Call: ACM/IEEE Human-Robot Interaction 2010

5th ACM/IEEE International Conference on


Workshop on Interaction Science Perspective on HRI: Designing Robot Morphology

March 2, Osaka (Japan)



This half-day HRI 2010 workshop will address the impact of robot morphology on human-robot interaction (HRI) from the perspective of Interaction Science (IS), which advances knowledge about human interactions with digital technologies for pursuing theory, design, creation, implementation and evaluation of communication technologies.

If embodiment is the unique feature of robots, then a fundamental HRI issue pertains to the effect of a particular morphology or physical design in the way humans interact with a robot, what humans expect the robot to do, and how humans respond to it. Morphology is first conditioned by the specific engineering purpose that the robot must fulfill. For example, a vision-based system suggests the design of an anthropomorphic face, but this has to be balanced with the “uncanny valley effect”: at what point does human response to an anthropomorphic robot change from empathy to repulsion? Clearly, morphology holds important meanings for users. Different morphologies suggest different affordances to users, triggering a variety of cognitive heuristics and thereby shaping their interactions with robots.

As the outcome of this workshop, we expect some progress towards more human-acceptable interactions with robots by understanding the cognitive, behavioral, organizational, and contextual factors of morphology in HRI and paving the way for development of meta-theories and design guidelines. We emphasize the importance of the user context and the complexity and diversity of human behavior, along with a highly multi-disciplinary approach to HRI, involving participants from communication, engineering, psychology, design, and other disciplines. By encouraging integration of multiple perspectives, we aspire to arrive at new insights. The workshop will be organized in such a way as to generate fruitful discussions, it will consist of invited presentations, regular presentations and posters, with additional time for discussions.

Call for Contributions

Contributions are solicited in different categories provided that they are relevant to the workshop topic, i.e. the impact of robot morphology on HRI, as described above. We encourage a variety of perspectives on this topic in the interdisciplinary spirit of Interaction Science, emphasizing user aspects of robot morphology. Thus, submissions could describe results of research, user studies, research in progress, position papers, concept explication, theoretical elaboration, descriptions of interface prototypes and other forms of contributions to advancement of knowledge pertaining to robot morphology and HRI. Final contributions will be included in the workshop proceedings, available to all attendees of the conference.

Submissions should be in pdf format and preferably in standard IEEE two-column format, but no longer than 2 pages. All submissions should be sent by email to both organizers of the workshop:

Angel P. del Pobil <pobil(at)> and

S. Shyam Sundar <sss12(at)>

NO LATER than 5 pm GMT on 15 January 2010 (firm deadline)

Please include [HRI2010] in the email subject line and the following information in the body: title of paper, author list, contact email, name of attached pdf file.

Important Dates:

15 January 2010 (strict) – Extended abstracts submission deadline

20 January 2010 – Notification of acceptance

10 February 2010 – Final versions due


The organizers will put together the proceedings of the workshop consisting of accepted contributions in final form, the conclusions resulting from the discussions and other relevant materials.


Angel P. del Pobil, Robotic Intelligence Laboratory (
Universitat Jaume I, Castellon, Spain, <pobil(at)>,

Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Universitat Jaume I (Spain) and founding director of the UJI Robotic Intelligence Laboratory. His research interests include: human-robot interaction, humanoid robots, service robotics, robot physical interaction, robot learning, developmental robotics, and the interplay between neurobiology and robotics.

S. Shyam Sundar, Media Effects Research Laboratory (
College of Communications, The Pennsylvania State University, USA, <sss12(at)>,

S. Shyam Sundar is distinguished professor of communication and founding director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Penn State University (USA). His research investigates social and psychological effects of technological elements in media interfaces. His MAIN Model is particularly appropriate for studying the role of robot morphology on user cognitions and their  subsequent interactions.

This workshop is sponsored by the Department of Interaction Science, Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea.

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