2023 Author: Bryan Walter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 22:24
Engineers have developed a turtle robot that will help teach children how to interact with robots. She reacts to external influences by moving her paws and head, as well as by changing the light of her shell, and, for example, hiding her limbs during rough handling. The developers conducted several experiments and found that such a reaction reduces the level of aggression of children playing with the robot, according to IEEE Spectrum. The robot was presented at the HRI 2018 conference.
Robots are increasingly being offered to be used not in production, but in everyday life to help people. Because of this, researchers are not only developing better technologies for these robots, but also studying the interactions between robots and humans. It is known to be different from interacting with living objects or nonliving instruments. For example, some people thank robots for getting the job done. But at the same time, people sometimes show aggression towards robots. For example, Japanese researchers have found that in some situations, children tend to be aggressive towards robots.
Engineers led by Wonkyung Do of Naver Labs and Seoul University have created the Shelly Robot Turtle to teach children how to use robots humanely. They presented two prototypes (original and improved), which are slightly different in design, but generally have a similar structure and function. The robotic turtle has four active legs and a head. Above it has a carapace of many panels with LED backlighting. Each panel has sensors for touch, pressure and vibration.
The main feature of the turtle is interactivity and the ability to express eight types of emotions. In response to friendly actions such as stroking, the turtle changes the color of the panels and at some moments may even start shaking its paws for joy. If you show aggression towards the robot, for example, press or beat, it will hide its paws and head under the shell for a while.
The researchers conducted several experiments with children, in which the time for which the robot retracts its limbs after aggression was varied. Initially, they set the return time of the limbs to 14 seconds and tested the interaction of the children with the robot. After that, they changed the time twice. It turned out that if you reduce the time to 7 seconds, the aggression of children only increases and they begin to beat the turtle more often. If you increase the time to 28 seconds, the robot will quickly bother the children and they will stop playing with it.
In addition to aggression towards robots in the field of human-robot interaction, there are other controversial topics, for example, sex robots and robotic war machines. You can read about the ethical problems associated with the creation of such robots in our blog.