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Designing Man's New Best Friend: Enhancing Human-Robot Dog Interaction through Dog-Like Framing and Appearance

By E. J. de Visser, Y. Topoglu, S. Joshi, F. Krueger, E. Phillips, J. Gratch, C. C. Tossell, H. Ayaz

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To understand how to improve interactions with dog-like robots, we evaluated the importance of "dog-like" framing and physical appearance on interaction, hypothesizing multiple interactive benefits of each. We assessed whether framing Aibo as a puppy (i.e., in need of development) versus simply a robot would result in more positive responses and interactions. We also predicted that adding fur to Aibo would make it appear more dog-like, likable, and interactive. Twenty-nine participants engaged with Aibo in a 2 × 2 (framing × appearance) design by issuing commands to the robot. Aibo and participant behaviors were monitored per second, and evaluated via an analysis of commands issued, an analysis of command blocks (i.e., chains of commands), and using a T-pattern analysis of participant behavior. Participants were more likely to issue the "Come Here" command than other types of commands. When framed as a puppy, participants used Aibo's dog name more often, praised it more, and exhibited more unique, interactive, and complex behavior with Aibo. Participants exhibited the most smiling and laughing behaviors with Aibo framed as a puppy without fur. Across conditions, after interacting with Aibo, participants felt Aibo was more trustworthy, intelligent, warm, and connected than at their initial meeting. This study shows the benefits of introducing a socially robotic agent with a particular frame and importance on realism (i.e., introducing the robot dog as a puppy) for more interactive engagement.

Publication Title Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Volume 22
Issue 3
ISBN/ISSN 1424-8220
DOI 10.3390/s22031287
Author Address School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center, United States Air Force Academy, Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO 80840, USA.Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.Institute of Creative Technologies, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA.Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.Drexel Solutions Institute, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.Department of Family and Community Health, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.Center for Injury Research and Prevention, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animals
  2. Bonds
  3. Dogs
  4. Emotions
  5. Friendship
  6. Human-animal interactions
  7. Human robot interaction
  8. Humans
  9. open access
  10. robotic animals
  11. Robotics
  1. open access