International Workshop on Ontologies for Autonomous Robotics (ROBONTICS) @ RO-MAN 2023, Busan, Korea (hybrid event – online participation also possible)

We encourage researchers interested in the fields of robotics and knowledge engineering to submit research and position papers by July 07. Researchers with accepted papers will be invited to present at the RobOntics 2023 workshop.


ROBONTICS focuses on the area of robot autonomy enabled by knowledge-driven approaches, and in particular formal ontologies, in all their possible uses. It aims to foster interaction across robotics, ontology, and knowledge representation and reasoning, to investigate promising approaches and to review progress in knowledge-driven robotics.

Today ontologies are used in robotics and standardization efforts for robotics knowledge management. Many open problems involve autonomous robotic agents operating in natural, artificial or socio-technical environments, and several research projects in healthcare assistance, logistics, autonomous driving, etc, aim to bring robots into realistic human environments.

One of the difficulties is the amount of real-world knowledge that an agent needs to have to be able to act competently and autonomously. Further, any item of knowledge is often relevant for many agents and in several scenarios, and as such should be reusable. To garner trust, to ensure dependability, and to enable debugging, knowledge should also be accessible to human operators, both in terms of explaining what knowledge is present in a system, and of providing ways to easily amend it if necessary.

Special Topic of RobOntics 2023: this edition of RobOntics is particularly interested in the problem of modeling culture and social scenarios (broadly understood) via ontology and other knowledge representation techniques.


  • Submission deadline: July 7, 2023
  • Notification: July 22, 2023
  • Camera ready version: August 14, 2023
  • Workshop: August 28, 2023

LIST OF TOPICS (partial)

Participants are invited to submit original extended abstract (2-4 pages + references) or papers (5-8 pages + references) on topics such as:

  • Foundational issues:
    • Are there some ontological approaches better suited than others for autonomous robotics? why?
    • How should we ontologically model notions like capability, action, interaction, context etc. in robotics?
    • How can ontology be used to model culture, cultural knowledge and cultural behavior?
  • Robustness:
    • How can ontologies be used to help robots cope with the variety and relatively fluid structure of human environments?
  • Ontologies in the perception-action loop:
    • What roles can ontology play in autonomous manipulation?
    • How can ontology be used to support machine learning for object classification?
  • Interactivity:
    • How can knowledge about other agents present in the environment be modelled?
    • How can ontology be used to model the flow of an interaction, e.g., in the case of shared tasks?
  • Normed behavior:
    • How can we ontologically represent norms and cultural expectations?
    • How can expectations be acquired? would they be the same for robots and for humans?
  • Explainability:
    • Decision chains are very complex; how can these be organized and presented at various levels of detail for the benefit of a human user? what is an explanation? what is a good explanation? how it be generated from a collection of knowledge items?

WORKSHOP CO-CHAIRS (alphabetical order)

  • Daniel Beßler, Institute for Artificial Intelligence, University of Bremen, Germany
  • Stefano Borgo, Laboratory for Applied Ontology (LOA), ISTC CNR, Trento, Italy
  • Mohammed Diab, Personal Robotics Laboratory, Imperial College London, UK
  • Aldo Gangemi, University of Bologna and ISTC-CNR, Italy
  • Mihai Pomarlan, Faculty of Linguistics and Literature, University of Bremen, Germany
  • Robert Porzel, Digital Media Lab, University of Bremen, Germany


Beside regular papers, position and survey papers are also welcome. All the contributions to the workshop must be submitted according to the IOS press format available from

Papers will be refereed and accepted on the basis of their merit, originality, and relevance. Each paper will be reviewed by at least two Program Committee members. Papers must be submitted electronically in PDF, using this link:


Accepted works will be published in an open access CEUR volume as part of the new IAOA series (see Depending on interest, a special issue in a suitable journal will be organized.

(Banner image made by Frédéric Bisson and was uploaded to wikimedia commons under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)