I am a Lecturer in the Department of Internet Studies at Curtin University where I teach the introductory unit, Web Communications, and am also involved in the units that follow on from from that introduction, including Web Media, Writing on the Web, the Web Development Project and the Internet Communications Project unit. I also supervise Honours, Masters and PhD students.

My research is focused on developing an ethical and pragmatic recognition of, and respect for, otherness and difference in communication. I write about communication theory and practice, and draw upon varied examples—taken from science and technology, science fiction and creative art—to illustrate the ideas in my work. Much of my work to date has explored the communicative possibilities illustrated by human interactions with humanoid and non-humanoid robots, looking to fact and fiction, science and art, for inspiration. This research has now been published (along with some more recent thinking about human interactions with explosive ordnance disposal robots and robotic floor cleaners) as a book, Robots and Communication, with Palgrave Macmillan in the Pivot series.

The ideas about communication in my book have also been used as the basis for analyses of online communication in some of my journal articles and, in recent months, I’ve been exploring the importance of recognising that communication occurs in a wide variety of ways, often nonverbal, in relation to critical disability studies. My next few projects continue to analyse the communication of robots, but also consider the implications of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles for people who travel in them or share roads with them.

I maintain a strong interest in examples of human-robot interaction in fact and fiction, as well as human perceptions of autonomous robots that have not been designed specifically to support communication with humans. These machines provide great examples of different forms of communication, as well as appearing within popular cultural texts (thus helping to make them appealing to a wide audience).

My first degree was in Natural Sciences, completed in my country of origin (the UK) a long time ago. I then worked in Information Technology for over ten years before emigrating to Australia.

Dr Eleanor Sandry
Department of Internet Studies
School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts
Curtin University