While a quick text apology is a quick and easy way for friends to let us know they’ll be late for a scheduled meeting, it often lacks the human element that comes with it. with a direct explanation or even. by phone. Maybe it’s sadder when we can’t feel the emotional weight behind our friends’ regret for making us wait.
Now, researchers at the University of Tsukuba have built a hand-held robot they call OMOY, which is equipped with a movable weight that is powered by mechanical components inside its body. By varying the internal weight, the robot can show simulated emotions.
The robot is deployed as an intermediary to read text messages.
OMOY may include a text with unwelcome or offensive news accompanied by OMOY’s advice to not offend or even sympathize with the user.
“With the medium of digital written communication, the lack of social feedback diverts focus from the sender and on the content of the message itself” author, Professor Fumihide Tanaka said.
The mediation robot is designed to be able to suppress user anger and other negative interpersonal motives, such as thoughts of revenge, and instead encourage forgiveness.
The researchers tested 94 people with a message like “I’m sorry, I’m late. The appointment let me down. Can you wait an hour more?” The team found that OMOY has the ability to reduce negative emotions.
“The mediator robot can relay an upset message then offer its own opinion. When this speech is accompanied by the right weight shift, we’ve found that users recognize it. the ‘intent’ of the robot to help them calm down,” Prof. Tanaka said.
The robot body expression produced by the weight change does not require any specific external parts, such as arms or legs, which implies that the movements of the internal weight can can reduce the user’s anger or other negative emotions without using rich body gestures or facial expressions.
Works published in The frontier in robotics and AI as “The Social Reconciliation Robot’s weight-shifting movements make it recognized as a Serious Engine and suppress user anger, revenge, and avoidance.”