Interpretation of Emotional Body Language Displayed by Robots

TitleInterpretation of Emotional Body Language Displayed by Robots
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBeck, A., Hiolle A., Mazel A., & Cañamero L.
Name of ProceedingsProc. 3rd International Workshop on Affective Interaction in Natural Environments, AFFINE'10
Conference LocationFirenze, Italy
ISBN Number978-1-4503-0170-1

In order for robots to be socially accepted and generate empathy they must display emotions. For robots such as Nao, body language is the best medium available, as they do not have the ability to display facial expressions. Displaying emotional body language that can be interpreted whilst interacting with the robot should greatly improve its acceptance. This research investigates the creation of an "Affect Space" for the generation of emotional body language that could be displayed by robots. An Affect Space is generated by "blending" (i.e. interpolating between) different emotional expressions to create new ones. An Affect Space for body language based on the Circumplex Model of emotions has been created. The experiment reported in this paper investigated the perception of specific key poses from the Affect Space. The results suggest that this Affect Space for body expressions can be used to improve the expressiveness of humanoid robots. In addition, early results of a pilot study are described. It revealed that the context helps human subjects improve their recognition rate during a human-robot imitation game, and in turn this recognition leads to better outcome of the interactions.