IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids 2008)

Imitation and Coaching in Humanoid Robots

Monday, December 1st, Daejeon, Korea



Humanoid robotics has dealt with the problem of learning complex humanoid behaviors for a long time. It was soon realized that to overcome problems arising from high dimensional and continuous perception-action spaces, it is necessary to guide the search process and also to develop higher-level representations suitable for faster learning. To achieve these goals, researchers in sensorimotor learning have explored various solutions. Some of the most notable among those are learning by demonstration (or imitation learning) and coaching.

Enabling technologies for imitation learning and coaching such as motion capture, real-time humanoid vision, and computational learning have seen significant progress in recent years. On the other hand, the discovery of mirror systems in humans motivated neuroscience researchers to develop a number of computational models of imitation. These developments should provide new incentives for robotics researchers to develop imitation learning systems using natural interfaces and based on computational theories of human imitation.

This one-day workshop will provide a forum for researchers working in the various areas pertaining to imitation learning and coaching, to interact and exchange ideas

Topics of Interest:

• Movement primitives and imitation;
• Action recognition and understanding;
• Imitation learning in high-dimensional spaces;
• Pruning the search space by coaching;
• Coaching interfaces;
• Task-level imitation;
• Goal-directed imitation;
• Vision for imitation learning;
• Computational models of imitation learning;
• Mirror system and imitation;

Time Title (tentative)
09:00 Welcome and Overview
Rüdiger Dillmann
University of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany
09:10 Kinematic and Dynamic Adaptation of Human Motion for Imitation
Katsu Yamane
Disney Research, Pittsburgh, CMU, USA

Real-time human control of robots for robot skill synthesis
Erhan Oztop, Joshua Hale, Jan Babic, Mitsuo Kawato
ATR, Japan


Incremental learning of full-body human motion primitives for humanoid robots
Dana Kulic
Nakamura-Yamane Laboratory, University of Tokyo, Japan


Transfer of Human Movements to Humanoid Robots
M. Do, D. Gehrig, H. Kühne, P. Azad, P. Pastor, T. Asfour, T. Schultz, A. Wörner, R. Dillmann
University of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

11:10 Coffee Break
11:30 Adaptive acquisition of mimesis model based on communication between humanoid robots
Tetsunari Inamura, National Institute of Informatics, Japan
Keisuke Okuno, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Japan

Online Recognition of Daily-Life Movements
D. Gehrig, A. Fischer, H. Kühne, T. Stein, A. Wörner, H. Schwameder and T. Schultz
University of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany


Motion Imitation and Recognition using Parametric Hidden Markov Models
Dennis Herzog, Ales Ude, Volker Krüger
Aalborg University Copenhagen, Denmark, Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia

13:00 Lunch

Toward coaching a robot by utilizing bioelectrical signals
Kenji Suzuki
Dept. of Intelligent Interaction Technologies, University of Tsukuba, Japan


Learning Through Coaching in Cooperative Side-by-Side Human-Humanoid Interaction
Peter Ford Dominey, Giorgio Metta, Francesco Nori, Lorenzo Natale
CNRS & INSERM U846, France, Italian Institute of Technology, Italy

15:00 Online Human Motion Prediction with Mixture of Gaussian Process Dynamical Models
Takamitsu Matsubara (NAIST), Sang-Ho Hyon (JST-ICORP/ATR-CNS), Jun Morimoto (JST-ICORP/ATR-CNS)
15:30 Reconstituting and Evolving Robot Movements by PCA on Captured Human Motions
Syungkwon Ra, ChangHwan Kim, Sang-Rok Oh, Paolo Dario
Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy,

End of workshop


Submission of abstracts

Prospective participants are required to submit a one page abstract and a three-slide presentation. The presentation should be prepared as three PowerPoint-style slides (Objectives, Approach, Results/
Experiments). Please send your abstract and three-slide presentation directly to the Workshop organizers ( The abstracts will be published on the workshop webpage.

Important Dates

  • September 20th, 2008 Deadline for submission of one-page abstract and three-slide presentation
  • October 5th, 2008 Notification of acceptance
  • November 10th, 2008 Deadline for submission of final abstracts
  • December 1st, 2008 Workshop

Presentations and abstracts must be submitted in pdf format and not exceed a size of 2Mb.

We warmly thank you for submitting your abstract to the workshop at the Humanoids 2008 and are looking forward to your contribution and an opportunity to create a successful event together with you.

Organizers and contact

Tamim Asfour
Aleš Ude
Gordon Cheng
Rüdiger Dillmann

For any further information, please contact the organizers Tamim Asfour (asfour at or Aleš Ude (

Aleš Ude
Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova 39
1000 Ljubljana


Tamim Asfour
University of Karlsruhe
Haid-und-Neu-Str. 7
76131 Karlsruhe