Creative Discovery in Human Robot Interaction: Technology and Techniques

Patrick Finn's picture
Call for Papers
June 30, 2018
Alberta, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Fine Arts, Humanities, Popular Culture Studies, Social Sciences, Theatre & Performance History / Studies

Creative Discovery in Human Robot Interaction: Technology and Techniques

Special Issue of MTI

Dear Colleagues,

Human Robot Interaction (HRI) is an established, but rapidly growing field with many focal points. Whether we focus of 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? While those working in science and engineering have taken the field to exciting areas, collaboration with other research specialties is often hampered by a lack of understanding between approaches. Anyone working in HRI is well-aware that popular culture– with a few exceptions – portrays robots as a threat to human life. Even Isaac Asimov’s famous laws of robotics, which are often held up as a celebration of the potential of robots, are more a cautionary tale than a map for exploration. 

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 extra-humanoid robotic extension of the self? While scholarly research inclines itself away from the sensational, a robust exploration of interaction requires us to address issues that involve areas normally considered salacious. Intimacy, robot friendship, and the potential to 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 missing from this important conversation. If left unaddressed, these areas promise to drain development funds into projects deemed too sensitive for academic study. 

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 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? With Computer Games now dominating the creative industries, how can interaction in this realm help us understand other areas of human computer interface? Methodical approaches to challenging questions offer us the chance to shake up our current thinking and practice and to provide fresh insights into HRI. We encourage authors to purse innovative approaches so that we can avoid the pitfalls of our own human embarrassment when discussing our robotic interactions. The technology and techniques of performance, whether human or robot, are being developed around the world, and it is time we remind ourselves that it is our responsibility to explore all areas of our current and future interactions. 

Interested authors should email the Guest Editors directly (contact information below). Full article drafts due on June 30th through the journal’s online submission system. 

Guest Editors:

Dr. Patrick Finn
Interests: performance and technology

Dr. Ehud Sharlin
Interests: human-robot interaction (HRI), tangible user interfaces, physical interaction, mixed reality, virtual reality, cyborg interfaces, computer game interfaces


  • Emotive robotic interfaces
  • Robots in the performing arts
  • Androids
  • Cyborg interfaces
  • Robotics research in the humanities
  • Intimacy and relationships with robots
  • Robot ethics and robot rights
Contact Info: 

Dr. Patrick Finn: / Dr. Ehud Sharlin:

Contact Email: