Human–robot interactions (HRI) is an established, but rapidly-growing, field with many focal points. Whether we focus on humanoid robots, robot systems, or robotics incorporated in the human body, research in the area shares one theme: interaction. How do we relate to robots, how do robots relate to us, and how might we more clearly define the complexity of interaction with robots? While those working in science and engineering have taken the field of HRI to exciting areas, robots can be researched also as social actors, regardless of their technical attributes. This special issue aims at disseminating cutting edge HRI work emerging from domains that are less represented in mainstream HRI venues, work that is informed by performance research, the arts, architecture, design, literature and philosophy.
While scholarly research inclines itself away from the sensational, a robust exploration of interaction with robots requires us to address challenges that involve themes normally considered salacious. Intimacy, robot friendship, and the potential for the individual to become more human through robotic augmentation or collaboration are areas of speculation that promise to inform all aspects of HRI research. While media outlets sensationalize such areas of development, they are well underway and the scholarly voice is sometime missing from this important conversation. Creative research, performance studies and scholarly advancements in arts, design, literature and philosophy can offer natural complements to these cutting edge technological explorations.
In order to address the gap in understanding and to add complexity and nuance to our knowledge of interaction we need to dedicate time and effort to a bolder approach. What is the nature of emotional interaction with robots? What are the possibilities for robotic extensions of the self? How can novel scholarly work in the humanities, arts and design inform HRI? For this Special Issue, authors are encouraged to submit original research articles, case studies or reviews exploring creative discovery in Human–Robot Interaction. Of particular interest are articles that explore theoretical or applied approaches to novel forms of interaction. What is possible? What seems impossible? How far can we go, and what are the questions we are reluctant to ask? What rights do robots have? What rights should robots have? How might performance research be used to support the integration of robots in society, and of robotic elements in the human body and/or environment? What is the aesthetic and expressive potential of robot art? How can we evaluate such work? What do the arts have to offer us in the way of inspiration for new avenues of research and development? This Special Issue seeks provocative and radical HRI scholarly work that will evoke novel methodical approaches to pressing robotic interaction questions, offering the community a chance to shake up our current thinking and practice, and to provide fresh insights into HRI.
Interested authors should submit a 100-word proposal through the journal website. Final papers to be submitted by April 1, 2018.
Dr. Patrick Finn
Dr. Ehud Sharlin