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About the Workshop

This workshop is organized by the researchers of METATOOL and EMERGE projects under the call of EIC Pathfinder challenge : Awareness inside.

The workshop focuses on the fascinating convergence of robotics and awareness, where a comprehensive grasp of the real-world environment is crucial. Unlike standard robotics conversations, which focus on variables such as navigation and adaptability, this session delves into the awareness inside. The concept of awareness in robotics is multifaceted and essential. It goes beyond the capabilities of traditional artificial intelligence or sensory advancements. 

Artificial Intelligence research has a longstanding interest in exploring awareness and consciousness. However, a fundamental difficulty in this field is the precise definition of these terms. The consensus is lacking on what it truly means for an AI system to be aware or conscious. It’s widely acknowledged that current AI systems fall short of possessing genuine awareness, which extends beyond mere sensory sophistication. This leads to the central question: What should users expect from a service or device claiming to have awareness?

In the scientific and philosophical discussions regarding awareness, the predominant focus has been on the human perspective, emphasizing individual experiences. These discussions explore the nature of human awareness, covering various facets like perception of the environment, understanding of time, and self-awareness. Moreover, the emergence of new technologies has raised the argument that people may be hesitant to trust robots, chatbots, or decision support systems unless these technologies can exhibit some level of awareness and genuine understanding.

It is known fact that currently researchers are working on projects related to awareness, such as developing a theory of understanding and awareness for autonomous robots, delving into synthetic awareness models inspired by human metacognition, developing cognitive deliberation capabilities to allow robots to operate autonomously and safely for extended periods, creating a wearable sensorimotor interface to facilitate mutual awareness between humans and robots, particularly for individuals with upper-limb disabilities. These projects also emphasize the necessity of intelligence and awareness in manipulation systems, increasing robot autonomy and adaptability, and underscoring the importance of purpose-driven awareness in autonomous learning. Furthermore, there are projects focused on developing microsized robots capable of responding to external stimuli, highlighting the significance of awareness in collaborative robotics. Collectively, these projects reflect the ongoing efforts to enhance awareness and consciousness in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics, with the goal of creating more capable and trustworthy autonomous systems.

The workshop’s major purpose is to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and insights regarding the pivotal intersection of robotics and awareness. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the multifaceted concept of awareness in the context of robotics, going beyond traditional discussions of navigation and adaptability. This workshop aims to foster discussions that focus on the intrinsic understanding and consciousness within robotic systems.

We recognize that the realm of awareness within robotics is a complex and essential area of study, transcending the boundaries of conventional artificial intelligence and sensory advancements. The convergence of these fields holds great promise for the development of more capable, intuitive, and trustworthy autonomous systems.

By bringing together professionals, both academic and industry in this field, we aspire to delve deeper into the core questions and challenges surrounding awareness in robotics. Furthermore, the workshop aims to stimulate innovative thinking and drive the development of cutting-edge technologies that will ultimately enhance the capabilities of robots. Together, we seek to unlock the full potential of awareness in the world of artificial intelligence and robotics.

About ERF

The European Robotics Forum (ERF) is the most influential meeting of the robotics community in Europe, spanning academia, industry, and society. It aims to foster communication and knowledge transfer and covers technology, applications, and the impact of robotics. The ERF provides a podium to discuss recent and future advances in robotics in the context of applications, societal impact, and ethical and legal considerations.

Invited Speakers

Ricardo Sanz 

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid | Systems Engineering and Automatic Control

Razanne Abu-Aisheh

University of Bristol | Swarm Engineering

Davide Bacciu

Università di Pisa | Computer Science

Giovanni Iacca

University of Trento | Information Engineering and Computer Science


TU DELFT Cognitive Robotics and research teams of the METATOOL and EMERGE EIC projects.

Dr. Burak Şişman, Dr. Cosimo Della Santina and Dr. Carlos Hernandez Corbato

Cognitive Robotics (CoR) department, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands


This work was funded by European Union’s Horizon Europe (EIC Pathfinder challenge Awareness Inside). Projects: EMERGE, grant number 101070918; METATOOL, grant number 101070940.