Call for papers

Social Robots in the Wild
HRI-2018 Workshop
Date: March 5, 2018
Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Important Dates

  • Intent to Submit (optional): January 12, 2018
  • Paper Submission Deadline: January 26, 2018 (Anywhere on Earth)
  • Acceptance Notifications: February 9, 2018
  • Camera-ready Deadline: February 23, 2018
  • Workshop: March 5, 2018


The objective of this workshop is to bring to light issues surrounding the practical challenges of deploying social robots “in the wild”.

Affordable, mass-produced, autonomous robots are now being deployed and interacting with the general public in homes, stores, hotels, and other facilities around the world. Transitioning these social robots and the theories they represent from academic research to commercial product is fraught with practical challenges that must be overcome, and rich in new discoveries and research directions.

With organizers who straddle the commercial/academic divide, this workshop will focus on the state of social robots in the wild today by bringing together leaders in both academic and commercial social robotics to foster conversation and collaboration. These communities have information to share with each other to help them improve the research being conducted and the products being offered. Panels and presentations will discuss lessons learned as well as highlight what can be expected in the near term. A hands-on interactive session will showcase cutting-edge technology from the academic research community, as well as the state-of-the-industry in mass-consumable social robots today.

Topics of Interest

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Best practices and lessons learned from deploying social robots in the wild
  • Design principles for commercial social robots
  • Highly accurate and robust perception of humans and environment for social robots
  • Datasets applicable to HRI in the wild
  • Achieving long-term interaction with social robots
  • Personalization and memory for social robots
  • Software architectures to support long-term interaction and scalability
  • Acceptance of social robots in the home and in public spaces
  • Training of casual users for use of social robots
  • Scalability issues in social robotics deployment
  • Developer APIs, platforms and communities for social robotics
  • Hardware for robust, affordable social robot deployment and maintenance
  • Needed areas of research to support adoption of commercial social robotics

Intent to Submit

Authors are requested (but not required) to send the following tentative (i.e., non-binding) information in a plain text e-mail to by January 5, 2018:

  1. a title,
  2. an author list (with affiliations), and
  3. a short abstract (approximately 100-150 words).

The “intent to submit” is OPTIONAL, but is strongly encouraged, as it will help the workshop organizers plan for the number and types of submissions. Authors who DO NOT provide an “intent to submit” are still invited to submit a paper to the workshop, and will not be reviewed any differently than authors who do. Authors who DO provide an “intent to submit” are not bound to any information provided (i.e., any of the information may change in the actual submission) — it is simply used for loose planning purposes, and the organizers thank you for your assistance in the planning process.

Submission Guidelines

We invite short papers of 2-4 pages (plus additional pages for references and appendices), including technical reports, case studies, and state-of-the-art research highlighting its applicability and readiness level to social robots in the field today. All accepted papers will be published online on the workshop website.

All papers must be written in English and submitted electronically as a US letter-sized (8.5” x 11”) PDF format. The workshop review process is single blind; submissions should NOT be anonymized. Supplementary materials (such as videos) can be uploaded, or external links to videos and supplementary material are also allowed in your paper.

Planned Activities

  • Panels: Invited panelists will speak to issues facing social robots in the wild today, including lessons learned and needed developments. Moderated discussions will encourage collaborative discussion between academic and commercial participants.
  • Presentations: Oral presentations of accepted submissions. Presenters are strongly encouraged to demonstrate their work in the interactive session to show effectiveness “in the wild”.
  • Interactive Session: Participants selected for poster presentations be given poster space to showcase their work. Demonstrations of robots and/or software are highly encouraged, with a hands-on component to show effectiveness “in the wild”.
  • Networking: A large part of this effort is to bring together a community of commercial robotics professionals and researchers, to strengthen old connections, and build new ones. Ample time will be provided for networking and informal discussions.

Invited Speakers

The workshop will feature exciting speakers and panelists from both academia and industry, including those who have bridged the gap between both. Stay tuned for announcements on invited speakers!

More Info

For more information, please visit or contact the Workshop Submission Chairs, Ross Mead and Angelica Lim, at

For general information, email