top of page
RO-MAN 2020 Logo.png
The 3rd HRIpreneur Workshop: Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)
from Basic Science to New Venture Creation for Social Good

Call for COVID-19 Solutions Using HRI, AI and BioMed-Tech

Submission is super-easy, takes just 2 minutes.


Just write a tentative title with 2-3 sentence elevator pitch or short intro to your project and click submit”


The benefit of submission:

1. Awards of appreciation for top 5 winners.

2. ALL participants get free resources and referrals to useful tools and resources for HRI tech, startups and investor info.

3. Potential publications in peer reviewed special issue of Journal Frontier of Robotics and AI.

The participant with proof of economic needs will receive financial aids from our potential IEEE HAC funding source. Please email your information to 

Aug. 31 & Sep. 4, 2020
Online (Free)

Access Link:

Day 2 ~ Sep. 4 (Friday) @ 4:30pm (CEST)


Hello HRIpreneurs,

How to use robotics and AI approach and HRI design to help local communities to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19), in cost-effective and user-friendly way? How can world-class international conference such as RO-MAN extend its impact by engaging local researchers to bridge global resource to address imperative healthcare challenges, predict, mitigate and suppress the spreading of the infectious pandemic disease?

This workshop has been successfully held in 2018 and 2019 in IEEE RO-MAN as an initiative aiming to use entrepreneurship mindset to rethink how we can create and develop HRI technologies in a more systematical and impactful way, such that the developed technologies will have immediate impact and practical applications to solve daily imperative demanding social problems. This year, we will bring this HRIpreneur (HRI + Entrepreneurship) spirit to solve the human life-threatening problems.

In the context of fighting the pandemic/epidemic disease, “open”, “distributed” and “collaborative” innovations, as the state-of-the-art terms, play key roles in solving complex global healthcare problems. Particularly, roboticists and AI researchers, medical doctors, clinicians, nurses, and patients, as well as the government and the general public have to meet together to co-innovate, co-create and design the future of human-centered, impactful solution.

We believe that engaging the young innovators from both grassroot entrepreneurial level and from academia, this workshop will be of immense value. Through creating informative lectures/keynote speeches, and “open”, “collaborative” online/onsite Make-a-Thon competition with systematically-guided mentorship, we will help local research communities, student groups, and early stage startups exchange ideas, stimulate creativity and foster entrepreneurship to build up better “HRI for Healthcare” solutions.

We hope this workshop can provide a multi-disciplinary forum where HRI researchers, Biomedical professionals, artists, designers and entrepreneurs can jointly work together, and come up with strategies to take laboratory research ideas, from benchtop to bedside, into feasible commercializable products in a shorter pathway. We especially welcome the female participants to share their point of views in terms of discovering local challenges and creative HRI/AI solutions to solve the pandemic disease challenges. We are also targeting at bridging an ecosystem of from user-centered process of inventing HRI solutions starting from understanding local real-world medication problems, and fill the gap of road to market, link between research and industry.

Zero to One:

Find the Pathway to Invent the Future

Call for Project

Call for Project



Students, researchers or startup companies from all over the world, with different backgrounds from engineering, medical and health professions, to art and design, who want to solve the COVID-19 problem and pandemic disease using state of the art HRI technologies and contribute to the combination of engineering approaches and humanitarian solutions. 


And/or the participants who are willing to learn, co- design, and brainstorm new game-changing HRI innovations for rapidly product development and deployment in the real scenarios. We particularly welcome the people who simply just have interests to listen to our topics, think and reflect, and take back home any valuable experiences gained from our workshop.



We will curate Make-a-Thon project submissions (with extended abstract, videos and possibly physical prototypes), to let the students have the chance to showcase and pitch their innovative “HRI for Global Health Challenges” solutions to the world. Numbers of selected projects will go through a “2- stage” innovation process, including “Online innovation” and “Onsite innovation”.


During the first stage of “Online innovation” (starting from the acceptance of the project, lasting for up to 3 months), we will have a pool of domain experts, comprising invited professors, researchers, roboticists, medical doctors, designers, entrepreneurs and industry leaders, to give each participated project personalized online guidance, and conduct iterative Design Thinking approach to help the participants fine-tune their ideas, identify the problems, and find the best product-market-fit to further develop pilot MVP prototypes for early stage front-line situation and market evaluations. The potential end-users will have opportunities to be involved as earlier as possible and join the “Online innovation” platform for customer discoveries and co-innovations. This “Online innovation” platform is developed for the purpose of an “Open”, “Collaborative” and “Crowd-sourced” rapid innovation environment. Under such framework, the participated projects with the same (or different) ideas, as well as the end-users, would have a perfect chance to collaborate, communicate, interchange information, or merge with each other to build up a better solution upon each other’s competitive knowledge and capabilities. .


During the “Onsite innovation” (after the 3-months “Online innovation” of development and mentorship), each project will advance to our workshop venue for onsite brainstorming of the last-mile business model and marketing strategies to become a ready-to-be-implemented healthcare product. We will have specialized dedicated hands-on session on the workshop day to co-innovate with all the teams to figure out the best “hit-the-market” strategy. After then, all the teams will compete for the final grand prizes - Best Healthcare Innovation HRI Project Award (selected by the penal judges and committees) and the Most Popular Healthcare HRI Project (voted by all the workshop attendees and audiences).

