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The RO-MAN 2014 Workshop "Towards a Framework for Joint Action" (FJA2014) is a full-day workshop held in conjunction with the 23rd IEEE International Symposium on Robot And Human Interactive Communication  (IEEE RO-MAN 2014), in Edinburgh on August 25 2014. This workshop aims to bring together researchers from several disciplines to discuss the development of frameworks for thinking about and designing human-robot joint action.

For more than a decade, the field of human-robot interaction has generated many valuable contributions of interest to the robotics community at large. The field is vast, going all the way from perception (e.g., tactile or visual) to action (e.g., manipulation, navigation) and decision (e.g., interaction, human-aware planning). However, when it comes to the development of future robot assistants or robotic team-mates in mixed human-robot teams, there is a need for a deeper understanding of human-robot joint action that could provide a framework for the different contributions and studies.

It is interesting to observe, from a roboticist point of view, that research on human joint action is a topic of intense research in cognitive psychology and philosophy. In this workshop, we would like to analyse the fundamental assumptions as well as detailed empirical findings from these disciplines and connect them with various ongoing research activities in robotics, from the design of control architectures to human-robot interaction.
More specifically, our goal is to bring various aspects of existing work together and examine how they can help us define the kind of integrative framework needed for the design of an autonomous robot that can engage in long-term interaction with a human partner. This framework should be able to serve two complementary purposes. On the one hand, it should help us define with precision what a robot needs to understand about the human it interacts with for the interaction to be successful and thus what capacities the robot should be equipped with to ensure it can build this understanding. On the other hand, the robot also needs to be understood by its human partner and this framework should help us clarify how this understanding operates and what is needed to enable the robot to behave appropriately and in a way that manifests what it is doing to the human partner.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers in robotics, psychologists and philosophers. This will create a unique opportunity for scientific exchange between these disciplines. In particular, psychologists and philosophers will be given the opportunity to present recent developments in joint action research, while roboticists will be able to discuss the challenges they face with regard to human-robot interaction and more precisely human-robot joint activity. We imagine and hope that the workshop will be a first meeting in a series of workshops in the coming years that will create a context in which interested researchers can come together and discuss the development of an integrative framework for research on human-robot joint action.

The workshop will be divided in two parts. In the morning, speakers will provide an overview of recent work on joint action from philosophical and psychological perspectives, followed by an overview of current challenges in robotics regarding human-robot and robot-robot joint action.
In the afternoon, participants will be invited to present their own work and ideas regarding key issues in joint action research in the different fields. This session will be followed by a panel discussion with the goal of identifying key elements for establishing robust joint action performance in robotics and ideally taking steps towards the general framework we are seeking.



Rachid Alami - CNRS senior researcher at Laboratoire d’Analyse et d’Architecture des Systèmes LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse, France

Elisabeth Pacherie – CNRS senior researcher in Philosophy at Institut Jean Nicod (UMR 8129, ENS, EHESS, CNRS), affiliated with the Institue for the Study of Cognition at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris

Julie Shah – Assistant Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, lead the Interactive Robotics Group in CSAIL

Cordula Vesper – Social Mind and Body group (SOMBY), Department of Cognitive Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary




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