Important Dates                          Paper Submissions                         Program                          Program Committee                          Speakers                          Organizers

First Workshop on Affordances: Affordances in Vision for Cognitive Robotics (in conjunction with RSS 2014), July 13, 2014, Berkeley, USA

Based on the Gibsonian principle of defining objects by their function, "affordances" have been studied extensively by psychologists and visual perception researchers, resulting in the creation of numerous cognitive models. These models are being increasingly revisited and adapted by computer vision and robotics researchers to build cognitive models of visual perception and behavioral algorithms in recent years. This workshop attempts to explore this nascent, yet rapidly emerging field of affordance based cognitive robotics while integrating the efforts and language of affordance communities not just in computer vision and robotics, but also psychophysics and neurobiology by creating an open affordance research forum, feature framework and ontology called AfNet ( In particular, the workshop will focus on emerging trends in affordances and other human-centered function/action features that can be used to build computer vision and robotic applications. The workshop also features contributions from researchers involved in traditional theories to affordances, especially from the point of view of psychophysics and neuro-biology. Avenues to aiding research in these fields using techniques from computer vision and cognitive robotics will also be explored. Primary topics addressed by the workshop include the following among others

The workshop also seeks to address key challenges in robotics with regard to functional form descriptions. While affordances describe the function that each object or entity affords, these in turn define the manipulation schema and interaction modes that robots need to use to work with objects. These functional features, ascertained through vision, haptics and other sensory information also help in categorizing objects, task planning, grasp planning, scene understanding and a number of other robotic tasks. Understanding various challenges in the field and building a common language and framework for communication across varied communities in are the key goals of the proposed workshop. Through the course of the workshop, we also envisage the establishment of a working group for AfNet. An initial version is available online at We hope the workshop will serve to foster greater collaboration between the affordance communities in various fields.


Wheeler 100, UC Berkeley Campus


Karthik Mahesh Varadarajan Markus Vincze Trevor Darrell Juergen Gall

Program Committee


Abhinav Gupta Ashutosh Saxena Jerome Feldman

08:30 - 08:45 Introduction to Affordances - Karthik Mahesh Varadarajan - TU Wien

Session 1: Affordances in Computer Vision
08:45 - 09:30 Humans, Objects and Actions - Prof. Abhinav Gupta - CMU
09:30 - 09:40 CV1: Predicting Abnormalities in Complex Human-Object Interaction by using Object Affordance Context - Mahmudul Hassan*, Anuja Dharmaratne - Monash Univ.      
09:40 - 10:05 CV2: Rapid Sensing of Material Affordances - Martin Giesel*, Qasim Zaidi - SUNY       
10:05 - 10:20 Coffee Break + Posters
10:20 - 10:45 CV3: Saliency and Affordance in Artificial Visual Attention - Jan Tuennermann, Baerbel Mertsching - Univ. Paderborn       
10:45 - 11:05 Open discussion on papers and vision for future research

Session 2: Affordances in Cognitive Robotics
11:05 - 11:50 Physically-grounded Affordances for Perception, Planning and Language - Prof. Ashutosh Saxena - Cornell Univ.
11:50 - 14:50 Lunch break + Posters + FIFA WC Finals   
14:50 - 15:00 Posters QA Session
15:00 - 15:10 CR1: Semantic Mapping of Object Affordance by Interactive Manipulation - David Inkyu Kim*, Gaurav Sukhatme - USC       
15:10 - 15:30 CR2: Understanding the Role of Haptics in Affordances - Vivian Chu*, Andrea L. Thomaz - Gatech       
15:30 - 16:00 CR3: A Computational Framework for Visual Perception of Inertial Affordances - Walter A. Talbott*, Javier Movellan - UCSD       
16:00 - 16:20 Coffee break + Posters
16:20 - 16:40 Open discussion on papers and vision for future research

Session 3: Psychophysics and Neurobiology of Affordances
16:40 - 17:10 PN1: Towards Affordance-aware Planning - David Abel*, Gabriel Barth-Maron*, James MacGlashan, Stefanie Tellex - Brown Univ.       
17:10 - 17:30 PN2: Towards Affordance-based Solving of Object Insight Problems - Ana-Maria Olteteanu*, Christian Freksa - Univ. Bremen       
17:30 - 17:50 PN3: A Symbolic Approach to Affordances using SGOMS - Sterling Somers* - Carleton Univ.       
17:50 - 18:35 Affordances, Actionability, and Simulation - Prof. Jerome Feldman - UC Berkeley    

18:35 - 18:45 Closing remarks

Paper Submissions

Paper contributions to the workshop are solicited in four different formats

Each contribution will be reviewed by three reviewers through a single-blind review process. The paper formatting should follow the RSS formatting guidelines (Templates: Word and LaTeX). All contributions are to be submitted via Microsoft Conference Management Tool in PDF format. Appendices and supplementary text can be submitted as a second PDF, while other materials such as videos (though, preferably as links on vimeo or youtube) as a zipped file. All papers are expected to be self-inclusive and supplementary materials are not guaranteed to be reviewed. Please adhere to the following strict deadlines. In addition to direct acceptance, early submissions may be conditionally accepted, in which case submission of a revised version of the paper based on reviewer comments, prior to the late submission deadline is necessary. The final decision on acceptance of such conditionally accepted papers will be announced along with the decisions for the late submissions.

The program is composed of orals, posters as well as Pecha-Kucha style presentations. Papers, presentations and teaser slides will be archived on this website. A non-exclusive copyright grant is also transfered to ArXiv and OpenRsrch archiving systems that permit re-publishing.

Submission of Presentations and Posters

All accepted papers will be presented in the form of oral presentations as well as posters. Discussions over posters will be allocated to coffee and lunch breaks. Authors are expected to be present during the Posters QA Session. Please submit electronic versions of your posters in PDF for archiving via CMT. Printed posters are expected to be of A0 size. Oral presentations will be allocated 10 minutes (for conceptual papers), 20 minutes (for design/experimental papers) and 25-30 minutes (for full papers). A rough recommendation would be to have 1 slide per minute. Please also submit your presentations in PDF/PPT/PPTX format via CMT for achiving. Presentations will be loaded on a workshop laptop to avoid technical issues.

Important Dates

Please also check out our Second Workshop on Affordances at ECCV 2014 to be held in Zurich, Switzerland.