Registration for these workshops is free for attendants of New Friends 2015 

Robot based interventions – a case for co-creation

Thursday October 22, 15.45-17.30
Friday October 23,  9.45-12.15

Renée van den Heuvel, Claire Huijnen and Roger Bemelmans from the Centre of Expertise for Innovative Care and Technology in Heerlen, the Netherlands

Are you curious how other researchers experience the user centered design of robot interventions? Do you believe in the power of sharing experiences and the need for co-creation of care technology? A number of researchers in the field of social robots in care will present their research. At least three different application areas for robot based interventions will be highlighted:

  • children with autism in special education schools,
  • elderly people with dementia living in elderly homes and
  • children with severe physical disabilities in rehabilitation and special education.

During this workshop we would like to share our experiences and initiate an interactive discussion with all participants on experiences, challenges, barriers and other issues regarding to co-creation of robot based interventions.

Contents of this workshop:

  • Claire Huijnen – Co-creation of KASPAR interventions for children with autism
  • Roger Bemelmans – User-centered development of Paro interventions and measurement of their effect
  • Renée van den Heuvel – Development of IROMEC interventions for children with severe physical disabilities
  • Interactive session on the co-creation of robot based interventions

Contact details:
Renée van den Heuvel (contact person), Claire Huijnen, Roger Bemelmans
Centre of Expertise for Innovative Care and Technology, Henri Dunantstraat 2, 6419 PB Heerlen,
+31(0)88 027 2120,,



Bridging the Gaps between Different Worlds

A Legal and Ethical Approach towards Assistive Robots: Risks and Solutions

Friday October 23, 9.45-12.15

Eduard Fosch Villaronga, IDT-UAB, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.
Jordi Albó Canals, Tufts University, Boston, US.
Mohamed Bouri, Laboratoire de Systèmes Robotiques (LSRO). École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

Assistive technology helps out to reduce healthcare system inefficiencies. These devices are likely to be introduced in many healthcare facilities very soon because they are low-cost oriented, work steadily 24/7, reduce the workload of caregivers, and some of them can be incorporated in the therapy of patients. Nonetheless,  appropriate and specific legal regulations regarding assistive robots are missing.

Furthermore, several multifaceted problems need to be carefully considered: from technical issues, e.g. cloud robotics, security, autonomy; to legal problems, e.g. privacy, new entities, regulation of replacement of organs by robotic devices; to ethical issues, e.g. acceptance, the creation of super-humans, etc. Despite the recent advances, monodisciplinary researches failed in coping with robots’ pluridisciplinarity. There is still a long way ahead and further interdisciplinary research is needed to overcome such problems.

As the workshop aims to address risks, and most importantly, possible solutions, the workshop will follow two formats: presentations for the risks and table discussion for the solutions.

For the risks, papers will be accepted. They will be presented during the workshop in an ignite-format presentation: in a time limit of 5 minutes, 20 slides are shown with each slide advancing automatically every 15 seconds.

For the solutions, papers will be accepted. During the workshop, discussion-table groups will be created. The intention is to stimulate discussion regarding the other sides of the problem and their solutions among the different experts who will attend the event.

Workshop URL:

Working with robotic pets in dementia care: guidelines and suggestions for caregivers

Thursday October 22, 13.30-15.30
Friday October 23, 9.45-12.15

In this workshop, we will share experiences of dementia care professionals on working with robotic pets like Paro and Justocat. We will provide guidelines and suggestions on how to work with groups, individuals and family members, and discuss ethical issues that may come into play.

The workshop is organized by Windesheim University.

New Friends 2015 – The 1st international conference on social robots in therapy and education