Cultural Robotics is the first in what will be a series of research publications examining the changing and the acceleratingly interdependent relationship between robots and human beings.

This new book incorporates a selection of papers presented at the First International Workshop of Creative Robotics which took place in 2015, and was held as part of the landmark IEEE RO-MAN conference, themed Interaction with Socially Embedded Robots.   

Edited by a team of UNSW Art & Design academics including adjunct lecturer Dr Jeffrey Koh (Assistant Director, Lead UX Design & Strategy at the National Gallery of Singapore), Belinda Dunstan (UNSW PhD candidate), Dr David Silvera-Tawil (UNSW CRL) and Associate Professor Dr Mari Velonaki (Director of UNSW's world leading Creative Robotics Lab), Cultural Robotics gets its title from an expanding thematic that editors identified running through papers presented in the workshop. Researchers from around the world were citing examples of robots creating cultural content such as; robotic improvisational jazz musicians, a robot leading morning prayers, robot bartenders and ballet dancers, and robots in theatrical performances. 

While researchers were responding to the questions posed by workshop organisers – namely ‘What is the future of robotic contribution to human cultures?’ and ‘What will the advent of robotic-generated culture look like?’ – Koh, Dunstan, Silvera-Tawil, and Velonaki deduced that robots were playing an increasing role in the production of culture and that this role was “collaborative, sincere, and significant”.  

Cultural Robotics organises research outcomes into the following categories: 1) Culture Affecting the Design, Application and Evaluation of Robots; 2) Robots as Participants in Culture; 3) Robots as Producers of Culture: Material and Non-material, and 4) The Advent of Robotic Culture.

Anyone interested in the growing exchange between human and robotic-generated culture will find valuable reading material in this collection. And if you’d prefer a quick overview of current research trends, the introductory chapter presents a survey of robotics culture, taking into account the impact of culture in the design and application of robots, the cultural acceptance of robots, and the emergence of robot-generated culture.

Cultural Robotics, published by Springer Link, one of Germany’s most signcifiant academic publishers, confirms according to editors, “ways in which robots have shaped, and will continue to shape, human culture”.