The Role of Social Robots in Public Space

  • Leopoldina FortunatiEmail author
  • Filippo Cavallo
  • Mauro Sarrica
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 540)


The purpose of this research is to understand what might be today—on the edge of the social robotics era—the role of robots in public spaces. In Europe, there was a strong tradition of automata exhibition in the ‘600 and 700’ with ostensive purpose. Exposing automata in various fairs was meant to inspire awe towards the advancement of technology and science in the public who attended numerous public events. This study aims to investigate whether in the modern world the robot may have the same or other functions in public space. The study has analyzed the public display of the robot DORO: a technological artifact created by the Sant’Anna School during the European project ROBOT-ERA. Two distinct public moments were examined. The first was the night of researchers in Pisa on 30 September 2016 in Martiri della Libertà’s square, where DORO was exhibited to the public. The second occasion was the inauguration of the 39th academic year of the University of Udine. On this occasion, DORO brought to the rector his inaugural lecture and exchanged—in front of a large auditorium—a brief dialogue with the rector of the University of Udine, prof. Alberto de Toni.


Social robot Public space Public events Social robot role in public space Social robot audiences 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leopoldina Fortunati
    • 1
    Email author
  • Filippo Cavallo
    • 2
  • Mauro Sarrica
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and PhysicsUniversity of UdineUdineItaly
  2. 2.Scuola Superiore Sant’AnnaBiorobotics InstitutePisaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Communication and Social Research, SapienzaUniversity of RomeRomeItaly

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