Gibson’s theory of affordance, in its adherence to bottom-up direct perception, is antithetical to the top-down inferential models often proposed by modern robotics research purporting to tackle it. Such research assumes internal representation to be sacrosanct, but given current developments, to what extent can this assumption now be reexamined? The recently proposed sensorimotor contingency theory furthers the theoretical argument that internal representation is unnecessary, and its proof-of-concept application in robotics as well as the subsequent explosion in deep learning methodology sheds new light on the possibility of equipping robots with the capacity for directly perceiving their environments by exploiting correlated changes in their sensory inputs triggered by executing specific motor programs. This reexamination of direct perception is only one of several issues warranting scrutiny in current robotic affordance research. The aim of this workshop is therefore twofold.

Firstly, we will provide an overview of the state-of-the-art in affordance research and dissect open research challenges yielded thereof.

Secondly, we will encourage our speakers to debate whether computational models of affordance can potentially be advanced by adopting approaches that are more congruent with Gibson’s original conception of direct perception.

Previous edition

This workshop proposal is a sequel to the 1st edition of the International Workshop on Computational Models of Affordance in Robotics at RSS 2018. The rich and interdisciplinary discussions that took place there call for a second edition. Additionally, as the survey below shows [1], affordances are a topic of high interest in robotics, readily showing that such an interdisciplinary workshop is of high relevance to advance affordance research in robotics.

[1] Philipp Zech, Simon Haller, Safoura Rezapour Lakani, Barry Ridge, Emre Ugur, Justus Piater, Computational models of affordance in robotics: a taxonomy and systematic classification. Adaptive Behavior, 25 (5), pp. 235–271, 2017. SAGE.


Call for Contributions

Participants are invited to submit contributions related to the aforementioned topics in one of the following categories:

Submissions must be in PDF following the ICRA style available from

and uploaded via the Microsoft CMT conference management system at

Important dates:

Submission are expected to follow the official ICRA style available at Contributions are to be submitted via Microsoft CMT at

All submissions will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be presented during the workshop in a poster session (A0 portrait format). Outstanding papers will be presented as oral spotlight talks and invited to submit an extended version to a special issue of Frontiers in Neurorobotics on “Computational Models of Affordance for Robotics”, a journal published by Frontiers. The review process for the journal is independent from the review for this workshop.

Special Issue

A Frontiers in NeuroRobotics special issue is being organized in tandem with the workshop. While workshop contributors will be invited to submit extended versions of their workshop papers, general submissions will also be welcome.

The Special Issue page is available here

Invited speakers


You can find here the final schedule for the workshop.

Time Activity
08:45-09:00 Welcome
09:00-09:30 Invited Talk: Claire Michaels
09:30-10:00 Invited Talk: Paul Cisek
10:00-10:30 Coffee break
10:30-11:00 Invited Talk: José Santos-Victor
11:00-11:30 Invited Talk: Tamim Asfour
11:30-12:00 Invited Talk: Yiannis Aloimonos
12:00-12:30  Poster Spotlight
12:30-13:30 Lunch break
13:30-15:00 Poster session & discussions
15:00-15:30 Coffee break
15:30-17:00 Plenary discussion
17:00 Farewell


The accepted papers are listed as follows:

Program Committee


Please check out as well as for detailed information on the workshop’s location. The workshop will be in room 518a.