Validation of the Design of a Robot to Study the Thermo-Emotional Expression

  • Denis PeñaEmail author
  • Fumihide TanakaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11357)


The thermal sensation can be used by humans to interpret emotions. Hence, a series of questions arise as to whether the robot can express its emotional state through the temperature of its body. Therefore, in this study, we carry out the design process of a robot and its validation as a platform to study the thermo-emotional expression. The designed robot can vary the temperature of its skin between 10–55 °C. In this range, it is possible to perform thermal stimuli already studied that have an emotional interpretation, and also to study new ones where the pain receptors are activated. The robot’s shape is designed to look like the body of a creature that is neither human nor animal. In addition, it was designed in such a way that the physical interaction occurs mainly in its head. This is because it was decided to locate the robot’s thermal system there. The results of an experiment with a free interaction showed that the main regions to be caressed were the superior, lateral and upper diagonal faces of the cranium. These regions coincide with the location of the robot’s thermal system. Therefore, the robot can transmit different thermal stimuli to the human when a physical interaction occurs. Consequently, the designed robot will be appropriate to study the body temperature of the robot as a medium to express its emotional state.


Thermal emotional expression Robot skin temperature Physical HRI 



This work is supported by KAKENHI 17K19993. A special thanks to Kosmech workshop of the University of Tsukuba for the support in the manufacture of the robot.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

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