Lola D. Ca and ntilde;amero and Jakob Fredslund
We report work on a LEGO robot capable of displaying several emotional expressions in response to physical contact. Our motivation has been to explore believable emotional exchanges to achieve plausible interaction with a simple robot. We have worked toward this goal in two ways. First, acknowledging the importance of physical manipulation in children’s interactions, interaction with the robot is through tactile stimulation; the various kinds of stimulation that can elicit the robot’s emotions are grounded in a model of emotion activation based on different stimulation patterns. Second, emotional states need to be clearly conveyed. We have drawn inspiration from theories of human basic emotions with associated universal facial expressions, which we have implemented in a caricaturized face. We have conducted experiments on children and adults to assess the recognizability of these expressions, and observed how people spontaneously interacting with Feelix respond to its emotional displays.