Workshops take place most afternoons, and participants choose one workshop per session.

Session 1 (Tuesday afternoon)

  1. Pitch and presentation techniques Part 1 (Margarida Antunes)
  2. Building the OPSORO social robot (Jelle Saldien, Cesar Vandervelde)
  3. Robot Animation: Principles and Practice (Tiago Ribeiro)

Session 2 (Thursday afternoon)

  1. Pitch and presentation techniques Part 2 (Margarida Antunes)
  2. Interactive Machine Learning (Brad Hayes)
  3. The Nao robot in HRI (Alexandre Mazel)

Session 3 (Friday afternoon)

  1. Robot improv design (Patrìcia Alves Oliveira, Margarida Antunes, Ana Paiva)
  2. Fatima: implementing emotional behaviour on social robots (João Dias, Samuel Mascarenhas)
  3. Co-creation and other methods to study HRI (An Jacobs, Shirley Elprama)

Workshop descriptions

Pitch and presentation techniques (Margarida Antunes)

Introduction to a memorable pitch. This workshop is divided in 2 sessions: Session 1: Non-verbal and body language skills, voice coaching and improvisation; Session 2: Training a 60 second pitch aiming at audience engagement, effectiveness and creating a great first impression.

Building the OPSORO social robot (Jelle Saldien, Cesar Vandervelde)

OPSORO’s goal is to become an open platform for the development and creation of social robots with a focus on face-to-face communication. OPSORO wants to create a community and culture to develop new technology in the field of robotics and A.I., accessible and attractive to the general public. The platform provides a portfolio of building blocks that can be purchased online or can be self-made by the customer / community member, using digital production techniques such as 3D-printing and laser-cutting. The software is centralized in the cloud and is accessible through a web account, making it easy for anyone to share and customize their own creation online.

For more information: or

Robot Animation: Principles and Practice (Tiago Ribeiro)

Theoretical concepts on animation such as the principles of character animation from Disney, and how they can be adapted and used with autonomous social robots. Application of these topics in group exercises using a robot and a Microsoft Kinect, to create simple autonomous scenarios using the Nutty Tracks animation system and the SERA-Thalamus toolkit.

If you have a 3-button mouse then please bring this, as this will be necessary to control the software.

Software Required for Robot Animation
  • PC running Windows (versions 7 SP1, 8.1 or 10 – Windows 8 is not supported)(running Windows through a VM should work but a native installation is highly recommended)
  • Autodesk 3dsmax – There is a free student option for most universities worldwide, or else a trial version can be used.
  • Visual Studio Community (Free edition of Visual Studio).
  • Arduino IDE.
  • The SERA toolkit (link will be provided later – stay tuned)
Optional software that can be used to extend the interactive experience
If you have USB 3.0, you can also download the Kinect SDK 2.0:
if not you can download the Kinect SDK 1.8:
If you have any questions or problems downloading and installing the sofware, do not hesitate to get in touch with Tiago Ribeiro at

Interactive Machine Learning (Brad Hayes)

A crash course on interactive machine learning, where machine learning moves away from batch learning and instead learns on the job. This will be a tutorial focusing on algorithms and applications, with plenty of examples and application notes.

The Nao robot in HRI (Alexandre Mazel)

NAO is a small humanoid robot often used to experiment in HRI. In this workshop we’ll show you how to program behaviours using Choregraphe, a graphical programming interface. Our produced behaviours will use vision processing, dialogues, sound and movements… To be well prepared for this “hands on” workshop, you should download and install the Choregraphe software using this link:

You will need to register before being able to download the software. The content of the workshop will naturally be adapted to the student’s level. Don’t forget to bring your NAO Programming related questions…

Robot improv design (Ana Paiva, Patrícia Alves Oliveira, Margarida Antunes)

Creating robots with craft materials for specific application scenarios in HRI. The creation of the robot will follow improv techniques used in theatre to understand how the robot should behave to accomplish its goal in a given scenario.

Fatima: implementing emotional behaviour on social robots (João Dias, Samuel Mascarenhas)

Introduction to FAtiMA Toolkit, which is is a collection of tools/assets designed for the creation of agents with social and emotional intelligence. The toolkit is the latest iteration of the continuous work done in developing the FAtiMA agent architecture, which was initially released in 2005 and, since then, it has been used to control the behaviour of virtual characters and social robots in several research applications. Participants in this workshop will learn how to create a robot with beliefs and memories about itself and others that shape the robot’s emotional responses and decisions.

Co-creation and other methods to study HRI (An Jacobs, Shirley Elprama)

A overview of different methods that can be used in HRI to design and evaluate interaction between humans and robots in specific use cases. The focus is on co-creation, an agile method that includes end users in the process.