Ono Workshops (span all sessions)

Building the Ono robot (Tuesday and Wednesday)
Jelle Saldien and Cesar Vandevelde (University of Ghent)

This is a workshop (2 half-day sessions) in which you will receive insights in the design and construction process of social robots and DIY robotics in general. During the workshop you will build your own social robot following the instructions given by the tutors. While building the robot, insights will be gained how to adapt the design to personal needs.

Prerequisites and preparation
This workshop consists of 2 sessions; it is not possible to only attend only one session. It is highly recommended to also attend the final workshop, in which you will learn to program your robot.  This workshop does not require prior knowledge, however basic technical skills can be useful.  A laptop is needed to access online manuals and connect with the robot to do the setup and test run.

Programming the Ono robot (Fridayay)
Jelle Saldien and Cesar Vandevelde (University of Ghent)

In this workshop you will learn about programming interactions with social robots and DIY robotics in general. During the workshop you will learn to control your own social robot following the instructions given by the tutors. After the basic setups and test scenarios, you are challenged to program your own interactions with the robot.

Preparation and prerequisites
It is highly recommended to take attend sessions 1 and 2 to build your own Ono robot that can be programmed in this session. This workshop does not require prior knowledge, however some basic programming skills can be useful. A laptop is needed to connect with the robot to do the setup and programming.
It is recommended that you think about specific interactions and scenarios you would like to see that can be useful for your own HRI research.


Nao programming I: Get familiar with Nao
Pablo Gomez Esteban (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Long Cao (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Within this workshop you will learn the first steps to program a Nao robot using Aldebaran’s specific framework Choregraphe. The workshop will be oriented to those participants which have no prior programming experience. Choregraphe is graphical programming tool which allows you to easily code some behaviors within some minutes. It is also a good tool to get familiar with basic programming concepts. This workshop may be complemented with the following day workshop: Nao programming II: Get social with Nao.

Preparation and prerequisites

There is no prerequisites to join this workshop but there is some  work you need to do before attending it. Before attending the workshop, install the following software on your computer:

Choregraphe is available from Aldebaran. Make sure to download the right version, other version may not work with the Nao robots available during the workshop. In order to access software from Aldebaran, you need to create an Aldebaran account, which is free. We recommend that each participant of the workshop have access to an account, since this is also necessary for accessing the documentation and other resources useful when programming Nao.

Developing an attention system for a social robot
Séverin Lemaignan (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne/Plymouth University

Assessing in real-time the focus of attention of a human interacting with a robot is essential to understand implicit references in a dialogue (“robot, take that!”), to measure engagement (is the human “with me”?) or to detect outright problems (why is this human staring at me since 20 minutes?)
With a regular camera, a bit of math and a good face detector, we can actually estimate pretty accurately and in real-time the 3D head pose of surrounding humans. Combined with some frames’ magic, this lets us assess what the human is looking at.
The workshop is going to be dense, prepare the Red Bull!

Please make sure that the following prerequisites are met *beforehand*.

  • The workshop will use C++ and Python. You need to have a working knowledge of both.
  • I will assume a working installation of ROS (Indigo or Jade) and some basic knowledge of it (including topics, RViz and tf). Typically, you should be comfortable with the material covered in the “Introduction to tf” tutorial (,
  • Please download dlib ( and make sure that the face detection example compiles and works (-> dlib/example/face_landmark_detection_ex.cpp),
  • Make sure OpenCV 2.4 is installed and working (this should have come with ROS anyway). If you have never used OpenCV before, I recommend you to have a look to some of its tutorials:
  • Optionally, calibrate your webcam beforehand with the OpenCV calibration tool. This is not mandatory, but will allow a better accuracy.


Culturally aware robot design
Selma Šabanović (Indiana University)

This hands-on design activity is aimed at exploring how to incorporate cultural awareness into social robot design, as an example of a participatory design activity that can be performed with potential users of social robots. Participants will work in small groups to develop a robot design concept for a specific everyday space (e.g. home, school, office). They will first explore the cultural values of the space through their own experiences in it and knowledge of other potential users — what are common daily practices in the space, who are the inhabitants and what kinds of roles do they have, what are their goals, values, and needs, etc.? Participants will then discuss how social robotics might be incorporated in the space in culturally appropriate ways – what kind of tasks can they perform, what will their role and relationship to users be, what should they look like and how should they behave? This process will include the production of a paper/cardboard based robotic prototype and design scenarios in which the robots will be used. In the following section of the workshop, the small groups will present their robot concepts and use scenarios to the larger group and explain the cultural logic and intended social benefits of the design. As a larger group, we will then discuss the cultural possibilities and limitations of the designs, the potential and consequences of using it in other cultural contexts, and how the designs might be amended for us in multiple cultural contexts. This activity will allow us to look at both cultural particularities and universal characteristics of robot designs and use contexts. It also will show how we can run participatory design activities with users as a way of exploring the cultural aspects of robot design.

Nao programming II: Get social with Nao!
Erik Billing (University of Skövde), Paul Baxter (Plymouth University)

Get social with Nao

In this workshop you will get into some real robot interaction. As a participant of the workshop, you will develop an interaction scenario where both humans and the Nao take part, and decide how the robot should act in a particular situation.

More information and workshop resources >>


Designing HRI expriments
Cristina Costescu, Andreea Peca (Babes-Bolyai University) and Ramona Simut (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Robopsychology is a field that investigates a. how social robots could be used in psychological interventions (e.g., clinical psychology, evidence-based therapy) and b. how psychological science can influence both the construction of robots and human-robot interactions (Libin & Libin, 2004; David, Matu & David, 2014). The purpose of this workshop is to illustrate how robots can be used in psychotherapy, as tools for developing and testing applications for a specific neurodevelopmental disorder: autism spectrum disorder (ASD). During the workshop we will present several robotic applications developed for children with ASD and how this applications were tested for improving different abilities, such as: joint attention, imitation, play skills, etc. Important issues from robot-child interactions will be discussed, such as the rationale of using robots for children with ASD; roles of the robot in a psychotherapy session and limitations of existing approaches and future directions for studies. There will be also a hands-on part of the workshop where we will work together on coding some behaviors of children with ASD from a session of child – robot interaction. Participants will be provided a detailed description of the behaviors that they have to observe (e.g. imitation performance, eye contact, etc.), and then they will receive mini-training on how to use ELAN 4.9.1 The Language Archive; the program that they will have use for coding. After working in groups and coding the behaviors observed in the robot-child session we will discuss together the results. In the last part of the workshop, a model of ASD based on early impairments in processing biological motion will be presented. This body of research sheds light on the importance of biological motion in intentionality perception and suggests that developing biological motion in robots should be an important future research direction in social robotics.

Before attending the workshop, participants have to install ELAN 4.9.1 The Language Archive. They could install it from the following link:

Puppetry workshop: puppetry and human-robot interaction
Staci and Jonathan Hodge (Furrifingers, UK)
Puppeteers and roboticists have a lot in common: both try to bring inanimate matter to life and while doing so, have to work around the constraints of the puppets or robots. If successful, an audience believes the puppets or robots to be lifelike and believable. Puppeteers have been working on their craft for thousands of years, and in this workshop you will learn more about how puppeteers build puppets and how they bring them to life.