Does Observing Artificial Robotic Systems Influence Human Perceptual Processing in the Same Way as Observing Humans?
Humanoid robots are designed and shaped to have physical bodies resembling humans. The anthropomorphic shape is aiming at facilitating interactions between humans and robots with the ultimate goal of making robots acceptable social partners. This attempt is not very new to roboticists and there is an increasing body of research showing the importance of robots’ appearance in HRI; the Uncanny Valley proposed in the 70’s  is however still an open problem. Our aim in this contribution is to examine how human perceptual mechanisms involved in action observation are influenced by the external shape of observed robots. Our present results show that observing robotic/cartoon hands performing grasping/pointing movements elicits similar perceptual mechanisms as observing other humans. Hence, it seems that observing actions of artificial systems can induce similar perceptual effects as observing actions of humans.
KeywordsAttentional selection Perceptual processing Human-Robot Interaction
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