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On the utilization of social animals as a model for social robotics

By Ádám Miklósi, Márta Gácsi

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Social robotics is a thriving field in building artificial agents. The possibility to construct agents that can engage in meaningful social interaction with humans presents new challenges for engineers. In general, social robotics has been inspired primarily by psychologists with the aim of building human-like robots. Only a small subcategory of "companion robots" (also referred to as robotic pets) was built to mimic animals. In this opinion essay we argue that all social robots should be seen as companions and more conceptual emphasis should be put on the inter-specific interaction between humans and social robots. This view is underlined by the means of an ethological analysis and critical evaluation of present day companion robots. We suggest that human–animal interaction provides a rich source of knowledge for designing social robots that are able to interact with humans under a wide range of conditions.


Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 2012
Publication Title Frontiers in Psychology
Volume 3
Issue 75
Pages 1-10
Publisher Frontiers Media SA
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00075
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3307003/
Language English
Notes Article found on PubMed Central: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/, Article provided courtesy of Frontiers Media SA.
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animals
  2. Animals in culture
  3. Assisted therapy
  4. Human social behavior
  5. Relationships
  6. robotic animals
  7. social interactions