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Emotional Robots

Robots that can show emotions, personality traits, character, and mood can be better accepted as social partners. In this area, we are investigating the very basic cues a robot can produce to show these aspects. Since many robots have a shape constrained by their function, we are exploring how non-humanoid nor bio-inspired robots can show emotions and the rest. Interesting aspects are rythm, speed, and accelleration of actuation. This research considers suggestions from cartoons, puppetry, theatre, dance, and ethology. Contact Person: Andrea Bonarini
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Theatre Robot Actor

Human social interactions are based on the correct response to social situations. If someone does not respond in an expected way, he/she is margined by the others. Thus, robots that interact with humans in everyday life places, such as home, office, classroom and public spaces, should not only accomplish their task, but also be accepted by humans, which means that they feel comfortable to interact with robots. As a consequence, social robots must have the capacity to show emotions and behave in a socially correct way. However, building robots that could accomplish their tasks and show emotion is not an easy job due to the difficulty to select the correct emotion, show the emotion in a way that could be understandable by humans, together with all the traditional problems to perform a given task. This makes crucial to find a real environment that allows focusing the research efforts on the production of effective social and emotional interaction, without the need for other abilities (e.g., emotion detection, status detection, person recognition, etc.). Several researches have suggested that theatre could be an excellent place to test social and emotional abilities, due to theatre constraints that make the actor know what to say, […]
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Robogames

Interactive games with autonomous robots are one of the most challenging robotic research issues. The robot should involve the player, both physically and behaviorally, while acting in the real world. The games we are interested in are games where robot autonomy is exploited to obtain interesting, engaging games which may be implemented with cheap technology and enter in everyone’s home. Past experience is related to Robocup soccer robots, Edutainment, Affective Computing, and Rehabilitation. First steps in this direction were done in 2005 with our rehabilitation robot and with robots physically interacting with players through the remote control of a WII console (ROBOWII) and different sensors, including cameras. We have developed a number of games in the Physically Interactive Robogames (PIRG) framework, were lively movement and interaction are mandatory. We are evaluating the possibility to provide information gathered about the emotional state of people involved in games to the game controller robot, which should emotionally react raising the involvement of the human player in the game. An effective robot player needs to integrate edge technologies from robotics, interaction, and psychology. An interesting hardware (body) should be integrated with the needed functionalities to become a game companion, such as adaptation to the […]
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