Social Robotics Lab

Social robotics deals with the "creation of meaning among humans and machines and the study of this meaning-making and related aspects" (Guzman, 2018)

The NDSU Social Robotics Lab is housed in NDSU's Department of Communication and is directed by Dr. David Westerman, who is affiliated with the Communication and Social Robotics Lab at Western Michigan University/University of Central Florida.

Drawing from Guzman's (2018) definition of human-machine communication, social robotics in the NDSU Department of Communication focuses on the study of how (and how not) people interact and create meaning with robots of various types, and how we may come to see each other as participants in the communication process.

Relevant Publications:
  • Banks, J., Edwards, A. P., & Westerman, D. (2021). The space between: Nature and machine heuristics in evaluations of organisms, cyborgs, and robots. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 24(5), 324-331.

  • Westerman, D., Edwards, A. P., Edwards, C., Luo, Z., & Spence, P. R. (2020). I-It, I-Thou, I-Robot: The perceived humanness of AI in human-machine communication. Communication Studies, 71(3), 393-408.

  • Westerman, D., Cross, A. C., & Lindmark, P. G. (2019). I believe in a thing called bot: Perceptions of the humanness of “chatbots”. Communication Studies, 70(3), 295-312.

  • Edwards, A., Edwards, C., Westerman, D., & Spence, P. R. (2019). Initial expectations, interactions, and beyond with social robots. Computers in Human Behavior, 90, 308-314.

  • Westerman, D., Edwards, A., Edwards, C., & Spence, P. R. (2018). Social robots and social presence: Interpersonally communicating with robots. In Human-Machine Communication Preconference at the International Communication Association Conference, Prague, Czech Republic.

  • Kelly, S. E., & Westerman, D. K. (2016). New technologies and distributed learning systems. In Communication and Learning (pp. 455-480). De Gruyter Mouton.

  • Edwards, C., Edwards, A., Spence, P. R., & Westerman, D. (2016). Initial interaction expectations with robots: Testing the human-to-human interaction script. Communication Studies, 67(2), 227-238.

  • Spence, P. R., Westerman, D., Edwards, C., & Edwards, A. (2014). Welcoming our robot overlords: Initial expectations about interaction with a robot. Communication Research Reports, 31(3), 272-280.

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