Assistive technologies like Assistive Robots (AR) are being considered as enablers to support the process of care giving, potentially enhancing patient well-being and decreasing caregiver workload. Currently, it needs to deepen the research about person-centered care, multimodal interaction, multimodal data collection, caregiver expectancy model to improve AR acceptability.
In light of these assumptions, the Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) field is devoted to understanding, designing, and assessing the robotic systems used by human being.
By definition, the interaction implicates the communication. In light of this assumption, research in the HRI ﬁeld is increasingly focused on the development of robots equipped with intelligent communicative abilities, in particular speech-based natural-language conversational abilities. These efforts directly relate to the research area of computational linguistics, generally deﬁned as “the subﬁeld of computer science concerned with using computational techniques to learn, understand, and produce human language content”. The advances and results in computational linguistics provide a foundational background for the development of so-called Spoken Dialogue Systems, i.e., computer systems designed to interact with humans using spoken natural language. The ability to communicate using natural language is a fundamental requirement for a robot that interacts with human being. Then, spoken dialogue is generally considered as the most natural way for social human-robot interaction. The sensing technologies represent a key role in the HRI and new approaches or application of existing ones in novel way could be really significant in facilitating the improvement of this field and consequently in all the sub-fields related to it.
The central focus of this Special Issues will be to advance novel technologies applied in healthcare processes that have shown exceptional promise in models of HRI though the use of new sensors or methodologies capable to adapt, combine or improve the existing ones.
The first important question concerns the modalities needed to sense the emotional state of people by the robot. Secondly, there is the problem of modelling the interaction between human and robot, not only on a haptic level, but also on an emotional level.
Dr. Grazia D\'Onofrio
Dr. Daniele Sancarlo