The application of social robots in therapy and education is an emerging field as these ‘new friends’ become more sophisticated, available and affordable. In recent years there has been an enormous increase of projects in which they are used successfully for groups with special needs, like people with dementia, hospitalized children and children with autism. This increases the demand for expertise from a wide range of disciplines, like psychology, nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, AI, robotics and education to meet the technical opportunities with the development of therapeutic and educational practice.


To make this happen, the international and multidisciplinary conference New Friends 2018 brings together researchers, professionals, students from different disciplines of health, social welfare and education and developers in the fields of AI social robotics, ICT and business.

The event features keynotes, oral and poster presentations, product and business demonstrations, competitions and practice oriented workshops, covering:

  • practitioners’ perspective of end users’ needs,
  • good examples of trials, practice and intervention guidelines, interdisciplinary collaboration,
  • technical innovations in robotics,
  • related therapeutic or educational developments,
  • theoretical studies and empirical research, including related HRI issues,
  • related legal, ethical, philosophical and social issues


We invite researchers, practitioners and students from different fields to contribute to this conference with:

  • Extended abstracts, sized two pages. Authors of accepted abstracts will present their work in oral or poster sessions. Moreover, they will be invited to submit full papers to be considered for publishing in a special issue of the Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics.
  • Videos, two to five minutes length, accompanied by an abstract of one page.
  • Workshop proposals, for one to three hour workshops, aimed at professionals or students and researchers in applied research in this field.
  • Demonstrations, proposed in a one page abstract




All submissions will be reviewed using a single-blind review process: authors declare their names and affiliations in the manuscript for the reviewers to see, but reviewers do not know each other’s identities, nor do the authors receive information about who has reviewed their manuscript.