Join us at the European Robotics Forum 2017!

  • Posted on: 14 March 2017
  • By: ajevtic

We invite you to participate in our workshop on "Strategies for Deploying and Delivering Ethical, Sustainable and Acceptable Assistive Robotic Solutions" at the European Robotics Forum in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on Thursday 23rd of March 2017 at 8:30 (


Praminda Caleb-Solly, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, UWE, UK,

Jobeda Ali, Three Sisters Care, UK,

Aleksandar Jevtić, Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial, CSIC-UPC, Spain,

Nigel Harris, Designability, UK,

Motivation and Objective

Providing cost-effective and high-quality support for an ageing population is a high priority issue. Assistive robots hold the promise of providing autonomous assistive care solutions however there are considerable challenges in taking the technology into the real world.

In addition to technical challenges, key barriers are costs, user acceptance, getting buy-in from health and social care and service providers, commercial sustainability, safety, reliability and legal certification by regulatory bodies.

These challenges are complex and require creative solutions and responses.

The aim of this knowledge café is to provide a unique experience to robotics’ researchers and SMEs’ in understanding and discussing issues that will help them be more strategic in considering and designing solutions that are more responsive to real-world deployment demands.


This knowledge café workshop will bring together a multidisciplinary panel of experts, key stakeholders in the Assistive Technologies domain such as care providers, deployment experts, commercial developers and assistive roboticists.

The invited experts will start the discussions by highlighting key issues from their domain.

The experts’ presentations will cover the following topics:

  1. Needs of the Ageing Population – Social and Economic Issues - Jackie Marshall-Cyrus, Director of Innovation Strategy
  2. Needs of Formal and Informal Carers – Training, Resources and Responsibilities - Madeleine Starr, Director of Business Development and Innovation, CarersUK
  3. Ethical and Social Issues concerning Assistive Robotics - Kerstin Dautenhahn, Prof of AI, Hertfordshire
  4. Developing and Deploying Sustainable Assistive Solutions – Dan Lyus, Director of Development, We Care and Repair UK
  5. Developing Assistive Solutions – Imperative for Open Standards - Stephen Hope, Business Development Manager and Teleco Consultant, Docobo Ltd
  6. Needs of Formal Carers and Customers - Social and Business Imperatives - Jobeda Ali, CEO, Three Sisters Care
  7. Needs of the Ageing Population – Physical and Emotional Issues - Nigel Harris, Director, Designability

Following this there will be an interactive discussion session where the invited experts and participants will split into smaller groups to further discuss the questions raised and explore and understand the nature of the barriers and identify strategies for getting assistive robotics products and services to end-users. The experts will facilitate the discussions and summarise the key barriers and strategies identified by each group. These will be used to contribute to topics on a collaborative discussion forum hosted here:

Contributions from the invited experts, participants and organisers will be incorporated into a jointly authored white paper.

The organisers will be responsible for facilitating the discussion forum and disseminating this via the ERF website and other identified channels such as the and the eurobotics-dist mailing list.


8:30 – 8:35 Introduction by the workshop organisers and review of the aims of the workshop

8:35 – 9:10 Short presentations by the invited speakers on topics identified

9:15 – 10:10 Knowledge Cafe - participants are split into smaller groups for discussions facilitated by invited experts

10:10 – 10:25 Each group summarises key outcomes of discussions highlighting barriers and strategies for deploying and delivering ethical, sustainable and acceptable assistive robotic solutions

10:25 – 10:30 Workshop closing and instructions for contributing to the white paper (instructions will also be emailed to all participants).

How can participants contribute to, and prepare for, the workshop?

In order to participate in and preparation for the workshop, please reflect on a core area of your own work and identify some key questions that you want to explore in the workshop related to the topic themes. You will be able to submit this information in a brief online survey: 

The information you provide will be used to ensure that knowledge café takes into consideration your background and perspectives and helps to add insight and value to the discussions.

This will result in the workshop being better tailored to the interests of the participants.

Please review the links provided in this email to prepare for the workshop.

Post-workshop contribution:

The participants will be invited to join an online forum where they can contribute to jointly authoring a white paper in collaboration with the workshop organisers and invited experts. This will also enable discussion, learning and networking to continue after the workshop and be shared with the robotics community at large.