Bielefeld-Osaka Workshop 2010

11 October 2010 - 13 October 2010
Begin time: 
End time: 
CITEC, Bauteil-Q

Welcome to the Homepage of the Bielefeld-Osaka Workshop 2010!

The 1st Bielefeld-Osaka Workshop was held at CITEC (Bielefeld University) from October 11 to October 13, 2010.

The aim of this workshop was to bring together a multidisciplinary team of junior researchers from Japan and Germany to foster prospective collaborations and the exchange of new ideas.

The workshop included 20 junior researchers from both Clusters of Excellence from multidisciplinary backgrounds, such as computer science, engineering, medicine, psychology, linguistics, biology, physics, and philosophy. What unites all of them is the idea to improve human-robot interaction and to make it as smooth and intuitive as possible.

Workshop Program

The full program of the workshop can be downloaded here.

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Dr. Masayuki Hirata (Osaka University)

"Connecting Robot and Brain"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. in H9

Brain-machine interface (BMI) is a technique that enables us to control external devices and to communicate with others by brain signals alone. We are presently developing a BMI system for functional restoration using brain surface electrodes (electrocorticograms: ECoGs). ECoGs are excellent regarding spatial resolution as well as signal-to-noise ratio, and are notable for their ability to provide long term stable recordings, which is an important factor for clinical BMI. It is essential to understand what neurophysiological features provide better neural decoding results. Using a support vector machine, we demonstrated that ECoG signals from the brain groove called the central sulcus provide higher decoding accuracy than those from brain outer surface. Based on these findings, we developed a successive movement classification estimating the decoding accuracy using mutual information to provide smooth and robust control. We applied this method to an ECoG-based real time control of a robot arm. A patient was able to hold and release objects smoothly using the robot arm, which indicates that our method is clinically feasible. We are also developing a fully-implantable wireless system, which will be indispensable for reducing the risk of infection in clinical applications. This system includes a 3D high density electrode array, a multichannel analog amplifier, a wireless battery/charger, and a wireless data transfer circuit. Finally, neuroethical issues have to be considered carefully. To summarize, an integrative approach bringing together neurophysiology, computational neuroscience, medical engineering, robotics and neuroethics is indispensable for the clinical application of BMI for functional restoration.


Dr.-Ing. Britta Wrede (Bielefeld University):

"Emotional Human-Robot Interaction as a facilitator for learning”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. in H2

In the same way as it is impossible to not communicate it is impossible not to be emotional. This entails that for modeling communication with robots we need to be aware of the emotional aspects of the interaction. However, how are roboticists supposed to model emotional interactions in robots? On the one hand, emotions are argued to simply display the internal state of a system and thus to be universal in the way how they are displayed. Yet, it has been observed that the emotional displays depends on whether or not observers are present. This means that the emotional display is subject to – probably cultural – rules. For a robot to interact in a meaningful and understandable way it therefore needs to integrate both perspectives. Emotions have also been shown to have a significant effect on learning and memory. Again, this effect can be distinguished between an internal effect – motivation – and an external effect – interaction. Cognitive accounts of emotion argue that emotional states are related to the different states of achieving a goal. Interactive accounts of emotion, in contrast, would argue that through giving emotional feedback to a learning system one not only affects the learner’s motivation but also his/her understanding of the to be learned action. By relating action states with emotional displays the learner learns which situations are desirable and which should be avoided. In my talk I will present results of our own research on emotional human-robot interaction as well as insights in tutoring robots in order to address the question how emotions can be used to facilitate learning.


Organizing Committee

The workshop took place at the Center of Excellence in Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) at the Bielefeld University and was organized by Friederike Eyssel (CITEC, Bielefeld University), Yukie Nagai (Global COE: Center of Human-friendly Robotics based on Cognitive Neuroscience, Osaka University) and Sebastian Wrede (CoR-Lab, Bielefeld University).