Research Topic

Contextualized Affective Interactions with Robots

About this Research Topic

Affect is a well-known motivating and guiding force in our daily lives. With technological advancement, there has been a growing interest to include affect in the design of complex socio-technical systems, resulting in a new wave of applications following the embodied interaction paradigm. Expressing one’s ...

Affect is a well-known motivating and guiding force in our daily lives. With technological advancement, there has been a growing interest to include affect in the design of complex socio-technical systems, resulting in a new wave of applications following the embodied interaction paradigm. Expressing one’s own affective states and reading others’ is critical for human-human interaction, particularly to manage natural communication and social interaction. Since this is also applied to human-system interaction, researchers and designers have started addressing affective aspects of the system in addition to cognitive aspects. However, research is still largely technology-driven, and approaches are rather general, which is often the case for the early stage of a new research area. For example, there has been much research on generic affect detection using various combinations of sensors and different classification techniques. However, little research has focused on applying the technologies to real-world situations.

In the field of robotics, robots have been designed for affective interactions with older adults, children with autism, students, and patients, and research has shown that affective robots have been considered more acceptable, preferable, and trustable. However, there are mixed results, and much research is required to unpack the underlying mechanisms and implement the optimized interactions for different use cases.

Based on this background, this Research Topic invites research and design efforts that refine affective interactions with robots for specific physical and social settings and user groups. It aims to capture theories for conceptualizing human affective interactions with robots, methods for designing and assessing them, and case studies for highlighting these interactions. We seek to elaborate on the roles of affect in contributing to a human-centered perspective that considers psychological, social, ethical, cultural, and environmental factors of implementing emotional/affective intelligence into daily human-robot interactions.

We encourage manuscript submissions on the following Topics of Interest

- affective interactions between robots and special populations (e.g., students, children, older adults, patients, drivers, etc.)
- affective interactions with companion robots
- affective interactions with robots in space, industry, or other workplaces
- affective interactions with robots in VR/AR/MR
- robots as an affective confederate in HRI experiments
- cultural differences or cross-cultural affect research with robots
- computational modeling of affective interactions for a specific domain
- design research platform for affective robot applications
- research on complex (or secondary) emotions in interacting with robots

In addition to the psychology community, we encourage contributions to this research field from a variety of domains including computer science, industrial engineering, industrial design, biomedical engineering, human-computer interaction, human-robot interaction, and more.


Keywords: affect, human-robot interaction, explainable AI, affective robots, affective interactions


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

11 December 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

11 December 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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