Robots for Social Good

Exploring Critical Design for HRI

Workshop description

Robots for Social Good Workshop

  • "Robots for social good: Exploring Critical Design for HRI" is a half-day & hands-on workshop, held in conjunction with the 14th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction.
  • This workshop aims to offer a forum for HRI researchers from around the world to explore the positive and negative effects of social robots, and to work toward potential opportunities for the field.
  • This workshop aims to promote robots for social good that can contribute to positive social changes for socio-political 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.

Topics of interest (but not limited to)

  • 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 unequalize privacy, how robot design can reinforce racial bias, etc
  • Community robotics research

Invited Speakers

Selma Sabanovic

Associate Professor of Informatics at Indiana University, Bloomington (USA)

Chihyung 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)

Accepted papers


Date: 11 March 2019 - Hours: 2PM to 6PM - Location: room 323A, EXCO Convention Center, Daegu.

2:00PM - 3:30PM

Introduction and welcoming

Lightning presentations of the workshop participants (8 min talk for each paper - 5 min talk + 3 min Q&A)

Hands-on design workshop (30min)

3:30PM - 4:00PM

Coffee Break

4:00PM - 4:30PM

Hands-on design workshop (30min)

4:30PM - 6:00PM

4:30 - 5:00: Ana Paiva “Prosocial Robotics: a new vision” (25 talk + 5 min Q&A)

5:00 - 5:30 Chihyung Jeon “Socially Beneficial Robots: Technocultural experiments in South Korea” (25 talk + 5 min Q&A)

5:30 - 6:00 Selma Sabanovic “Robots For Us: Designing Robots For and With Communities” (25 talk + 5 min Q&A)


Important dates

Submission Date: 25 January 2019 Extended to 25 February 2019

Notification Date: 28 February 2019

Workshop Date: 11 March, 2019

Submission instructions

  • 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)
  • All papers should be submitted in PDF format using the ACM template.
  • Paper acceptance requires that at least one author registers for and attends the workshop.
  • 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.
  • Submission page link can be found here.

Organizing Commiteee

UC San Diego

Indiana University Bloomington

Utrecht University

ISCTE-IUL, Cornell University, INESC-ID

University of Twente

University of Manitoba



robot4socialgood (at) gmail (dot) com