Do Audio-Visual Stimuli Change Hug Impressions?
This paper presents the effects of audio-visual stimuli on the impressions of hug interactions with a robot. In human-human interaction, perceived gender is an essential factor to change the impressions of haptic interactions. But in human-robot interaction, such perceived gender effects in haptic interactions have received less focus due to the difficulties of hardware limitations. Therefore, to investigate perceived gender effects in human-robot haptic interaction, we developed a system called MetaHug that consists of a huggable robot and a virtual reality application that uses a head-mounted-display to easily change the audio-visual stimuli during hug interactions. We prepared both female and male virtual agents, which use identical hug animations in the virtual application and synchronized them with the robot’s hug motions. We investigated whether our system can change the perceived genders of the robots during hug interactions by different audio-visual stimuli, and whether their perceived genders can change the impressions of the hugs. Experiment results with 16 participants showed that their perception of the robot genders was significantly changed by the virtual agents. Their hug impressions were also significantly changed by the gender of the virtual agents. These results suggest that we can change the impressions of a robot’s hugs through audio-visual stimuli.
KeywordsHug Human-robot interaction Virtual reality
This research work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP15H05322 and JP16K12505.
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