Social Robotics

Volume 7072 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 42-51

Eight Lessons Learned about Non-verbal Interactions through Robot Theater

  • Heather KnightAffiliated withRobotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

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Robot Theater is a fairly new arena for researching Human Robot Interaction, however, in surveying research already conducted, we have identified eight lessons from Robot Theater that inform the design of social robots today. As an interdisciplinary field, we include examples spanning robotics researchers, acting theorists, cognitive neuroscientists, behavioral psychologists and dramaturgy literature. Lessons learned include (1) the importance of intentionality in action; (2)(3)(4) the relationship between embodiment, gesture, and emotional expression; (5) the bipolar sociability categorization between machine and agent; (6) the power of interaction partners to shape robot attributions; (7) the role of audience acknowledgement and feedback; (8) the power of humor to enhance interaction. Robotics has had a long history with the field of entertainment; even the word ‘robot’ comes from the 1921 Czech play ‘R.U.R.’ - we look forward to rigorous and continued research and cross-pollination between these domains.


Human Robot Interaction Entertainment Robots Non-verbal Interaction Social Robots Collaborations with the Arts