education as their main focus, covering disciplines in childrobot and child computer interaction, social robots, computer science, psychology, child development, education, and more. Our goal is to facilitate connections between researchers, sharing of ideas and methods, and discussion of the challenges of social robots in education. To this end, this halfday workshop will include a keynote presentation, poster presentations or lightning talks from participants, and a group discussion.


Topics for workshop contributions include (but are not limited to) the following:

● Robots as educational o instructional agents

● Personalization and adaptation algorithms for learning with robots

● Design of autonomous systems for social robots for education

● Design and methodologies for social robots for education

● Theories and methods for evaluating social robots in education

● Childprivacy and ethical issues in educational robot applications

● Affect, social bonding, and learning with social robots

● Longterm user engagement with educational robots

● Effects of embodiment on children's learning with technology

● Challenges and guidelines for education field studies

● Impact of robot technology on children's cognitive and social development

● Robot enhancing collaboration



Tentative schedule:

● Keynote presentation Pending

● Lightning talks by participants

● Group discussion session on issues in social robots for education


Plan to solicit participation

Our intended audience includes researchers, practitioners, and students who have social robots for education as their main focus, covering disciplines in childrobot and childcomputer interaction, social robots, computer science, psychology, child development, education, and more. We will publicize and solicit participation through our collaborators and mailinglists.

Contact details,,,,

Contact person: Jordi Albó Canals, Robotics Lab Coordinator, La Salle Ramon Llull University,

Workshop URL:



14.30- 18.30, Sala Pi,

Experiences with social robots in children


Alex Barco, La Salle – Ramon Llull University, Marcel Heerink,Windesheim Flevoland University for Applied Sciences


Social robots are emerging in our everyday life, and will in the near future become a part of our daily routines. And gradually, they emerge in therapy and education: practitioners are starting to use them for different purposes, like promoting social skills for children with ASD, helping children during their recovery process, distracting children in stress situations in a hospital environment, in amusement situations at home, etc.

This workshop is an opportunity to meet practitioners and researchers who are using social robots for different purposes with children and share their experiences.

A one or two page abstract is required describing the application of the social robot, the circumstances and goals, and the field in which the authors operate.


30’ Keynote speaker: Vicenç Casas

Introduction on the workshop: What it will be about and how it will be organized. (each) Introduction of each participant explaining which robot was using and the purpose of it.

Depends on the number of participants. Let’s say between 5 and 15 minutes.

60’ Group discussion. Division in different groups to discuss about different questions:

1. Why did you use a social robot?

2. What were you doing before using this kind of technology?

3. Why did you decide to move on using this technology?

4. How did it work?

5. Did you have any problem starting to use social robots?

6. Did you have problems with your supervisors in your center trying to apply this technology?

7. Did anybody encourage you to use social robots? How?

8. Is it difficult to start using this technology?

9. What is the most difficult thing trying to apply social robots in your center, house, hospital, school, etc.?

10. What do you miss the most from this kind of technologies?

11. What ere those attributes that you think are the most important from the social robot?

12. What are those attributes that your platform misses the most and you would like to add?

13. What would you want from the near future to have these technologies?

14. What is the best part of using social robots and the worst?

15. Is there any social robotic platform you would like to use that you could not because of lack of money or other things?

16. Why do you think is not very integrated this type of technology yet? Budget? Lack of knowledge?

17. Where do you think is the future of this?

18. Would you like to point something on the use oh social robots to be aware of?

19. What do you think is the impression on the use of robots between those colleagues who are not using them?

20. How do you measure the impact on the use of social robots? What kind of scales do

you use?

21. What do you measure in your studies using social robots?

30’ Discussion between groups and start collecting all the answers from people.

30’ Wrap up and conclusions


Plan to solicit participation

People we know and through Linkedin Groups, and social media.

We estimate 10-15 practitioners will attend to this workshop

Contact details:

Contact person: Alex Barco, La Salle – Ramon Llull Universityabarco@salleurl.eduWorkshop

 Workshop URL: (still working on it)