The theme of this year for HRI’21 is “Bolder HRI”. Consequently, Alt.HRI aims to be even bolder, i.e. “Bolder Square.” Alt.HRI track is looking for the most audacious, creative, and thought-provoking ideas supported by rigorous research that does not fit elsewhere. We aim to reach our colleagues from disciplines that aren’t part of the mainstream of HRI yet and ask for the unexpected, the controversial, the creative, and the diverse. Alt.HRI 2021 aims to be unexpected, resilient, and bold according to the 2020ies zeitgeist.

Alt.HRI studies can be described as radical, unique, provocative, inspiring, controversial, nonobvious, rare, unusual, and also relevant, rigorous, well-argued, and research-supported. Topics such as HRI and Art, aestheticism in robotics, critical HRI, speculative HRI, historical studies related to HRI, new methods in HRI, controversial methods in HRI, learning from small samples, robots and gender, sexism in robotics,  feminism and robotics, robots and COVID, HRI in the lockdown, robots and racism, social justice, robot rights, robot ethics, robot laws, robot behaviours, robot and politics,  robots and religion, against pseudoscience in HRI,  fun studies in HRI,  novel robot designs and implementations are possible in Alt.HRI. Of course, other controversial topics and approaches are also welcome. Alt.HRI papers aim to trigger meaningful and respectful discussions in the HRI community. Feel free to have a look at previously accepted papers in Alt.HRI in the conference programs HRI’20, HRI’19, HRI’18, HRI’17, HRI’16.

Submissions will be rigorously double-blind peer-reviewed by a cohort of HRI experts from the most diverse backgrounds.







Guidelines for Alt.HRI Submission

1. Please use a language that is accessible to a broad audience and avoid special terms that may be common in your home discipline, but that may be unknown to people in HRI in general. In case you need them, please explain in detail the concepts you draw on.

2. Even though Alt.HRI invites creative submissions, disruptive ideas, and controversial topics, all submissions should support their findings, positions, and proposals according to rigorous academic standards.

3. Alt.HRI encourages discussion with respect among diverse academic communities and is open to all kinds of discussions; nevertheless, all topics should be addressed respectfully.

Papers must be submitted via PCS. Accepted papers will be presented at the digital conference and will be archived in the ACM Digital Library and IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

The paper needs to be anonymized, 4-8 pages long and need to follow the ACM SIG format. Authors should use the template files available from the conference website. In addition, the ACM has partnered with Overleaf, where authors can start writing using this link directly.

Looking forward to hearing from the bolder researchers!

Important Dates


November 30, 2020: Submission Deadline
January 7, 2021: Notification of Acceptance
January 12, 2021: Final Submission


Kerstin FischerUniversity of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Eduardo B. Sandoval, The University of New South Wales, Australia