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James Young <[log in to unmask]>
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ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction

We are pleased to announce the publication of Volume 10, Issue 3, July 2021, which includes our Special Issue on Explainable Robot Behavior

Issue Articles:

On the Safety of Mobile Robots Serving in Public Spaces: Identifying gaps in EN ISO 13482:2014 and calling for a new standard
Pericle Salvini, Diego Paez-Granados, Aude Billard
Abstract: Since 2014, a specific standard has been dedicated for the safety certification of personal care robots, which operate in close proximity to humans. These robots serve as information providers, object transporters, personal mobility carriers, and ...

Plant Robot for At-Home Behavioral Activation Therapy Reminders to Young Adults with Depression
Ashwin Sadananda Bhat, Christiaan Boersma, Max Jan Meijer, Maaike Dokter, Ernst Bohlmeijer, Jamy Li
Abstract: Adolescents with depression who participate in behavioral activation therapy may find it hard to be motivated to perform tasks at home that their therapists recommend. We describe the initial design and usability evaluation of a home device (“PlantBot”) ...

Generating Legible and Glanceable Swarm Robot Motion through Trajectory, Collective Behavior, and Pre-attentive Processing Features
Lawrence H. Kim, Sean Follmer
Abstract: As swarm robots begin to share the same space with people, it is critical to design legible swarm robot motion that clearly and rapidly communicates the intent of the robots to nearby users. To address this, we apply concepts from intent-expressive ...

Special Issue on Explainable Robot Behavior

Introduction to the Special Issue on Explainable Robotic Systems
Maartje M. A. De Graaf, Anca Dragan, Bertram F. Malle, Tom Ziemke

Back-off: Evaluation of Robot Motion Strategies to Facilitate Human-Robot Spatial Interaction
Jakob Reinhardt, Lorenz Prasch, Klaus Bengler
Abstract: Standstill behavior by a robot is deemed to be ineffective and inefficient to convey a robot’s intention to yield priority to another party in spatial interaction. Instead, robots could convey their intention and thus their next action via motion. We ...

Design of Hesitation Gestures for Nonverbal Human-Robot Negotiation of Conflicts
Ajung Moon, Maneezhay Hashmi, H. F. Machiel Van Der Loos, Elizabeth A. Croft, Aude Billard
Abstract: When the question of who should get access to a communal resource first is uncertain, people often negotiate via nonverbal communication to resolve the conflict. What should a robot be programmed to do when such conflicts arise in Human-Robot ...

Explaining in Time: Meeting Interactive Standards of Explanation for Robotic Systems
Thomas Arnold, Daniel Kasenberg, Matthias Scheutz
Abstract: Explainability has emerged as a critical AI research objective, but the breadth of proposed methods and application domains suggest that criteria for explanation vary greatly. In particular, what counts as a good explanation, and what kinds of ...

Building the Foundation of Robot Explanation Generation Using Behavior Trees
Zhao Han, Daniel Giger, Jordan Allspaw, Michael S. Lee, Henny Admoni, Holly A. Yanco
Abstract: As autonomous robots continue to be deployed near people, robots need to be able to explain their actions. In this article, we focus on organizing and representing complex tasks in a way that makes them readily explainable. Many actions consist of sub-...

Explainable Embodied Agents Through Social Cues: A Review
Sebastian Wallkötter, Silvia Tulli, Ginevra Castellano, Ana Paiva, Mohamed Chetouani
Abstract: The issue of how to make embodied agents explainable has experienced a surge of interest over the past 3 years, and there are many terms that refer to this concept, such as transparency and legibility. One reason for this high variance in terminology is ...

“I See What You Did There”: Understanding People’s Social Perception of a Robot and Its Predictability
Bob R. Schadenberg, Dennis Reidsma, Dirk K. J. Heylen, Vanessa Evers
Abstract: Unpredictability in robot behaviour can cause difficulties in interacting with robots. However, for social interactions with robots, a degree of unpredictability in robot behaviour may be desirable for facilitating engagement and increasing the ...

The Perceptual Belief Problem: Why Explainability Is a Tough Challenge in Social Robotics
Sam Thellman, Tom Ziemke
Abstract: The explainability of robotic systems depends on people’s ability to reliably attribute perceptual beliefs to robots, i.e., what robots know (or believe) about objects and events in the world based on their perception. However, the perceptual systems of ...

ACM THRI welcomes contributions from across HRI and Robotics. For details on the journal, information for authors, and upcoming Special Issues, please visit the ACM THRI website:

Odest Chadwicke Jenkins
Selma Sabanovic
ACM THRI Editors-in-Chief

James Young, University of Manitoba
ACM THRI Managing Editor

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