Call: “Robots for Social Good: Exploring Critical Design for HRI” – Workshop at HRI 2019

Call for Papers

“Robots for Social Good: Exploring Critical Design for HRI”
A half-day, hands-on Workshop at HRI 2019, the 14th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
Daegu, Korea
11 March 2019


Submission Date: 25 February 2019
Notification Date: 28 February 2019
Workshop Date: 11 March 2019

More information:
Submission page:


  • Selma Sabanovic, Associate Professor of Informatics at Indiana University, Bloomington (USA)
  • Chi Hyung Jeon, Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy, KAIST (Korea)
  • Ana Paiva, Full professor at Instituto Superior Técnico and coordinator of the Intelligent and Social Agents Group, GAIPS (Portugal)

Robots are being increasingly developed as social actors, entering public and personal spaces. However, if we consider these robots as social interventions, then it is important to recognize that the robot’s design – its behavior, its application, its appearance, even its marketing image – will have an impact on the society and social spaces it enters. While in some cases this may be a positive effect, social robots can also contribute negatively, e.g., reinforcing gender stereotypes or promoting ageist views.

Ultimately, we want to promote robots for social good that can contribute to positive social changes for socio-political issues (e.g., ageism, feminism, homelessness, environmental issues). This workshop aims to strengthen this discussion in the HRI community, with the goal of working toward initial recommendations for how HRI designers can include elements of critical design in their work.


We welcome prospective participants to submit a short paper (2 to 4 pages) with a short paragraph (research topics and questions that the author would like to discuss in the workshop). We are open to various type of submission (e.g, position paper, a paper addressing preliminary results, method approaches, etc.)

All papers should be submitted in PDF format using the HRI template (template link). Paper acceptance requires that *at least one author registers for and attends the workshop.*

Submission page:


  • Human Centered Algorithms, and Computational robot autonomy research aiming to improve human autonomy
  • Summaries of HRI projects that emphasize the potential impact to social good of the work
  • Case studies empowering socially marginalized population – e.g., older adults, homeless, blue-collar workers, people with a disability, minorities, or non-users
  • Methods, approaches, and techniques to bridge the knowledge gap between designers and users – e.g., developmental gap such as adults designers vs. child-user
  • Robots for social issues – e.g., environmental issues, gender issues – and studies investigating roles of robots as social interventions – e.g., for helping children with autism, soothing elderly with dementia, stimulating children to give evidence in police interviews
  • Application of critical social science theories to robot design – e.g., feminism, robot rights
  • Alternative or critical robot design approach – e.g., participatory design, value sensitive design, futuristic autobiographies
  • Robot design and application ethics – e.g., how sex robots objectify women, how drone use unequalizes privacy, how robot design can reinforce racial bias, etc
  • Community robotics research

We encourage researchers and practitioners to attend the workshop even without a paper submission. Our goal is to maximize community engagement and the uptake of concepts regarding robots for social good within the field of HRI.


Hee Rin Lee, UC San Diego
EunJeong Cheon, Indiana University Bloomington
Maartje de Graaf, Utrecht University
Patrícia Alves-Oliveira, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
Cristina Zaga, University of Twente
James Young, University of Manitoba


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