Tony Belpaeme

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Book on Human-Robot Interaction (Cambridge University Press)

Over a year ago I got the strangest and most delightful invitation from Christoph Bartneck to pop over to New Zealand for a week to write a book on Human-Robot Interaction. He might as well have asked me to hop up mount Everest on a pogostick – who in his right mind believes a book can be written in a week, but I could use some distraction, so together with Selma Šabanović, Takayuki Kanda and Friederike Eyssel we met up with Christoph and Merel Keijsers in Christchurch. From there we had a road trip to a field station on the west coast of South Island, where we set up camp for five days. Under the cracking whip of a book sprint coach (and much to my surprise) we managed to write a sprawling first draft of an introductory book on Human-Robot Interaction. Cambridge University Press was keen on our draft and over the last year we painstakingly revised it, checking our claims, finding key references, sourcing illustrations and making the book a coherent introduction to the meandering field that is Human-Robot Interaction.

Cambridge University Press is dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s as I write this, and we’re looking forward to receiving the first print of the book. In the meantime we have a website www.human-robot-interaction.org where we’ll collect online material which paper doesn’t do justice, such as a timeline of social robots.