Implementation and Evaluation of a Grip Behavior Model to Express Emotions for an Android Robot

Front Robot AI. 2021 Oct 13;8:755150. doi: 10.3389/frobt.2021.755150. eCollection 2021.


In this study, we implemented a model with which a robot expressed such complex emotions as heartwarming (e.g., happy and sad) or horror (fear and surprise) by its touches and experimentally investigated the effectiveness of the modeled touch behaviors. Robots that can express emotions through touching behaviors increase their interaction capabilities with humans. Although past studies achieved ways to express emotions through a robot's touch, such studies focused on expressing such basic emotions as happiness and sadness and downplayed these complex emotions. Such studies only proposed a model that expresses these emotions by touch behaviors without evaluations. Therefore, we conducted the experiment to evaluate the model with participants. In the experiment, they evaluated the perceived emotions and empathies from a robot's touch while they watched a video stimulus with the robot. Our results showed that the touch timing before the climax received higher evaluations than touch timing after for both the scary and heartwarming videos.

Keywords: affective touch; emotional touch; haptics; human-robot interaction; social touch.