Variable Body Image —Evaluation Framework of Robot's Appearance using Movable Human-like Parts

Hirotaka Osawa, Yuji Matsuda, Ren Ohmura, Michita Imai

Many HRI researchers try to make guidelines for an appearance of the robot. However, these guidelines are insufficient to design and to evaluate a robot's appearance separately. We propose new evaluation framework called "variable body image" to solve this problem. This framework changes the appearance of a robot with divided human-like robotic parts and makes it possible to evaluate the appearance during interaction. We designed and implemented hardware and software of movable human-like parts to achieve our framework. Using our framework, we evaluated the types of robot appearance that is effective in human-robot interaction by comparing interactions between a participant and a cart equipped with different human-like parts. We used user preference ratings for the SRT (system response time) to evaluate the effectiveness of the appearances. Our result suggests that a user treats a robot as an anthropomorphic agent even if there are no anthropomorphic parts. The result also suggests that the eyes are more effective in an interaction as compared to the mouth.

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