Grasp and Task Learning by Imitation

 Monday, 22nd of September, 2008


IEEE/RSJ Intl. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems - IROS 2008

Acropolis Convention Center, Nice, France




It is becoming clear that one keystone for the realization of robots carrying out accurate and intelligent tasks is their ability to handle autonomously all sorts of objects. Despite this topic is addressed periodically in robotics research over the last two decades, it remains a very challenging problem. Work in this field involves grasp planning and manipulation capabilities. The ease with which people skilfully handle objects to perform useful tasks inspire recent developments of grasp and manipulation learning by demonstration algorithms, which this workshop aims at assessing.

The workshop will address the following fields (non-exhaustive list) :

- Imitation learning

- Programming by demonstration

- Grasp gesture recognition

- Task and skill learning

- Motor control and learning

- Visual features extraction in imitation context

  Call for Papers  

We solicit papers relevant to the general workshop theme in the two categories:

  1. research papers  
  2. application papers


Call for Papers in PDF is available for download.

  Important Dates  

July 7, 2008

Deadline for paper submission (firm deadline)

July 21, 2008

Notification of acceptance

September 22, 2008


  Submission Instructions  

Paper contributions should be submitted by email to one of the organizers (Program Chairs). Papers should be in PDF format and prepared following the IROS conference style (, with a maximum length of 8 pages. Timeliness in exchanging on-going research results and ideas is one of the driving factors of workshops. Therefore, submission of even preliminary or informal work is encouraged. Also, extended versions of IROS’08 papers can be considered. Finally, state-of-the-art surveys in the above topical areas are welcome. Contributions will be reviewed by an international program committee. Paper size should not exceed 2 Mb.


All submissions will be acknowledged within a few days. Papers will be reviewed for quality and relevance and the decision of acceptance will be mailed to the corresponding author. Accepted papers will be included in the workshop notes, distributed at the workshop, and published on the workshop's web site.


The organizing committee intends to publish extended versions of selected workshop papers in an international journal special issue.


  Invited speakers

- Aude Billard – EPFL, LASA, Switzerland.

- Lillian Chang – CMU, Robotics Institute, Pittsburgh, USA.

- Patrizia Fattori – University of Bologna, UNIBO, Italia.

- Danica Kragic – Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.

- Erhan Oztop – JST-ICORP Computational Brain Project, Japan.

- Jianwei Zhang – University of Hamburg, TAMS, Germany.


Program Chairs 

Anis Sahbani

Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robots
Pierre & Marie Curie University - Paris 6 - UPMC
4 Place Jussieu - 75252 Paris - France
tel:  +331 44 27 62 15
fax: +331 44 27 75 09

Jorge Dias

Institute of Systems and Robotics
University of Coimbra
Polo 2 - 3020-290 COIMBRA, Portugal
tel:  +351-91 87 11 531
fax: +351-239 406672

 Paulo Menezes

Institute of Systems and Robotics
University of Coimbra
Polo 2 - 3020-290 COIMBRA, Portugal
tel:  +351-239 796291
fax: +351-239 406672


Program Committee 


This workshop is held as a part of 2008 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2008). Visit the web page of IROS2008 for registration and site information.

  Program (Preliminary)  

Time Title

Welcome and Overview.
A. Sahbani, J. Dias and P. Menezes


A Probabilistic Programming by Demonstration Framework Handling Constraints in Joint Space and Task Space.
Sylvain Calinon and Aude Billard

Human-to-Robot Mapping of Grasps.
Javier Romero, Hedvig Kjellström and Danica Kragic
Coffee Break

Visual and Contact-free Imitation Learning of Demonstrated Grasping Skills with Adaptive Environment Modelling.
Markus Hüser and Jianwei Zhang

Robots as complex tools for humans to control: Human visuo-motor learning for robot skill synthesis.
Erhan Oztop, Joshua Hale, Jan Babic, Mitsuo Kawato
Observational learning of tool-use in human infants and macaques.
Patrizia Fattori, Rossella Breveglieri, Annalisa Bosco, Nicoletta Marzocchi, Rana Esseily and Jacqueline Fagard
Lunch Break
Associating word descriptions to learned manipulation task models.
V. Krunic, G. Salvi, A. Bernardino, L. Montesano and J. Santos-Victor
Hand Trajectory Segmentation and Classification Using Bayesian Techniques.
Diego R. Faria and Jorge Dias
On preparatory object rotation to adjust handle orientation for grasping.
Lillian Y. Chang and Nancy S. Pollard
Handling Objects By Their Handles.
Sahar El-Khoury and Anis Sahbani
Coffee Break
Haptic Gesture Analysis and Recognition.
Youssef Chahir, Michèle Molina, François Jouen and Bahjat Safadi
Programming Task-Oriented Grasps by Demonstration in Virtual Reality.
Jacopo Aleotti and Stefano Caselli
Learning Everyday Object Manipulation from Observation.
Shunsuke Kudoh, Naoto Ikeda, Katsushi Ikeuchi and Koichi Ogawara



A hard copy of the workshop proceedings will be distributed at the Workshop.