Conference Theme

Broadening the Field of HRI: Enabling Technologies, Designs, Methods, and Knowledge

The field of human-robot interaction uniquely brings together researchers, designers, developers, and policymakers from a diverse set of backgrounds, including robotics, human-computer interaction, design, linguistics, and social, cognitive, and developmental psychology, into a diverse community with a common interest: enabling, building, and studying interactions between humans and robots. The tenth ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction seeks to emphasize the diversity in research and scholarship around this common goal by inviting contributions from the broader field of human-robot interaction with particular emphasis on new technologies that enable human-robot interaction, novel designs of interactive robots, new methods for enabling, studying, and understanding interaction, and new knowledge on human environments, needs, and practices that inform fundamental and applied research in human-robot interaction.

Authors are asked to designate a theme they expect their work to fall under when making a submission. To guide authors in this process, the paragraphs below describe each one of the five themes, providing examples of past contributions to the Conference and listing the program committee members who will manage the review process for submissions to these themes. These themes represent different types of contributions to human-robot interaction and thus involve different criteria for evaluating what constitutes a significant contribution to the field. Common to contributions to all themes is top-quality research that demonstrates technical soundness, methodological rigor, and/or practical usefulness, as has been established by the HRI Community in the last decade.

The Open Letter to the HRI Community also describes the different contribution types and the changes that have been made in the peer-review process for HRI 2015.

Studies of Human-Robot Interaction

The theme studies of human-robot interaction includes naturalistic and experimental studies of how humans and robots interact in real-world settings or might interact in experimental scenarios to establish new understanding, principles, and design recommendations for human-robot interaction. Submissions under this theme must provide a detailed account of the research method, robot platform and behaviors, manipulations (if any) and measurements used, and data obtained from the study.

Theme Chair: Takayuki Kanda, ATR, Japan


  • Rachid Alami, LAAS/CNRS
  • Tony Belpaeme, Plymouth University
  • Cindy Bethel, Mississippi State University
  • Guy Hoffman, IDC Herzliya
  • Yukie Nagai, Osaka University
  • Brian Scassellati, Yale University
  • Adriana Tapus, ENSTA-ParisTech
  • James Young, University of Manitoba

Enabling Technologies

Enabling technologies include contributions that describe new robot systems, algorithms, and computational methods that enable robots to better understand, interact with, and collaborate with their users. Submissions under this theme must present the proposed technology or method in a form that allows replication, such as formal descriptions, pseudocode, or open-sourced code, demonstrate the applicability of the technology for enabling human-robot interaction, and evaluate the soundness of the proposed technology using methods that are best suited to assess technical soundness.

Theme Chair: Nicholas Roy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA


  • Brenna Argall, Northwestern University
  • Kai Oliver Arras, University of Freiburg
  • Maya Cakmak, University of Washington
  • Sonia Chernova, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Ana Paiva, Technical University of Lisbon
  • Julie Shah, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Siddhartha Srinivasa, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Stefanie Tellex, Brown University

Enabling Designs

The “enabling designs” theme involves contributions that describe new robot designs, including new robot morphology, behaviors, or services. Submissions that fall under this theme must provide a detailed account of the process followed as well as resources and materials involved in the design of the robot, steps that the design team has taken to ensure good design choices, such as formative evaluations, design iterations, and heuristics carried out, and a clear demonstration of the promise of the new design in enabling human-robot interaction.

Theme Chair: Jodi Forlizzi, Carnegie Mellon University, USA


  • Wendy Ju, Stanford University
  • Sonya Kwak, Ewha Womans University
  • Mark Neerincx, TNO & Delft University of Technology

Enabling Methods

This theme includes contributions that describe new techniques and methods that enable the study, analysis, or construction of human-robot interactions form. Submissions to this category must provide a detailed description of the proposed technique, method, or measurement, analysis, or synthesis tool in a form that enables use by the community, a demonstration of how it may be employed to study, analyze, or synthesize interaction, such as a tutorial, and an evaluation of the usefulness of the technique, method, or tool through case studies or its applications to available datasets.

Theme Chair: Greg Trafton, Navy Research Laboratory, USA


  • Kerstin Fischer, South Denmark University
  • Dylan Glas, ATR
  • Min Kyung Lee, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Laurel Riek, University of Notre Dame
  • Selma Sabanovic, Indiana University
  • Aaron Steinfeld, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Andrea Thomaz, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Holly Yanco, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Enabling Knowledge

This theme describes contributions that provide new understanding of human interaction, needs, and environments that will inform the development of new robot technologies, systems, and applications. Submissions that fall under this theme must describe studies that characterize human interactions or behaviors that future robot systems may support, reveal human needs that future robot systems may meet, or describe environments in which robot systems may function. These submissions must provide rich knowledge about humans and demonstrate the rigor with which such knowledge was constructed, such as details on coding procedure, reliability analysis, etc.

Theme Chair: Manfred Tscheligi, University of Salzburg & AIT, Austria


  • Vanessa Evers, University of Twente
  • Malte Jung, Cornell University
  • Astrid Weiss, Vienna University of Technology