Does the Design of a Robot Influence Its Animacy and Perceived Intelligence?


Robots exhibit life-like behavior by performing intelligent actions. To enhance human-robot interaction it is necessary to investigate and understand how end-users perceive such animate behavior. In this paper, we report an experiment to investigate how people perceived different designs of robot embodiments in terms of animacy and intelligence. iCat and Robovie II were used as the two embodiments in this experiment. We conducted a between-subject experiment where robot type was the independent variable, and perceived animacy and intelligence of the robot were the dependent variables. Our findings suggest that a robot’s perceived intelligence is significantly correlated with animacy. The correlation between the intelligence and the animacy of a robot was observed to be stronger in the case of the iCat embodiment. Our results also indicate that the more animated the face of the robot, the more likely it is to attract the attention of a user. We also discuss the possible and probable explanations of the results obtained.


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Correspondence to Omar Mubin.

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Bartneck, C., Kanda, T., Mubin, O. et al. Does the Design of a Robot Influence Its Animacy and Perceived Intelligence?. Int J of Soc Robotics 1, 195–204 (2009).

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  • Robot
  • Intelligence
  • Animacy
  • Embodiment
  • Perception