What encourages people to refer to a robot as if it was a living being? Is it because of the robot’s humanoid or animal-like shape, its movements or rather the kind of inter- action it enables? We aim to investigate robots’ characteristics that lead people to anthropomorphize it by comparing different kinds of robotic devices and contrasting it to an interactive technology. We addressed this question by comparing anthro- pomorphic language in online forums about the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, the AIBO robotic dog, and the iPad tablet computer. A content analysis of 750 postings was carried out. We expected to find the highest amount of anthropomorphism in the AIBO forum but were not sure about how far people referred to Roomba or the iPad as a lifelike artifact. Findings suggest that people anthropomorphize their robotic dog signifi- cantly more than their Roomba or iPad, across different topics of forum posts. Further, the topic of the post had a significant impact on anthropomorphic language.
Looking for publications? You might want to consider searching on the EPFL Infoscience site which provides advanced publication search capabilities.
In this literature review we explain anthropomorphism and its role in the design of socially interactive robots and human-robot interaction. We illus-trate the social phenomenon of anthropomorphism which describes people’s tendency to attribute lifelike qualities to objects and other non lifelike artifacts. We present theoretical backgrounds from social sciences, and integrate related work from robotics research, including results from experiments with social ro-bots. We present different approaches for anthropomorphic and humanlike form in a robot’s design related to its physical shape, its behavior, and its interaction with humans. This review provides a comprehensive understanding of anthro-pomorphism in robotics, collects and reports relevant references, and gives an outlook on anthropomorphic human-robot interaction.
Anthropomorphism describes people’s tendency to ascribe humanlike qualities to non-human artifacts, such as robots. We investigated anthropomorphic language in 750 posts of online forums about the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, the AIBO robotic dog and the iPad tablet computer. Results of this content analysis suggest a significant difference for anthropomorphic language usage among the three technologies. In contrast to Roomba and iPad, the specific characteristics of the robotic dog enhanced a more social interaction and lead people to use considerably more anthropomorphic language.
We present a study on the impact of unexpected robot behaviors on the perception of a robot by children and their subsequent engagement in a playful interaction based on a novel ”domino” task. We propose an original analysis methodology which blends behavioral cues and reported phenomenological perceptions into a compound index. While we found only a limited recognition of the different misbehaviors of the robot that we attribute to the age of the child participants (4-5 years old), interesting findings include a sustained engagement level, an unexpectedly low level of attribution of higher cognitive abilities and a negative correlation between anthropomorphic projections and actual behavioral engagement.