Call: “Intricacies of Child-Robot Interaction” issue of Multimodal Technologies and Interaction

Call for Papers

“Intricacies of Child-Robot Interaction”
Special issue [or book] to be published by the open-access journal Multimodal Technologies and Interaction

Submission deadline: September 1, 2021

Dear colleagues,

We invite contributions for a Special Issue on “Intricacies of Child-Robot Interaction”, to be published by the open-access journal Multimodal Technologies and Interaction.


In recent decades, there has been an upsurge in interest around the child-robot interaction (CRI). The possibilities of using social robots for educational or therapeutic purposes in schools, hospitals, and domestic settings have captured the attention of researchers, institutions, and stakeholders alike.

In recent years, however, voices have been raised that emphasizes the need for critical and ethical perspectives on the study and use of social robots for children. The trajectory of technological change is never straightforward. While the potentials for CRI are high, so are the stakes. Like many other technologies targeting children, we are still unsure about the long-term effects of CRI on children’s mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing and development. Through our years of experience in this field, we know that researchers indeed confront several difficulties, challenges, and dilemmas in trying to make the interaction between children and robots work successfully. With this Special Issue, we aim to focus on the challenges of CRI that are widely known-but seldom reported-within the research field.

Authors are encouraged to submit original research articles, case studies, reviews, position papers, and theoretical papers within the following topics of interest:


  • Challenges in CRI, including, e.g., design challenges, conducting long-term studies, or designing playful scenarios
  • Critical examinations of children’s or relevant stakeholders’ perceptions and expectations of robots
  • Breakdowns, errors, and/or deficits in CRI, both technical and social, intended and unintended
  • Qualitative studies of cases/children in previously published CRI experiments, excluded from analysis due to robot malfunction or interaction breakdowns
  • Ethics in CRI
  • Studies of CRI that are never published due to “insignificant or negative results”
  • Critical examinations of dominating methods or theories in CRI, and/or proposed methods or theories
  • Robot designs or applications that were for some reason abandoned as feasible options for CRI
  • Negative and/or undesirable effects of robots for children
  • Social and practical challenges of implementing robots in child-focused settings (e.g., classrooms, hospitals, or the home)
  • Cultural challenges in CRI
  • Critical perspectives on social robots in relation to neurodiverse children, e.g., therapeutic applications for children on the autism spectrum
  • Researcher responsibility in CRI


For more information, including relevant topic areas, please consult the special issue website.


Submission deadline: September 1, 2021
Target publication date: Accepted papers are published continuously


As MTI is an open-access journal, the Article Processing Charge is set to 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). As guest editors, we have been given five full waivers that we can grant to promising papers. If you are interested in this opportunity, feel free to contact us, the guest editors, directly for a discussion on your particular idea, abstract or paper.

If a high number of papers are published, the Special Issue can be published as a book instead.

We hope that you will consider submitting an article to this Special Issue. We would also kindly ask that you forward information about the call to other colleagues who might be interested. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Thanks in advance and best wishes,

Sofia and Shruti
Guest editors


Sofia Serholt, University of Gothenburg,
Shruti Chandra, University of Waterloo,

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