Welcome to the IROS 2014 Workshop on Assistive Robotics for Individuals with Disabilities!

Date & Time: Sept. 14 Sunday 8:30am-5:00pm
Location: Salon 8, 3rd Floor, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL


Recent research shows that assistive robots (ARs) have huge potential in serving individuals with various physical and cognitive disabilities in their everyday lives, treatments, and therapies. However, a recent European Commission survey reveals the public’s negative attitudes toward using robots for providing care for people with disabilities. Although the applications of ARs are much more diverse than providing “care” for the vulnerable population, the acceptance of these robots to target population should be further investigated. ARs are application-oriented robots and their success largely depends on their utility while serving the target population. Since this utility is closely aligned with the types of disabilities an individual possesses, there are a number of crucial issues related to the robot’s physical design, functionalities, and human-robot interaction algorithms that should be addressed:

  • Are we placing close enough attention to the target users’ needs?
  • How are we addressing individual differences? 
  • Are there social cognition factors inherent to certain disabilities that affect perceiving ARs?
  • What have we observed and learned in terms of user acceptance while conducting past studies with ARs?

The focus of this workshop is in bringing together robotics researchers, cognitive scientists, clinicians, and entrepreneurs working with ARs for discussing the issues that arise as we move forward to making ARs more acceptable to the target population, irrespective of the type of ARs and the form of assistance they offer. The results of discussion in this workshop will help us to better identify the research directions essential for the acceptance and advancement of ARs.

List of Topics

Potential topics to be discussed at the workshop include, but are not limited to:

  • HRI issues in assisting people with disabilities
  • User acceptance of assistive robots
  • Social cognition towards assistive robots
  • Adaptation and learning in assistive robotics
  • User-centered design (UCD) models and approaches in assistive robotics
  • Methods to identifying end-users’ special needs and ways of data sharing among researchers targeting similar populations.


Hae Won Park 
Postdoctoral Fellow
Human-Automation Systems Lab, Georgia Institute of Technology
e-mail: haewon.park@gatech.edu


Momotaz Begum
Research Scientist
Department of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Chung Hyuk Park
Assistant Professor
School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, New York Institute of Technology

IROS 2014 workshop on Assistive Robotics for Individuals with Disabilities: HRI Issues and Beyond