Expressiveness in Human-Robot Interaction

Patrizia Marti, Leonardo Giusti, Alessandro Pollini, Alessia Rullo
pp. 93-98 - download


This article presents the design of Iromec, a modular robot companion tailored towards engaging in social exchanges with children with different disabilities with the aim to empower them to discover a wide rage of play styles from solitary to social and cooperative play. In particular this paper focuses on expressiveness as a fundamental feature of the robot for engaging in meaningful interaction with different typologies of disable children - Autistic children, Moderate Mentally Retarded children and Severe Motor Impaired children. Modularity and configurability of expressive traits contribute to the flexibility of the system in creating rewarding games that can be easily understood by the child and can promote fun and learning. Other key features of the system are the combination of autonomous and user-controlled behaviour and a strong emphasis on identity and expressiveness that can be dynamically adapted during play. A main contribution of this work is that the robot’s expressiveness is achieved through different channels (facial expression, gesture, pose, body language -appearance, shape, movement-) and realised through the use of both digital and mechanical components but also of smart materials and textiles.

keywords: Human Robot Interaction, Play, Assistive Technologies, Robot Expression


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