How to Make Best Use of a Human Supervisor for Semi-Autonomous Humanoid Operation

Workshop at 2014 IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots

Motivation and Objective

The use of humanoid robots to tackle a broad range of different disaster response and recovery tasks with human supervision subject to a restricted communication link has recently received much increased interest through the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC).

How best use can be made of the human supervisor in the loop to increase the overall system’s performance, capabilities and robustness by leveraging the strengths of humans and robots while circumventing their weaknesses is a highly relevant topic which has not yet been much addressed at recent robotics conferences.

Despite the current attention on disaster response, the potential applications range far beyond, e.g., to applications in space, industry, or society, where humanoid robots may be employed for a quite broad range of tasks with assistance of remote human supervisors.

The workshop is of interest to a broad audience of participants and aims at bringing together researchers from different scientific fields related to the workshop theme (like humanoid robotics, human robot interaction, 3D human computer interaction, teleoperation and telepresence) to discuss the current state of research, to exchange best practices and to identify open issues for research and development.


Oskar von Stryk (TU Darmstadt), Jerry Pratt (IHMC Florida), Holly Yanco (UMass Lowell)

Call for Contributions

We solicit submissions of extended abstracts (up to 2 pages) in IEEE double column conference submission layout (optionally accompanied by a video link) through EasyChair by October 13.

We especially encourage submissions on new approaches, recent breakthroughs and achievements, open topics, and controversial aspects in order to promote the emerging theme of the workshop.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: 

  • Applications of supervised semi-autonomous humanoids
  • Design of operator interfaces
  • Human-humanoid interaction
  • Humanoid avatar
  • Situational awareness
  • Sliding autonomy
  • Telepresence


All participants must register through the registration system of the conference (Oct 15th deadline for early and Nov 13th deadline for regular registration).


The workshop takes place on Tuesday, November 18th, from 9:00 to 13:00 at the conference hotel of IEEE-RAS Humanoids 2014.

08:50 - 09:00 Welcome and Introduction

Disaster Response and Recovery

09:00  Maurice Fallon (MIT, USA & Univ. Edinburgh, UK): Briding the Gap between Operator Intent and Robot Execution with Automated Whole-Body Planning and Perception

09:15  Joshua James (TRACLabs, USA): Shared Autonomy: An Operator’s Perspective

09:30  Steve McGill, Seung-Joon Yi, Qin He, Heejin Jeong, Dennis Hong, Daniel D. Lee (UPenn & UCLA, USA): Language Defined Behavior for Humanoid Control

09:45  Shin’ichiro Nakaoka, Mitsuharu Morisawa, Kenji Kaneko, Shuuji Kajita, Fumio Kanehiro, Eiichi Yoshida (AIST, Japan): Indirect-type Teleoperation Interface for Humanoid Robot Based on Choreonoid Framework

10:00  Alessandro Settimi, Corrado Pavan, Mirko Ferrati, Enrico Mingo Hoffman, Alessio Rocchi, Nikos G. Tsagarakis, Antonio Bicchi (Univ. Pisa & IIT, Italy): A Tele-Operation Tool for Humanoid Robots: On the Pilot Interface Design and Functionality

10:15  Stefan Kohlbrecher, Felipe Bacim, Oskar von Stryk, Doug A. Bowman, and David C. Conner (TU Darmstadt, Germany & Virginia Tech & TORC Robotics, USA): Towards Intuitive Interaction Among Human-Robot Team Members

10:30  Matthew Johnson, Daniel Reyes Duran (IHMC, USA): Coactive Design – Designing Support for Interdependence in Human-Robot Teamwork

10:45 - 11:15 Coffee Break


11:15  Holly Yanco, Adam Norton, Willard Ober, David Shane, Anna Skinner, Jack Vice (UMass Lowell & Boston Engineering Corp, Waltham, & AnthroTronix, Inc., USA): Analysis of Human-Robot Interaction at the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials


11:45  Max Schwarz, Jörg Stückler, Sven Behnke (Univ. Bonn, Germany): Mobile Teleoperation Interfaces for Domestic Service Robots

12:00  Kenji Hashimoto, Atsuo Takanishi (Waseda Univ., Japan): Operating Device for Biped Vehicle


12:15  Daniel Leidner, Peter Birkenkampf, Neal Y. Lii, Christoph Borst (DLR, Germany): Enhancing Supervised Autonomy for Extraterrestrial Applications by Sharing Knowledge between Humans and Robots

12:30 - 13:00 Final Discussion


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