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advancing GROup UNderstanding and robots' aDaptive behavior
28th August, Hybrid

Workshop Highlights

The 1st edition of the GROUND Workshop, held at the IEEE RO-MAN 2023 Conference, concluded with flying colors! We managed to gather more than 70 researchers - either in person and through Zoom - interested in group-robot interaction!

Given the success of the workshop, we plan to organize future editions in other interantional conferences. If you want to be notified, please apply to the Let’s Stay in Touch. We are also thinking about making a social network - aka. a GROUP - of researchers sharing the same interests.

Here are some feedback about group-robot interaction from the interactive sessions.

Workshop Outcomes


Workshop Theme & Topics of Interest

As social and cognitive robots become increasingly integrated into our daily lives and are introduced into multi-party contexts such as schools, care facilities, and workplaces, it is crucial to ensure that their behavior considers the complex social dynamics present in these scenarios. However, studying group dynamics in HRI entails inherent challenges from both a technical (e.g., tracking multiple users simultaneously) and a theoretical point of view (e.g., modeling multiple agents who dynamically influence each other). New challenges, therefore, await the HRI community, such as ensuring that social robots can adapt to the needs of individual group members while also considering the group as a whole, susceptible to subtle and hidden social norms and balances. Furthermore, it is crucial that robots do not exhibit biases or unethical behavior in these contexts, eventually leading to negative consequences such as social exclusion. One possible approach to overcome these challenges is through experimental designs based on gamification. This approach can favor an unbiased way of behaving in laboratory experiments, mitigating the Hawthorne effect (i.e., the variations in behavior due to the presence of an observer). Participants are invited to share innovative strategies for exploring group-robot interactions, with approaches focused on - but not limited to – gamification, providing a fresh and insightful viewpoint to (1) using social robots for understanding group dynamics; (2) designing social agents able to interact with groups. Additionally, the discussion will involve the ethical implications of researching group dynamics, including potential negative outcomes such as biases toward group members.

Topics of interests include but are not limited to:

  • Understanding group dynamics through the use of social robots.
  • Designing social robots able to interact with groups.
  • Gamification in multiparty human-robot interactions.
  • Promoting natural communication, mutual understanding and trust in human-robot mixed groups.
  • Exploring different robot’s roles (e.g., peer, teacher, helper or friend) in group interactions.
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations between roboticists, game designers, psychologists, and sociologists.
  • Novel experimental designs for conducting group-robot interaction research.
  • Ethical considerations in researching group dynamics and potential biases or negative consequences.
  • Adaptation and personalization to groups.
  • Learning strategies for autonomous behaviors of robots in groups.
  • Modelling, understanding and predicting group behaviors.

Statement of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

The workshop organizers are committed to creating an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment for all attendees. We recognize and value the diversity of our attendees and understand that people have different needs and preferences. To accommodate the different time zones of attendees, the workshop will be held in a hybrid format and will be recorded for later viewing. To ensure that all attendees have reliable access to the internet, we will provide technical support and troubleshooting assistance as needed. We encourage attendees from underrepresented groups to submit their work and participate in the workshop. We are committed to creating an equitable and diverse environment, and we are open to suggestions on how to improve the workshop in terms of inclusion and accessibility.

Supported by

Genova More Genova Logo wHisper

Spalsh art designed by Chahin Mohamed. "Scribbly Robot Frands". June, 2021.