Workshops

Workshops will take place on Wednesday June 17th. We have accepted a variety of half-day and full-day workshops:

1. Designing Digital Touch: Social and Sensory Aspects and Challenges

Whole day

Organisers:
Carey Jewitt (University College London) and Jürgen Steimle (Saarland University)

The immense richness of human touch, is still very partially addressed by today’s haptic technologies and interfaces. The workshop aims to bring together haptic researchers, social researchers, interaction designers and makers to explore and discuss in depth the challenges of designing the social and sensorial aspects of touch.  (No prior experience or programming expertise is required, although experience of Arduino and basic electronics would be of help.)

It will interrogate and map these challenges, possible techniques and methods, to inform a draft ‘Manifesto’ for the social and sensory design of digitally mediated touch experiences to inform and support accessible and inclusive design and development that speak to the need of all potential users and future haptic technologies/interfaces.  It will be a valuable source of ideas for future research and development.

Participants will interact with two new methodologies: ‘Multi-Touch Kit’an open source touch sensing toolkit, and the ‘Designing Digital Touch Toolkit’, to explore the challenges of designing digital touch (with attention to bodies, environment, agency, norms, materiality and temporality). One key goal is to move beyond common limitations and restricting conceptions at the level of interaction modalities, locations and users, and explore opportunities for touch beyond vibration, hand/forearm, a ‘standard’ ‘able’ body and unintentional gendering of technology.

2. Telepresence and embodiment hackathon

Whole day

Organisers:
Douwe Dresscher, Sara Falcone, Jan van Erp, Camille Sallaberry (University of Twente),
Ivo Stuldreher, Nanja Smets, Kees van Teeffelen (TNO).        

i-Botics intends to create synergy in multimodal telepresence, transporting the operator’s social and functional self to a robotic avatar anywhere on Earth through a compelling combination of state-of-the-art social, visual, haptic, audio and olfactory technologies. This hackathon is about (1) avatar ownership, meaning that the operator should be able to crawl into the skin of the avatar. By orchestrating coherence between movements and posture of the operator and the avatar, synchronizing vision, touch and proprioception, and by employing body ownership illusions we try to provide the operator with an avatar ownership experience. And (2) intuitive operator control over the avatar through head-slaved sensor control, arm and hand tracking to control manipulators, body tracking for avatar posture, body or legs/feet tracking to control avatar motion, VR to deal with transmission delays and physiological sensors to control for instance variable stiffness of the arms.

3. Active haptic humans and robots I: Human active touch

Morning

Organisers:
Lucia Seminara,  Fulvio Mastrogiovanni (University of Genoa),  
Matteo Bianchi, Paolo Salaris (University of Pisa),
Simon Watt , Ken Valyear (Bangor University)

Touch is a highly interactive sense: tactile communication is mediated by physical contact and motor action underpinning interaction. To this aim, humans need both to interpret the information they sense through touch and to select necessary movements to maximize the information uptake over given tactile features, as well described in the pioneering work on Exploratory Procedures by Lederman and Klatzky.

There is a compelling case for using principles of human haptic perception – active touch – to inspire the development of robotic systems. In autonomous robotic haptic exploration, this notion of “active” relates to acquiring and interpreting tactile and proprioceptive sensory signals through purposive and information-seeking movements to manage constrained tasks. At a higher level, active behavior refers to general purpose entities, deciding high level goals and choosing among a multitude of possible tasks, rapidly adapting to varying environmental conditions.

In this workshop, we will foster debate around different, possibly contrasting, approaches to the development of next-generation haptic feedback interfaces, exoskeletons, humanoid/assistive robots, inspired by the current state of the art in active haptic perception in humans and robots. Decision-making under uncertainty can be the overall framework that holds these different perspectives together, implying that planning movements or recovering properties of the world is rendered probabilistic in nature.

The workshop is organized in two sessions: this first session is related to the Neuroscience of human active haptic perception, with some hints at limb trauma-related brain reorganisation.

4. Active haptic humans and robots II: Active touch in robotics and prosthetics

Afternoon

Organisers:
Lucia Seminara,  Fulvio Mastrogiovanni (University of Genoa),  
Matteo Bianchi, Paolo Salaris (University of Pisa),
Simon Watt , Ken Valyear (Bangor University)

Touch is a highly interactive sense: tactile communication is mediated by physical contact and motor action underpinning interaction. To this aim, humans need both to interpret the information they sense through touch and to select necessary movements to maximize the information uptake over given tactile features, as well described in the pioneering work on Exploratory Procedures by Lederman and Klatzky.

There is a compelling case for using principles of human haptic perception – active touch – to inspire the development of robotic systems. In autonomous robotic haptic exploration, this notion of “active” relates to acquiring and interpreting tactile and proprioceptive sensory signals through purposive and information-seeking movements to manage constrained tasks. At a higher level, active behavior refers to general purpose entities, deciding high level goals and choosing among a multitude of possible tasks, rapidly adapting to varying environmental conditions.

In this workshop, we will foster debate around different, possibly contrasting, approaches to the development of next-generation haptic feedback interfaces, exoskeletons, humanoid/assistive robots, inspired by the current state of the art in active haptic perception in humans and robots. Decision-making under uncertainty can be the overall framework that holds these different perspectives together, implying that planning movements or recovering properties of the world is rendered probabilistic in nature.

The workshop is organized in two sessions: this second session to the translation of modelling human behavior into the design of bio-aware haptic-related robots, artificial limbs and devices.

The organisers will bring equipment and challenges, but we explicitly invite participants to bring their own hardware and questions. The hackathon will start with an introduction to and selection of the topics and the hardware, followed by the forming groups that will work on the topic of their choice. Demonstration of achievements is scheduled for the end of the hackathon. Participants can join individually but also as an open team (i.e. other participants are welcome to join the team). If you intend to bring your own hardware, please contact the organisers as soon as possible.

5. Assistive technology for persons with deafblindness

Afternoon

Organisers:
Astrid Kappers, Myrthe Plaisier (Eindhoven University of Technology)

This workshop will address how assistive technology can facilitate day-to-day life of persons with deafblindness. Deafblindness means that the visual and auditory systems are deteriorated to such a degree that one cannot substitute for the other. The main topics covered will be communication and navigation. The aim of this workshop is to bring together scientists, professionals from expertise centers and persons with deafblindness. The workshop will be a combination of short talks and demos. We will provide the opportunity for scientists and developers to demonstrate their applications to persons with deafblindness, and persons with deafblindness will have the opportunity to try out state-of-the-art technological developments. The idea for this workshop was inspired by the European H2020 project SUITCEYES in which a garment with haptic feedback is being developed to assist persons with deafblindness. We invite technical developers to contact us if they have a suitable demo and want to show this during this workshop.