Animal-robot interaction—an emerging field at the intersection of biology and robotics

Donato Romano, Maurizio Porfiri, Payam Zahadat, Thomas Schmickl

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


The field of animal-robot and organism-robot interaction systems (ARIS, ORIS) is a currently rapidly emerging field in biorobotics. In this special issue we aim for providing a comprehensive overview of the cutting-edge advancements and pioneering breakthroughs within this scientific and engineering discipline. Therefore, we collected scientific articles that delineate and expound upon the complexity of these remarkable biohybrid systems. These configurations stand as engineered conduits, facilitating the accurate investigation and profound exploration of the multifaceted interactions between robotic devices and biological entities, including various fish species, honeybees and plants. Also the human factor plays a role in this collection, as we also include a philosophical perspective on such systems as well as an augmented reality setup that brings humans into the loop with living fish. Within our editorial purview, we categorize the scientific contributions based on their focal points, differentiating between examinations of singular agent-to-agent interactions, extensions to the social stratum, and further expansions to the intricate levels of swarm dynamics, colonies, populations, and ecosystems. Considering potential applications, we delve into the multifaceted domains wherein these biohybrid systems might be applied. This discourse culminates in a tentative glimpse into the future trajectories these technologies might traverse, elucidating their promising prospects for both scientific advancement and societal enrichment. In sum, this special issue aims at facilitating the convergence of diverse insights, at encapsulating the richness of the ARIS and ORIS domain, and at charting a course toward the untapped prospects lying at the nexus of biology and robotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number020201
JournalBioinspiration and Biomimetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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