Special Issue "Engaging in Interaction with Robots"

A special issue of Future Internet (ISSN 1999-5903).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Patrizia Marti

Department of Social, Political abd Cognitive Science, University of Siena, Siena, Italy Industrial Design Department, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39 0577 23 47 43
Fax: +39 0577 23 47 54
Interests: experience design; interaction design; tangible interaction; human-robot interaction; educational technologies; inclusive design
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Henrik Hautop Lund

Technical University of Denmark, Building 326, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human–robot Interaction (HRI) is a field of research that has reached maturity in the last decade, with a huge amount of studies that have attracted the interest of a multidisciplinary community of scientists and practitioners from engineers to psychologists, sociologists, designers, and scholars of ethics, just to quote a non-exhaustive list.

Research has moved from the traditional horizon of socially interactive robots shaped as humanoid robots undertaking human biddings, or as zoomorphic robots behaving as pets, toward the exploration of more subtle human–robot interactions where the robots assume different forms, perform aesthetic movements and are composed of smart materials which give them brand new opportunities for expression and interaction.

Robots can also communicate with each other and with other objects or devices in the environment. Over the last few decades, researchers and artists have investigated interactive artificial life and user-guided adaptive robotics for the creation of emergent robot–robot interactions with the human being kept in the loop. Approaches range from simple interactive cellular automata control to more advanced interactive evolutionary robotics and user-guided modular robotics.

Further, researchers in social robotics make use of casting, molding and 3D printing to realize new custom bio-inspired shapes and behaviors for novel robots. This approach is adopted in Soft Robotics (Albu-Schäffer et al., 2008), an emerging field of research that experiments with robots constructed of soft and deformable materials such as silicone, plastic, fabric or rubber. With their various forms and materials, soft robots offer new opportunities for nuanced interaction whose applications are still largely unexplored.

The above examples share features that open a new frontier for engaging human–robot interactions:

  • They are embedded in smart ecosystems of different objects and devices.
  • They are composed of smart materials.
  • They have new forms beyond anthropomorphism and zoomorphism.
  • They can interact with each other.
  • They exhibit movements and behaviors with aesthetic qualities.
  • They use a variety of means for interpersonal communication including verbal language, proxemics and body language.
  • They show expressive behaviors beyond facial expressions.
  • They allow users to interact with form, material and control.

This Special Issue aims to provide a comprehensive and accurate state-of-the-art selection of papers on human–robot interactions beyond mainstream anthropomorphic and zoomorphic paradigms.

It collects novel robot designs that break from the traditional view of social robots and find a new basis for designing natural, engaging, embodied HRI applications.

We welcome theoretical and methodological contributions as well as design cases.

Perpective papers are also welcome containing debatable visions about one of the proposed topics. The goal of a perspective paper is to highlight personal points of view on the state-of-the-art of human-robot interaction and its future prospects for new designs and technologies as well as future scenarios of application. The emphasis should be on a personal assessment rather than a comprehensive, critical review, however comments should be put into the context of existing literature. Perspective papers are up to 6 pages.

Topics will include:
- Intersection between robotics and ubiquitous computing.
- Full body interaction with robots.
- Cultural, social and ethical issues related to the introduction of robots into our everyday life.
- Long-term relationship with robots, inspired by how people interact with artefacts and creatures in everyday settings.
- Analyses of applications in real-world settings.
- Open-ended play interactions with robotic systems to sustain interest of users over time.
- Tangible and Embodied Interactions with social robots.
- Novel human-robot interaction designs.
- Methods for understanding and evaluating human-robot interaction.

