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Social Robots in Therapy: Focusing on Autonomy and Ethical Challenges

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Pablo Gómez Esteban (lead GE), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Daniel Hernández García, Plymouth University, UK
Hee Rin Lee, UC San Diego, USA
Pauline Chevalier, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Paul Baxter, University of Lincoln, UK
Cindy L. Bethel, Mississippi State University, USA


This Special Issue will be based on the 1st Workshop on Social Robots in Therapy: Focusing on Autonomy and Ethical Challenges (https://sites.google.com/view/srec18/home), held in Chicago, USA, 5 March 2018, in conjunction with the 13th ACM / IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2018) (http://humanrobotinteraction.org/2018/).

The authors are requested to submit their full papers to the special issue complying the general scope of the journal. The submitted papers will undergo peer review process before they can be accepted. Notification of acceptance will be communicated as we progress with the review process

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • shared or full autonomy in robots in therapy
  • adaptive mechanisms for robot used in therapy
  • engagement in therapeutic human-robot interaction
  • ethical systems and challenges for robots in therapy
  • identified user needs at home and in-patient care facilities
  • acceptance studies on social robots used in therapy 
  • patient-centered HRI studies
  • long-term therapeutic interaction studies
  • clinical validation of robot-assisted therapies


The authors are kindly invited to register at our paper processing system at:
and submit their contribution using a special track established for this special issue (SI based on SREC 2018). All papers will go through the journal high standards, quick, fair and comprehensive peer-review procedure.
Instructions for authors are available online at:

In response to a number of requests, the deadline for submission is now extended to 30th June 2018, but individual papers will be reviewed and published online on an ongoing basis.

Contributors to the Special Issue will benefit from:

  • fair and constructive peer review provided by recognized experts in the field
  • Open Access to your article for all interested readers
  • fast online publication of articles
  • no submission or publication fees
  • no space constraints
  • convenient, web-based paper submission and tracking system – Editorial Manager
  • free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions

 We are looking forward to your submission. In case of any questions please contact us at Pablo.Gomez.Esteban@vub.be or Justyna.Zuk@degruyteropen.com.