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First symposium on binaural active audition for humanoid robots (BINAAHR)

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Dear colleagues,

It is our great pleasure to invite you to the:
February 27-29 2012
Université Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC), Paris, France

Binaural audition, i.e. hearing capability with a pair of ears in human and animals as well as with a pair of microphones for machines, is a rudimental function for perception and communication. To make robots, either physical or virtual, be in symbiosis with people, they must be endowed with the ability to localize, separate and process sounds under noisy environments or from a mixture of sounds. This symposium focuses on theoretical and pragmatical aspects of binaural audition. It is organized in the framework of the French-Japanese BINAAHR (BINaural Active Audition for Humanoid Robots) project, jointly funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) and by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). A two-day series of papers will be presented by members of the BINAAHR consortium, as well as from invited external lecturers.  A full-day tutorial on the open-source robot audition ``HARK´´ library (http://winnie.kuis.kyoto-u.ac.jp/HARK/) will conclude the event.
Machine listening, or binaural active audition are first considered in the following manner:
·     Generic design of binaural sensors
·     Ego-noise cancellation
·     Active binaural sound source localization
·     Voice detection
·     Binaural speaker recognition
·     Musical Interaction

The symposium secondly focuses on theoretical approaches to human binaural perception and on their outcomes in robotics. Theoretical contributions from cognitive psychology which put forward the active and exploratory nature of perception are outlined, as well as some artificial perception strategies which hypothesize the interweave of perception and action. The addressed topics are:
·     Psychology of Perception in human hearing
·     Geometric space perception based on the Sensorimotor Contingencies theory
·     Audio-visual integration and Redundancy reduction based on Psychology of Perception based approaches

Open source robot audition software called HARK (HRI-JP Audition for Robots with Kyoto University) was released in 2008 as a result of more than ten year research activities like organized sessions on robot audition at IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2004–2011). It provides a number of modules for supporting many multi-channel sound cards, advanced signal processing like sound source localization and separation, and automatic speech recognition of separated speech. A user can make a real-time robot audition system by connecting the prepared modules on a GUI programming environment, Flowdesigner. HARK has been applied to many robots like HRP-2, Robovie, SIG to show its general applicability. In February 2012, HARK 1.1 will be released with the following new functions and improvements.
- Supported Microsoft Kinect, PlayStation Eye, ROS (HARK-ROS), 64 bit Linux
- Released new noise-robust sound source localization, tools for generating transfer functions, packages for visualization and logging like HARK-python, and HARK-MATLAB
- Updated rich documentations                            
- Many bugfixes
For organization issues, participants should register before February 20th 2012. In order to encourage scientific exchanges in the field of binaural audition and in connected areas, the registration is FREE OF CHARGE.

The Symposium is sponsored by the Honda Research Institute Japan Co., Ltd (HRI-JP), and organized in cooperation with
- the Institute for Intelligent Systems and Robotics, Paris, France (ISIR) 
- the Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems, Toulouse, France (LAAS-CNRS)
Sylvain Argentieri (Université Pierre and Marie Curie – ISIR)
Bruno Gas (Université Pierre and Marie Curie – ISIR)
Jean-Luc Zarader (Université Pierre and Marie Curie – ISIR)
More details are available on the project website http://projects.laas.fr/BINAAHR
Registration/information: binaahr@xxxxxxxxxxxx

Sylvain Argentieri
Maître de Conférences / Associate Professor
Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique (ISIR), CNRS UMR 7222
Université Pierre et Marie Curie
4 place Jussieu
75252 PARIS cedex 05 - France

Tel : (+33) 1 44 27 63 55