Welcome to the EUSAI2004 Workshop
on Life like Robots in Ambient Intelligent Environments

Over the years a broad spectrum of robots has been developed, ranging from industrial manipulators and mobile robots operating in far and hostile environments to functional robots that clean your house. A new opportunity would be to build robots that appear to be life-like and interact with users and an Ambient Intelligent environment. In contrast to traditional robots that emphasize their task-driven nature, life-like robots emphasizes their believability. This new way of designing robots needs still to be explored. The objective of this workshop is to examine issues related to the design and development of life-like robots and its relation to the Ambient Intelligence vision.


Life-like robots are as old as the life-like automatons build by Jacques de Vaucanson, whose most famous creation was the mechanical duck he build in 1738. During the 60ties Walt Disney developed – inspired by these antique life-like automatons – a technique called Audio-Animatronics to build life-like robots for creating pre-programmed and non-interactive entertainment shows. Recently, sensors are added to life-like robots that enable these robots to interact with their environment. Such interactive life-like robots are now brought into our domestic environments in different appearances, including robotic flowers, robotic dogs, non-human robots and humanoids.

Whereas previous work focussed on the social aspect of robots and life-like virtual characters, this workshop wants to explore the field of interactive life-like robots that are situated in an ambient intelligent environment. For instance, Kröse presents a robot called “Lino” that lives in an ambient environment called the “HomeLab” at Philips Research located in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. This robot provides a natural interface to the user by using facial expressions and interacts with the HomeLab environment and the locally available devices. Van Breemen presents an improvement to Lino’s life-likeness. Both Lino’s physical appearance as well as its software architecture has been changed, which led to a new improved life-like robot called the “iCat”. The iCat uses principles from the field of cartoon animation to improve its life-likeness. Preliminary studies show that this significantly improves the user acceptance and enjoyability of the robot.

Goals of the workshop

Still many issues need to be investigated in the field of life-like robots that are situated in an Ambient Intelligent environment. How is life-likeness created? What software architecture is needed? Will the user feel more comfortable in the presence of a life-like robot, than in the situation of a machine-like robot? In what ways does a life-like robot interact with its Ambient Intelligent environment?

The workshop provides a forum for roboticists, human scientists, and designers to discuss issues related to the design of life-like robots and the interactions with humans and Ambient Intelligent environments. Topics include:

  • Applications of life-like robots in ambient intelligent environments
  • Human-robot interaction
  • Synthesis of life-like behaviour
  • Emotion-based control architectures
  • Social robots
  • Software architectures
  • Design aspects of life-like robots
  • User experiences

Format and organization

The workshop will consist of a daylong highly interactive format that will encourage small group dialogue and knowledge transfer. The overall goal is to elicit research issues and findings related to the design and deployment of life-like robots.


Submissions should follow the format of Springer publications. MS Word users can directly download the Word Submission Package. Submissions should be send directly to albert.van.breemen@philips.com. The deadline is 10th September, 2004 and notifications will be send by 11th October 2004.


Albert .J.N. van Breemen
Philips Research (SwA)
Prof. Holstlaan 4 (WDC-1.034)
5656 AA Eindhoven
The Netherlands

Christoph Bartneck
Technical University of Eindhoven
Departmemt of Industrial Design
Den Dolech 2, 5600 MB Eindhoven
The Netherlands

Ben J.A. Kröse
University of Amsterdam
Intelligent Autonomous Systems Group
Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Last updated July 20, 2004 by Christoph Bartneck