New paper: robots & touch

screenshotschouderklopNew paper! June 18th we’ll present our work on touch and human-robot interaction at CASA 2009 here in Amsterdam. The full paper will appear in a special issue of the Journal of Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds. Our paper discusses an experiment on the effects of (observing) touch and proactivity on attitudes towards embodied social agents. Based on our results we think a holistic approach to interaction design for embodied characters’ social behaviour is the way to go.

While we often focus on evaluating the effects of individual agents’ (social) behaviours, we found that a combination of agent behaviours can have a profound effect on user responses. By focusing on the design of one type of behaviour (like touch) or one specific interaction feature, designers and developers may put less emphasis on other aspects of the interaction. How different behaviours are combined can however affect for example user trust. For social agents, this means we should take into account the interplay of behaviours with social meaning such as politeness, empathy, gestures and physical contact.

The corrected proofs of the paper have been returned to the publisher, so I’ll hopefully be able to post a link to the full paper soon. (Henriette Cramer, Nicander Kemper, Alia Amin, Vanessa Evers, Bob Wielinga (to appear), `Give me a hug’: the effects of touch and autonomy on people’s responses to embodied social agents, Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds, special issue on CASA 2009)

Other local activities on the agenda:

  • Arduino courses at Mediamatic: I’ll be joining the workshops on RFIDuino (June 19th)  and generating VGA signals  (July 10th).
  • Mobile Monday (June 1st). After enjoying their Mobile Widget event, even though it was quite geared to entrepreneurs and small developers, I’m hoping this will live up to its local hype 🙂

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