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Social Robots from a Human Perspective

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  • © 2015


  • Explores the social and human implications of intelligent robots working together with people
  • Addresses current issues of trust and responsibility arising from the use of socially intelligent robots in domains with an extended range of human involvement
  • Investigates what kind of machines could be used in daily life
  • Includes supplementary material:

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About this book

This book presents a comprehensive overview of the human dimension of social robots by discussing both transnational features and national peculiarities. Addressing several issues that explore the human side of social robots, this book investigates what a social robot is and how we might come to think about social robots in the different areas of everyday life. Organized around three sections that deal with Perceptions and Attitudes to Social Robots, Human Interaction with Social Robots, and Social Robots in Everyday Life, it explores the idea that even if the challenges of robot technologies can be overcome from a technological perspective, the question remains as to what kind of machine we want to have and use in our daily lives.

Lessons learned from previous widely adopted technologies, such as smartphones, indicate that robot technologies could potentially be absorbed into the everyday lives of humans in such a way that it is the human that determines the human-machine interaction. In a similar way to how today’s information and communication technologies were initially designed for professional/industrial use, but were soon commercialized for the mass market and then personalized by humans in the course of daily practice, the use of social robots is now facing the same revolution of ‘domestication.’ In the context of this transformation, which involves the profound embedding of robots in everyday life, the ‘human’ aspect of social robots will play a major part. This book sheds new light on this highly topical issue, one of the central subjects that will be taught and studied at universities worldwide and that will be discussed widely, publicly and repeatedly in the near future.

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Table of contents (12 chapters)

  1. Perceptions and Attitudes to Social Robots

  2. Social Robots in Everyday Life

Editors and Affiliations

  • School of Arts, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom

    Jane Vincent

  • University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

    Sakari Taipale

  • Viale del Policlinico 147, Fondazione Ugo Bordoni, Roma, Italy

    Bartolomeo Sapio

  • COST, Brussels, Belgium

    Giuseppe Lugano

  • University of Udine, Udine, Italy

    Leopoldina Fortunati

About the editors

Jane Vincent, Ph.D., Jane Vincent is Senior Research Fellow at the LSE Media and Communications Department and Visiting Fellow with the Digital World Research Centre at the University of Surrey. She researches the social practices of mobile communications and ICT users. Her studies for industry and international academic organizations on the social shaping of technology, children’s and older peoples’ use of mobile phones are published widely and Jane’s work on emotions and mobile phones is published in English, German and Russian.
Sakari Taipale, Ph.D., is an Academy of Finland Research Fellow at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Eastern Finland. Presently, he is running a five-year research project on intergenerational relations in the digital societies. Taipale has published on the social aspects of new media technologies and mobilities in many high-ranked academic journals, such as British Journal of Sociology, New Media and Society, Information, Communication and Society, Social Science Research, Telecommunications Policy, European Journal of Communication, and Mobilities. He has also edited one book with Prof. Juho Saari and Dr. Sakari Kainulainen. Regarding robot research, Taipale has studied the Eurobarometer 382 “Public Attitudes towards Robots” data collected in 2012 and lectured on social robotics at international academic events.
Bartolomeo Sapio, Ph.D., holds a Doctor Laurea Degree in Electronic Engineering summa cum laude at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. He is a senior researcher and project manager with Fondazione Ugo Bordon participating in several international projects. He has carried out methodological research in the field of scenario analysis, developing the original methods WISE, SEARCH and GIMMICKS, and applying them to multimedia, broadband networks, the Internet, mobile services and the convergence between fixed and mobile networks. He designedand implemented SIMULAB (Scenario-engineering Interactive Multimedia LABoratory), an advanced work environment to carry out research activities in the field of Scenario Engineering. He was Chairman of COST (COoperation in the field of Scientific and Technical research) Action 298 “Participation in the Broadband Society”, and a member in the Management Committees of COST Action IS0605 “A Telecommunications Economics COST Network – Econ@Tel” and COST Action A22 “Foresight methodologies – Exploring new ways to explore the future”, where he chaired the Working Group “Integrating Narratives and Numbers”. He is currently the coordinator of an EU-funded project carried out within the Seventh Framework Programme: CUMULUS (Certification infrastrUcture for MUlti-Layer cloUd Services).
Leopoldina Fortunati, Ph.D., is professor of Sociology of Communication at the Faculty of Education of the University of Udine. She has conducted several research projects in the field of gender studies, cultural processes and communication and information technologies. She is the author and editor of many books, is associate editor of the journal The Information Society and serves as referee for many outstanding journals. She is active at European level especially in COST networks and is the Italian representative in the COST Domain Committee (ISCH, Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health). She is the co-chair with Richard Ling of the International Association "The Society for the Social Study of Mobile Communication" (SSSMC). Her works have been published in eleven languages: Bulgarian, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Slovenian, and Spanish.
Giuseppe Lugano, Ph.D., works in Brussels as Science Officer for COST, the longest-running European framework for cooperation in science and technology. He holds a MSc degree in Computer Science and a PhD in Cognitive Science. His publications and research interests deal with theconceptual design of technologies and services for community and sustainable living.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Social Robots from a Human Perspective

  • Editors: Jane Vincent, Sakari Taipale, Bartolomeo Sapio, Giuseppe Lugano, Leopoldina Fortunati

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Engineering, Engineering (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-15671-2Published: 27 May 2015

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-15672-9Published: 08 May 2015

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIII, 144

  • Number of Illustrations: 12 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Robotics and Automation, Communication Studies, Computer Appl. in Social and Behavioral Sciences

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