Making social robots more attractive: the effects of voice pitch, humor and empathy

A.I. Niculescu, S.S. Ge (Editor), Elisabeth M.A.G. van Dijk, Antinus Nijholt, Haizhou Li, Swan Lan See

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    199 Citations (Scopus)
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    In this paper we explore how simple auditory/verbal features of the spoken language, such as voice characteristics (pitch) and language cues (empathy/humor expression) influence the quality of interaction with a social robot receptionist. For our experiment two robot characters were created: Olivia, the more extrovert, exuberant, and humorous robot with a higher voice pitch and Cynthia, the more introvert, calmer and more serious robot with a lower voice pitch. Our results showed that the voice pitch seemed to have a strong influence on the way users rated the overall interaction quality, as well as the robot's appeal and overall enjoyment. Further, the humor appeared to improve the users' perception of task enjoyment, robot personality and speaking style while the empathy showed effects on the way users evaluated the robot's receptive behavior and the interaction ease. With our study, we would like to stress in particular the importance of voice pitch in human robot interaction and to encourage further research on this topic.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)171-191
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational journal of social robotics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2013


    • METIS-296121
    • IR-85835
    • Humor
    • Empathy
    • Quantitative evaluation
    • User studies
    • Voice pitch
    • Social Robots
    • EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/288235
    • EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/2007-2013
    • EWI-22397
    • HMI-HF: Human Factors

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