Research Topic

The Art of Human-Robot Interaction: Creative Perspectives from Design and the Arts

About this Research Topic

Advancements in robotics have traditionally been considered the domain of engineering and computer science, but there is mounting evidence that artists and designers have much to contribute to aesthetic design and innovative technical solutions for robots. As robotic technologies mature and move beyond the confines of research laboratories, it is essential that interactive and collaborative robots be tested in the real world alongside real people for extended periods. With their innovative methods and public-facing focus, the arts provide an ideal testing ground for developing new robotic solutions that stimulate the public imagination and appetite for emerging robot technologies. The arts also provide a robust testing ground for studying relevant factors such as intuitive interaction, trust and usability. Despite widespread enthusiasm for robots, many first-generation social robotics startups have struggled to flourish, and there remain many obstacles to widespread adoption of robots in the home, education and health. There is a clear need for fresh perspectives and new approaches for developing robots and studying Human-Robot Interactions (HRI) that address these challenges. User-centred and participatory design are well established in the HCI domain, and there is significant interest in establishing similar processes for robot design. Art and design help stimulate this process by Involving end-users in the design process and cultivating interdisciplinary approaches to designing and studying the frontiers of human-robot interaction in the real world.

Since 2011, a series of workshops, forums and programs have explored robotic art within the mainstream robotics research community. A growing community of practitioners has emerged through these gatherings: the community of researchers and practitioners connects the fields of art, design, music, performance and visual arts with computer science and engineering. This inherently cross-disciplinary community investigates new approaches for harnessing the power of aesthetics while formalising the research and methodological aspects of unconventional or cross-disciplinary approaches: interactive art and live performance present opportunities to situate and study robots in real-world settings with real people. Thus, we identify robotic art as having the potential to emerge as a key research area within the broader field of robotics.

This Research Topic intends to capture a broad and inclusive collection of work representing state of the art within the diverse disciplines that robotic art interacts with. The emphasis is on long-term and in-the-wild autonomous robotic systems in human-centred environments.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

Robotic Art
- Robots in theatre, dance and musical performance
- Creative robotics
- Interactive robotic art
- Robots in cultural contexts
- Artist in the (robotics) lab

Design
- Participatory design
- Novel and creative applications
- Art and industry collaborations

Human-Robot Interaction
- User studies in artistic contexts, galleries and museums
- Long term interactions during artistic performance
- Movement-based interaction
- Human-centred robotics

Prof Damith Herath, University of Canberra, is also CEO of Robological PTY LTD, all other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.

Cover Image: TheObsessiveDrafter, credits: Guillaume Credoz, BitstoAtoms


Keywords: Human-Robot Interaction, Social Robotics, Collaborative Robots, Robotic Art, Creative Robotics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Advancements in robotics have traditionally been considered the domain of engineering and computer science, but there is mounting evidence that artists and designers have much to contribute to aesthetic design and innovative technical solutions for robots. As robotic technologies mature and move beyond the confines of research laboratories, it is essential that interactive and collaborative robots be tested in the real world alongside real people for extended periods. With their innovative methods and public-facing focus, the arts provide an ideal testing ground for developing new robotic solutions that stimulate the public imagination and appetite for emerging robot technologies. The arts also provide a robust testing ground for studying relevant factors such as intuitive interaction, trust and usability. Despite widespread enthusiasm for robots, many first-generation social robotics startups have struggled to flourish, and there remain many obstacles to widespread adoption of robots in the home, education and health. There is a clear need for fresh perspectives and new approaches for developing robots and studying Human-Robot Interactions (HRI) that address these challenges. User-centred and participatory design are well established in the HCI domain, and there is significant interest in establishing similar processes for robot design. Art and design help stimulate this process by Involving end-users in the design process and cultivating interdisciplinary approaches to designing and studying the frontiers of human-robot interaction in the real world.

Since 2011, a series of workshops, forums and programs have explored robotic art within the mainstream robotics research community. A growing community of practitioners has emerged through these gatherings: the community of researchers and practitioners connects the fields of art, design, music, performance and visual arts with computer science and engineering. This inherently cross-disciplinary community investigates new approaches for harnessing the power of aesthetics while formalising the research and methodological aspects of unconventional or cross-disciplinary approaches: interactive art and live performance present opportunities to situate and study robots in real-world settings with real people. Thus, we identify robotic art as having the potential to emerge as a key research area within the broader field of robotics.

This Research Topic intends to capture a broad and inclusive collection of work representing state of the art within the diverse disciplines that robotic art interacts with. The emphasis is on long-term and in-the-wild autonomous robotic systems in human-centred environments.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

Robotic Art
- Robots in theatre, dance and musical performance
- Creative robotics
- Interactive robotic art
- Robots in cultural contexts
- Artist in the (robotics) lab

Design
- Participatory design
- Novel and creative applications
- Art and industry collaborations

Human-Robot Interaction
- User studies in artistic contexts, galleries and museums
- Long term interactions during artistic performance
- Movement-based interaction
- Human-centred robotics

Prof Damith Herath, University of Canberra, is also CEO of Robological PTY LTD, all other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.

Cover Image: TheObsessiveDrafter, credits: Guillaume Credoz, BitstoAtoms


Keywords: Human-Robot Interaction, Social Robotics, Collaborative Robots, Robotic Art, Creative Robotics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 March 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 March 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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