Workshop at IROS 2013 (Tokyo, Japan - November 7, 2013, PM)

Workshop Highlights

A key feature of biological intelligent systems is their ability to adapt their behaviors to the changes of an open-ended environment.
These capabilities have so far only partially been mimicked by robot systems. Learning processes are necessary to adapt to a stochastically-varying environment and even to manage the robot itself, if the robot has a soft, rather than rigidly defined, structure.
Moreover, in robotics (and in nature) learning algorithms execute within an embodied agent: how does this affect their performance?
Should we explicitly consider the body morphology ‘inside’ the learning algorithms?

How should one compare different implementations? How should we measure the benefits of ‘embodiment’? of soft structure implementation? Of bioinspiration? How can we compare our systems with biological examples?

It is worth mentioning, once again, that experimental methods and methods to quantitatively evaluate the performance in similar classes of function adopted in Robotics are sometimes coarser than those used by natural sciences such as neurophysiology/neurosciences and biology.

The aim of this workshop is to discuss the fundamental issues raised by performance measurement of cognitive and intelligent systems in the context of a key class of problems: those raised by learning in embodied agents, artificial and natural.

We think this will contribute to clarify and make progress in the robot learning domain.

We aim to make another step towards a replicable robotics research publishing thread based on the publication of fully replicable experiments, which will reduce the distance from disciplines studying artificial and natural autonomous systems.


The best contributions will be invited to submit to a refereed edited book.




November, 7th


13:40 Introduction


13:45 (invited talk) Compliant Body as a Source of Intelligence:  Morphological Computation

Koh Hosoda

Osaka University, Japan


14:30 On Bayesian Inference for Embodied Perception of Object Poses

Zoltan-Csaba Marton, Serkan Tuerker

DLR, Germany


15:00 Coffee Break


15:30 Measuring Progress in an Approach for Interactive Learning of Action Contexts

Martin Stoelen, Carlos Balaguer

University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain

D. Marocco, A. Cangelosi

University of Plymouth, UK

F. Bonsignorio

University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain,  and Heron Robots, Italy


16:00 Moment Metric Model for Visual Homing Navigation

Changmin Lee, DaeEun Kim

Yonsei University, Republic of Korea


16:30 Evaluation Metrics for an Experience-based Mobile Artificial Cognitive System

Liwei Zhang, Sebastian Rockel,Denis Klimentjew, Jianwei Zhang

Department of Informatics,   University of Hamburg, Germany 

Federico Pecora

Orebro University

Lothar Hotz

HITeC, University of Hamburg, Germany

Zhenli Lu

University of Aveiro, Portugal


17:00 Discussion: Embodiment, Learning, Morphological Computation and Soft robotics? Are there common issues and solutions?



This workshop is supported by IEEE RAS TC-Pebras and the Euron GEM Sig.

Intended audience:

Robotics researchers from any subfield of the discipline from both academia and industry. Researchers active in neurorobotics, bioinspired robotics, and in biology. Industry members interested in the exploitation of research results, others interested in methodologies in scientific and engineering disciplines.


Main Organizer:

Fabio Bonsignorio
IEEE Senior Member
Co-Chair Euron SIG on Good Experimental Methodologies and Benchmarking

Founding Past Director euRobotics aisbl
Professor, Banco de Santander Chair of Excellence in Robotics
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Avda. Universidad, 30
28911 Leganés, Spain
Tel: +34 916246014
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Heron Robots srl
V.R.Ceccardi 1/18, 16121 Genova, Italy,
Tel: +39-339-8406011,



Elena Messina
Acting Chief Intelligent Systems Division  National Institute of
Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8230
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8230, USA
Tel: +1 301-975-3510
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Angel P. del Pobil, Ph.D,
Co-Chair Euron SIG on  Good Experimental Methodologies and Benchmarking
Professor, Department of Engineering and Computer Science,

Universitat Jaume I
Director, UJI Robotic Intelligence Laboratory
12071 Castellon, Spain,
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John Hallam,
BoD member euRobotics aisbl
President International Society of Adaptive Behavior ISAB
Co-Chair  Euron SIG on Good Experimental Methodologies and Benchmarking
Mærsk-McKinney Møller Institute, University of Southern
Odense, Denmark,
Tel: +45-65503546,
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Additional information