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Archive for the ‘Conferences/Symposia’ Category

robot
In conjunction with the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, a robotics exhibition is being held, called the Mobile Manipulation Challenge, from July 13-16 in 2009 in Pasadena, CA.

They need contributions, and are looking for demonstrations of physically embodied robots performing mobile manipulation tasks. Areas of interest include: Point-and-fetching, assembling structures, and searching for hidden objects.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent out March 20th of 2009. Go here for more information.

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Human-Robot Interaction

Human-Robot Interaction


A fascinating symposium will be held April 8-9 in 2009 about human-robot interaction (HRI) in Edinburgh, Scotland:

Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) is a growing research field with many application areas that could have a big impact not only economically, but also on the way we live and the kind of relationships we may develop with machines. Due to its interdisciplinary nature different views and approaches towards HRI need to be nurtured. This symposium will provide a platform to discuss collaboratively recent findings and challenges in HRI. Different categories of submissions are encouraged that reflect the different types of research studies that are being carried out. The symposium will encourage a diversity of views on HRI and different approaches taken. In the highly interdisciplinary research field of HRI, a peaceful dialogue among such approaches is expected to contribute to the synthesis of a body of knowledge that may help HRI sustain its creative inertia that has drawn to HRI during the past 10 years many researchers from HCI, robotics, psychology, the social sciences, and other fields.

The symposium will highlight a variety of topics, some of which include sensors and interfaces for HRI, human-aware robot perception, dialogue and multi-modal human-robot interaction, robot architectures for socially intelligent robots, HRI field studies in naturalistic environments, robots that learn socially and adapt to people and embodied interfaces for smart homes.

There will also be a companion symposium called, Killer robots or friendly fridges: the social understanding of Artificial Intelligence, which will address ethical issues in HRI.

Abstracts and submissions will be taken for the conference until January 9th, 2009.

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EmbodimentWithout question, hospital environments need to be kept as biologically sterile as possible to prevent the spread of disease and infection among patients and medical practitioners. But does that mean hospitals need to be kept culturally sterile too?

That’s a question being asked by folks in Performing Medicine, a movement and organization dedicated to treating patients and doctors as embodied agents through the use of art, dance, theater and photography.

As someone who is having to deal with hospital culture more than I’d like to lately, I’ve firsthand experience of the cold halls in hospitals; the blank white or lightish blue painted walls. A singular design of pale, square tiles line the floors of every hospital room, organized systematically like a game of Tetris where every falling piece is the same. For a place meant to treat sickness, hospital life and culture sure seems lifeless. Why?

The fact of the matter is that Western medicine is still operating from a disembodied perspective which abstracts the disease and the treatment in such a way that the patients and doctors aren’t viewed as embodied agents. By shifting the paradigm and taking into consideration the entailments of embodiment, better medical results can be achieved.

Performing Medicine lists a few of the advantages of an embodied approach:

• Creativity and agility of body and mind
• An awareness of the affect ones own behavior has on others
• The ability to construct difficult questions and analyse information that has no simple solution
• A questioning of one’s own cultural and ethical assumptions

Furthermore, by focusing specifically on the way patients and doctors move, speak, see and interpret, an embodied medical practice can heal and treat more efficiently and ergonomically.

In a series of conversations, symposia, art injections and courses, in collaboration with Tate Modern, Performing Medicine is sharing its philosophy with the public. Check them out!

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eschercube1In years past, the ECAP has been a welcome and informative forum for embodied computation, AI and embodied cognitive science papers. This year’s conference will he held near Barcelona, Spain, from July 2nd to July 4th in 2009.

Abstracts of around 400 words will be accepted until February 23rd, and the best presented papers will be published in a book. Go here for more information!

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