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Emotions and Interaction with Robots

The research of "Emotions and interaction with robots" focuses on emotions and their influences on interaction factors, such as learning, and the acceptance of robots.

Social interaction involves temporal and psychological processes. Interaction can be divided into phases. In this context, it can be examined in terms of various levels of content and abstraction, such as posture, facial expressions, gestures, types of communication, emotions and cognitive processes.

Human-technology interaction, e.g. with a robot, should be simple and comfortable for humans. Robots are often anthropomorphic (human-like) and mobile. This embodiment and one's own experience can arouse high expectations on the capabilities of the robot.

The concept of "embodiment" is understood as the relationship between the mind (mind, thought, cognitive system, psyche) and the whole body (action). They are connected by the blood circulation, afferent and efferent nerve pathways. Signals from the brain are directed to the body and trigger a reaction. In turn, processes in the body transmit signals to the brain and change its functioning. Mind and body are embedded in the environment (e.g. other humans, nature, technical devices). The connections between mind, body, and environment are reciprocal. That means one change forces an equivalent reaction to the change. Everything can be measured individually but must always be viewed in coherence with each other.

The environment is constantly changing. People can perceive their surroundings, draw conclusions about their own actions from information about the environment and their own experiences. They receive feedback and learns from it. When interacting with a robot, the machine should also retain these capabilities in order to be able to react more adaptively to the human interaction partner and to design a pleasant interaction.

Therefore, the whole human being must be examined when interacting with a technical device (e.g. robot) in order to ascertain information about the human condition and use it for the robot's reactions to it.

One research aspect within this context deals with the influence of emotions, such as frustration, on learning processes (such as learning how to use a technical device), the quality of interaction, and acceptance of the robot. Both objective (such as psychophysiological methods) and subjective (such as questionnaires and interviews) methods are used.

The findings can serve as a basis for the (further) development of robots in order to create human-robot interaction more adaptive.


Team Emotions and Interaction with Robots

Nele Rußwinkel

Alexandra Weidemann



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