Topics of Interest:


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

● HRI technologies being applied:

Wearable Robot 



Brain Computer Interface



3D locolization.png




Internet of Thing (IoTs) 









(2013) A Kinematic Human-Walking Model f










Biometric Information Measurement




Human-centered design.jpg







Voice Recognition.png



● Social challenges being solved:

5.5 million confirmed cases, and 350 K people have died from Coronavirus worldwide as of May 2020.

and Sanitation

2 billion people don’t have access to safe/ clean water and 3 billion don’t have access to toilets. BoP market = $32 billion.


317 million accidents occur on the job annually resulting in 2.3 million deaths. Road traffic injuries cause 3500 deaths every day.

and Nutrition

1 billion people lack access to health care. Annually, almost 15 million die from preventable and infectious diseases. 870 million are undernourished.


25% of people live without electricity. Annually, solid fuel air pollution causes 4 million deaths. BoP market = $317 billion (Electricity = $137 billion).


By 2050 we will need 3 earths. GHGs have increased 50% since 1990. Natural assets represent 26% of emerging economy wealth.


124 million young people globally don't have access to education. Only 49% of children attend secondary school. BoP Market = $193 billion.


World needs to produce 50% more food to meet demand. 70% of the world's rural poor rely on agriculture for income/ employment. Food = half of BoP spending.

and Community

2.5 billion people live on less than $2/ day. 4 billion people go without basic goods & services. Globally, the wealthiest 5% earn the same as the poorest 80%.

● Important dates:


Submission Deadline: Aug 23, 2020 (anywhere on Earth)

Author Notification: Rolling admission (as soon as we receive your application)
Workshop Date: Aug. 31 & Sep.4, 2020


The top-3 Best Healthcare Innovation HRI Project Award will be selected by penal judges and committees. And the Most Popular Healthcare HRI Project will be selected from the votes of all the workshop attendees and audiences.


We are glad to inform that we are currently in contact with the journal of Frontiers in Robotics and AI to create a Research Topic as a special issue publication linked to our workshop submissions. All the presenting projects will be invited to publish more refined work as research, position and business executive strategy papers to be included in the journal of Frontiers in Robotics and AI. We will announce more details soon!

Frontiers in Robotics and AI.png


Day 1 - August 31 (Monday)
  • Theme 1
Advancing Human Civilization in Pandemics:
New Opportunities and Challenges of HRI/Human-Centered Technology in New Social Norms/Rules after Covid
HRIpreneur Agenda_1.png
Day 2 - September 4 (Friday)
  • Theme 2
From Writing Research Papers to Startups:
Fast Innovation Strategies to Apply Academic HRI/Human-Centered Technology in Real-World Problems
HRIpreneur Agenda_2.png
Invited Speakers

Professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Qatar University

Julienne Greer.jpg

Assistant Professor, Director of Emotional Robotics Living Lab

Department of Theatre Arts

University of Texas at Arlington ​

Antonio Frisoli.jpeg

Full Professor, Head of Human-Robot Interaction Area, PERCRO

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

Eduardo Yeh.jpeg

Co-Founder, CEO, SELVZ LLC

Angel Investor

Creator of iPing

Babs Carryer.jpg

Director of Big Idea Center

Innovation Institute

University of Pittsburgh

Serial entrepreneur; NewVenturist blogger


Associate Professor, Director of Healthcare Robotics Lab, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech

Co-Founder, CTO, Hello Robot Inc.

Stefan Scherer_2.jpeg

CTO of Embodied Inc.

Research Assistant Professor, Computer Science; Associate Director, Institute for Creative Technologies

University of Southern California

Andra Keay_2.jpg

Managing Director, Silicon Valley Robotics

Founder of Robot Launch

Co-Founder of Robohub

Visiting Scholar, CITRIS 

University of California, Berkeley

Hooman Samani.jpg

Associate Professor, Director of AIART Lab, Department of Electrical Engineering

National Taipei University

Founder of Lovotics Research


Professor, Director of Social Robotics Lab, Computer Science, Cognitive Science, and Mechanical Engineering; Director of NSF Expedition on Socially Assistive Robotics

Yale University





Organizing Committee

Ker-Jiun Wang.jpg
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Department of Bioengineering

University of Pittsburgh

Mohammad_Shidujaman (2).jpg

Mohammad Shidujaman

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Dept. of Information Art and Design Academy of Arts & Design

Tsinghua University

Caroline (3).jpg

Caroline Yan Zheng

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Information Experience Design & Fashion

Royal College of Art

Prakash (2).jpg

Prakash Thakur

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Senior Program Manager, UPCI

CEO & Co-Founder, EXGwear Inc.

Program Committee

Maitreyee Wairagkar — Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Mariana von Mohr — University College London, United Kingdom

Advisory Committee

John-John Cabibihan — Qatar University, Qatar


bottom of page