Special Issue "Engaging in Interaction with Robots"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 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

Center for Playware, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

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 quarterly 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 550 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.


  • 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

This special issue is now open for submission.

Journal Contact

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