IEEE      ICDL-EPIROB      2016

The Sixth Joint IEEE International Conference

Developmental Learning and Epigenetic Robotics

September 19th — 22nd 2016 Cergy-Pontoise / Paris

The Babybot Challenge


The field of developmental robotics forms a bridge between two research communities: those who study learning and development in humans and those who study comparable processes in artificial systems. The Babybot Challenge is designed to help strengthen this bridge. Specifically, participants in the challenge will select from a list of three infant studies, and design a model that captures infants' performance on the chosen task. Submissions will be judged by three criteria: (1) How well does the model represent the particular features of the research paradigm? (2) How closely does the performance of the model replicate the findings from the chosen study? And (3) what novel insights or explanations for the observed developmental pattern are generated by the model?


Participation in the challenge is divided into two stages. During the first stage of the challenge, authors will submit a 4-8 pages paper through (there is no additional charge for pages 7/8). Papers will be pre-screened, and submissions that are accepted for the challenge will then participate in the second stage, an oral presentation at a special session of the conference.


Email Sofiane Boucenna ( ), Arnaud Blanchard ( ) or Alex Pitti ( )

Infant Studies (please select one)

papers 2016:

On the processes leading to the development of reaching in infancy

Daniela Corbetta
For decades, the development of infant reaching has been thought to involve the active role of vision in guiding the arm and hand toward the target. In recent years, however, this role of vision in the early emergence of infant reaching has been downplayed. Studies have shown that young infants can learn to reach in the dark as long as they have had some prior visual experience (e.g. Clifton et al., 1993), and others have emphasized the primary role of proprioception (over vision) in learning to guide the arm toward the target location (e.g. Thelen et al. 1993). The two papers provided for the ICDL-EPIROB 2016 challenge aim to examine new scenarios that could account for the process of learning to reach in infancy. The Corbetta et al. (2014) is a hypothesis and theory paper based on the preliminary data of three infants followed weekly over the transition to reaching. Findings reveal that during the first weeks following reach onset, infants actually learn to map vision on their movement, and not the reverse as thought before. These findings suggest that prior to reaching onset, infants may acquire a reliable sense of their body and movement in space, prior to learning to how to calibrate vision in relation to their body centered proprioceptive experience. The second paper (Williams & Corbetta, under review) examines the impact of movement consequences on learning to reach. Findings show that toy motion and sound that is contingent to successful contacts with the toy is more reinforcing for learning to reach compared to a more visually attractive situation where a similar target is moving and sounding independently of infant actions. It appears that discovering the consequences of the action is more important for driving reaching development than attracting infant visual attention toward the target.

papers 2015 (still valid for 2016!):

Important dates:

Submission deadline: April 1, 2016

Author notification: June 1, 2016

Babybot challenge: June 15, 2016

Camera ready due: July 1, 2016

Conference: September 19-22nd 2016