Background As the use of social robots in daily life has increased, emotional communication of social robots becomes an important factor to form a close relationship between social robots and users. Despite the numerous studies on the anthropomorphic appearance of the robot, research on analyzing anthropomorphic forms of emotional expression or exploring new ways of communicating emotions of social robots is still lacking. The purpose of this study is to investigate the user's perception of the robot's emotional expression by comparing different forms of emotional expression. Methods In this study, we focus on two forms of emotional expression - realistic and abstract – to examine how effectively each form presents emotional expression in the context of conversation between social robots and users. First, we presented definitions of social robots based on a literature review along with the cases of emotional expression of social robots. Second, we created a prototype of a social robot expressing emotions in two different ways and conducted an online survey with a total of 105 participants to examine the user's perception of the respective robot's emotional expression, specifically measuring the emotional communication level, favorable sensitivity, and anthropomorphism. Third, we conducted in-depth interviews with 16 participants to understand the specific reasons for the user perception of robots and the survey results. Results The results of this study to investigate users’ perception and attitude toward emotional communication between the humans and social robots are summarized as follows. First, the form of emotional expression affected the users’ perception of the robots. Second, there was no significant difference in user’ perception of the robots between the two anthropomorphic forms of emotional expression (realistic and abstract). Thus, emotional communication is possible through abstract forms as well as realistic forms. Third, there was a significant difference in the user’ perception of positive and negative emotions in the form of emotional expression. Fourth, emotional expression for negative situations in the abstract form showed a low level of emotional communication, and negative expressions showed low favorable feelings. Conclusions In this study, we were able to confirm the importance of emotional expression in social robots, specifically proposing that emotional expression is not limited to the realistic form of anthropomorphism, but alternative emotional expression, such as abstract form, can be understood and accepted by users. The results and implications of this study will contribute to searching for alternatives to the social robots’ emotional expression as well as advancing user’s natural conversation and smooth emotional communication with the social robot in the near future.
|Translated title of the contribution||User Perception of Social Robot’s Emotional Expression and Forms of Anthropomorphism|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Archives of Design Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/bync/3.0/), which permits unrestricted educational and noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts
- Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design