Expressive Behaviour in Robot-Child Interaction
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The subject of this thesis is expressive behaviour, those non-linguistics expressions of mental states which are used by people in interactions. Based on previous research and technical constraints a model for expressive behaviour for the Nao robot was built and implemented. This model adapts expressive behaviour of the robot to the emotions of the child it interacts with, as well as to emotionally relevant occurrences such as winning a game. An experiment with 18 children (mean age 8.89) and two Nao robots was done to evaluate this model and study the opinions about and (interaction) behaviour of children. In a within-subjects design the independent variable was if the robot displayed expressive behaviour during the interaction, which consisted of a short dialogue and a quiz game. The dependent variables, namely the opinions and behaviour of the children, were measured through questionnaires and video analysis. The feedback of the children in the questionnaires suggests that emotional expressions through the voice are less suitable as they decrease intelligibility, but that showing emotion through movement is considered a very positive trait for a robot. The results further indicate that children react more expressively and more positive to an expressive robot than to a non-expressive robot. From their positive reactions we can conclude that children enjoy interacting with an expressive robot more than with a non-expressive robot.