Important Dates
Title submission and short abstract: 30 September 2017 (up to 150 words)
Submission Deadline: 30 October 2017 (extended deadline)
Acceptance Notification: 21 December 2017
Final Draft Due: 15 February 2018

Prof. Dr. Patrizia Marti
Prof. Dr. Henrik Hautop Lund
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Future Internet is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 850 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • The intersection between robotics and ubiquitous computing
  • Cultural, social and ethical issues related to the introduction of robots into our everyday life
  • Long-term relationship with robots, inspired by how people interact with artefacts and living creatures in everyday settings
  • Analyses of applications in real-world settings
  • Open-ended play interactions with robotic systems to sustain interest of users over time
  • Tangible and embodied interactions with social robots
  • Novel human–robot interaction designs
  • Methods for understanding and evaluating human–robot interaction

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Open AccessArticle Learning and Mining Player Motion Profiles in Physically Interactive Robogames
Future Internet 2018, 10(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi10030022
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Physically-Interactive RoboGames (PIRG) are an emerging application whose aim is to develop robotic agents able to interact and engage humans in a game situation. In this framework, learning a model of players’ activity is relevant both to understand their engagement, as well as
[...] Read more.
Physically-Interactive RoboGames (PIRG) are an emerging application whose aim is to develop robotic agents able to interact and engage humans in a game situation. In this framework, learning a model of players’ activity is relevant both to understand their engagement, as well as to understand specific strategies they adopted, which in turn can foster game adaptation. Following such directions and given the lack of quantitative methods for player modeling in PIRG, we propose a methodology for representing players as a mixture of existing player’s types uncovered from data. This is done by dealing both with the intrinsic uncertainty associated with the setting and with the agent necessity to act in real time to support the game interaction. Our methodology first focuses on encoding time series data generated from player-robot interaction into images, in particular Gramian angular field images, to represent continuous data. To these, we apply latent Dirichlet allocation to summarize the player’s motion style as a probabilistic mixture of different styles discovered from data. This approach has been tested in a dataset collected from a real, physical robot game, where activity patterns are extracted by using a custom three-axis accelerometer sensor module. The obtained results suggest that the proposed system is able to provide a robust description for the player interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engaging in Interaction with Robots)
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Open AccessArticle Creation and Staging of Android Theatre “Sayonara”towards Developing Highly Human-Like Robots
Future Internet 2017, 9(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9040075
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 2 November 2017
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Abstract
Even after long-term exposures, androids with a strikingly human-like appearance evoke unnatural feelings. The behavior that would induce human-like feelings after long exposures is difficult to determine, and it often depends on the cultural background of the observers. Therefore, in this study, we
[...] Read more.
Even after long-term exposures, androids with a strikingly human-like appearance evoke unnatural feelings. The behavior that would induce human-like feelings after long exposures is difficult to determine, and it often depends on the cultural background of the observers. Therefore, in this study, we generate an acting performance system for the android, in which an android and a human interact in a stage play in the real world. We adopt the theatrical theory called Contemporary Colloquial Theatre Theory to give the android natural behaviors so that audiences can comfortably observe it even after long-minute exposure. A stage play is created and shown in various locations, and the audiences are requested to report their impressions of the stage and their cultural and psychological backgrounds in a self-evaluating questionnaire. Overall analysis indicates that the audience had positive feelings, in terms of attractiveness, towards the android on the stage even after 20 min of exposure. The singularly high acceptance of the android by Japanese audiences seems to be correlated with a high animism tendency, rather than to empathy. We also discuss how the stage play approach is limited and could be extended to contribute to realization of human–robot interaction in the real world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engaging in Interaction with Robots)
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Other

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Open AccessPerspective Robotics Construction Kits: From “Objects to Think with” to “Objects to Think and to Emote with”
Future Internet 2018, 10(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi10020021
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper discusses new ideas about the use of educational robotics in social-emotional learning. In particular, educational robotics could be a tool intended to allow children to acquire some of the basic aspects of human emotions and emotional functioning, and to understand how
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This paper discusses new ideas about the use of educational robotics in social-emotional learning. In particular, educational robotics could be a tool intended to allow children to acquire some of the basic aspects of human emotions and emotional functioning, and to understand how these relate to the mind and body. More specifically, by using robots such as the LEGO Mindstorm construction kits—which allow users to both construct the body of the robot and to provide it with a behavioural repertory—children have the opportunity to visualize (and manipulate) the relationship between the robot’s body and mind. This allows them to simulate “embodied emotional minds” and to reflect on new neuroscientific concepts regarding body-mind and cognition-emotion relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engaging in Interaction with Robots)
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