Theory of Robot Communication: I. The Medium is the Communication Partner

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2 Citations (Scopus)


When people use electronic media for their communication, Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) theories describe the social and communicative aspects of people's interpersonal transactions. When people interact via a remote-controlled robot, many of the CMC theses hold. Yet, what if people communicate with a conversation robot that is (partly) autonomous? Do the same theories apply? This paper discusses CMC theories in confrontation with observations and research data gained from human-robot communication. As a result, I argue for an addition to CMC theorizing when the robot as a medium itself becomes the communication partner. In view of the rise of social robots in coming years, I define the theoretical precepts of a possible next step in CMC, which I elaborate in a second paper.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2050026
JournalInternational Journal of Humanoid Robotics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • adaptation to cues
  • extent of cues
  • human-robot interaction
  • language
  • Robot communication theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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