European Robotics Forum 2019

REELER participates in the forum for the third time, this time bringing tools

Workshop Description

While robotic systems have long been a part of industrial automation, over the last decade robots have begun to come out of their cages. There have been political and market-driven pushes for more flexible automation and the new robotic solutions emerging are more collaborative and more integrated into human workflows.

Similarly, software has moved from static declarative input-output systems to smarter more dynamic AI, where what was previously imagined in science fiction can now be found in real-world applications, such as the virtual assistants in most smart phones and in many homes.

These technological and cultural evolutions have created a need for roboticists to learn more about how to collaborate with end users, affected stakeholders, and policymakers in order to make more responsible and ethical designs.

In this workshop, we present new methods and tools for collaborative learning between those who fund, research, make, use, and regulate robots, to enhance knowledge of end users’ needs, best practices, and to share skills and practical methods for interdisciplinary collaboration.

These tools are built from the data collected in interviews with more than 130 roboticists and affected stakeholders during REELER’s ethnographic fieldwork. Many ethical and educational issues have surfaced during this fieldwork, but also during the development and testing of these collaborative learning tools (of which only some have already been debated in the ERF community).

The outcome of this workshop will be an introduction to an array tools that may open for new ways of collaborative learning with users and policymakers. Therefore, we present:

1) Social drama, a method centering on perspective-taking, which has been tested in REELER in robotic seminars and at a major robotics company.

2) Mini-Public, a method tested in the REELER-project where human and societal concerns are elicited through deliberations on robotic technologies.

3) Buildbot, a card game which provides an innovative way for roboticists to experiment with design choices as they learn about the needs of various stakeholder.

4) A simulation wherein researchers can study how roboticists cope with technological & market uncertainty, complexity, bounded rationality, resource scarcity, etc.

5) General methods and considerations for the involvement of social scientists and their integration into technological development.


Each of the contributors will briefly present their experience using a tool for collaborative learning in real-life settings. There wil be breakout small-group discussions of the first two presentations, moderated by the workshop organizers. Following the presentation of two hands-on design games, there will be a small-group exporation of the tools. Finally, the coordinator will ask for feedback and will summarize the outcome of the workshop.


08:30 - 08:40 Introduction to the REELER project including mini-publics, by coordinator Cathrine Hasse (Aarhus University, Denmark)

08:45 - 08:55 Experiences with social drama: social scientists involved in technological development, by Nadine Bender (KUKA, Germany). [2019-03-22_ERF….pptx]

08:55 - 09:05 Introduction to design simulation, by Ben Vermeulen and Andreas Pyka (University of Hohenheim, Germany)

09:05 - 09:15 Introduction to Buildbot card game, by Maria Bulgheroni (Ab.Acus, Italy) [buildbot erf.pptx]

10-minute moderated play with Buildbot, small-group discussions of social drama and mini-publics

09:15 - 09:30 Panel comments from our invited gustes

09:30 - 09:50 General discussion

09:50 - 10:00 Summary and final comments from invited guests

(with an opportunity to sign up to play the games with the researchers in the lunchbreak or poster session)

We have some invited guests:

Frédéric Colledani, CEA

Grigoris Chatzikostas, Biosense Institute

Erik Pekkeriet, Wageningen UR

Maren Boedding, Universiteit Twente

Francesco Ferro, PAL


Invited Contributors

Nadine Bender, Corporate Research, KUKA

Ben Vermeulen, University of Hohenheim

Frédéric Colledani, CEA

Grigoris Chatzikostas, Biosense Institute

Erik Pekkeriet, Wageningen UR

Maren Boedding, Universiteit Twente