Affect & Embodiment in Human Robot Interaction

‘Affect and Embodiment in HRI’ Workshop accepted for 15th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction, Cambridge, UK, March 23-26, 2020

Along with Cherie Lacey, Lecturer in Media Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, and Caroline Yan Zheng, PhD candidate & visiting lecturer at Information Experience Design, Royal College of Art, our workshop ‘Affect and Embodiment in HRI’ was accepted. We proposed a workshop which blends co-design methods and elicits conceptual resources for theorizing affects and embodiment in human-robot interactions.

The official CFP will be sent out soon, and we’re setting up a website for the workshop. Here is our Rationale:

How do forms of robot embodiment influence the emotional state of the user? In Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), affect and embodiment have become prominent areas of inquiry. The physicality of robotic systems is therefore a crucial factor for user interactions in shared spaces. This recognition of machinic corporeality shares theoretical affinities with recent interests in the humanities and social sciences. In the cognitive sciences and philosophy, for example, the body has long been regarded with suspicion, but recent theories of embodied, extended, enactive, or ecological (4E) cognition have meant a renewed significance for the body as the locus of perception and action, inseparable from memory, learning, and reasoning activity. Meanwhile, the ‘Affective Turn’ in the social sciences recognizes the role of affects and embodiment in the production of intersubjective experiences.

Designing and evaluating the affectivity of the robot body has become a frontier topic in HRI, with previous studies emphasizing the importance of robot embodiment for human-robot communication. In particular, there is growing interest in how the tactile, haptic materiality of the robot mediates users’ affective and emotional states.

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