Adaptive Emotional Expression in Robot-Child Interaction

Myrthe Tielman, Mark Neerincx, John Jules Meyer, Rosemarijn Looije

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


Expressive behaviour is a vital aspect of human interaction. A model for adaptive emotion expression was developed for the Nao robot. The robot has an internal arousal and valence value, which are influenced by the emotional state of its interaction partner and emotional occurrences such as winning a game. It expresses these emotions through its voice, posture, whole body poses, eye colour and gestures. An experiment with 18 children (mean age 9) and two Nao robots was conducted to study the influence of adaptive emotion expression on the interaction behaviour and opinions of children. In a within-subjects design the children played a quiz with both an affective robot using the model for adaptive emotion expression and a non-affective robot without this model. The affective robot reacted to the emotions of the child using the implementation of the model, the emotions of the child were interpreted by a Wizard of Oz. The dependent variables, namely the behaviour and opinions of the children, were measured through video analysis and questionnaires. The results show that children react more expressively and more positively to a robot which adaptively expresses itself than to a robot which does not. The feedback of the children in the questionnaires further suggests that showing emotion through movement is considered a very positive trait for a robot. From their positive reactions we can conclude that children enjoy interacting with a robot which adaptively expresses itself through emotion and gesture more than with a robot which does not do this.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2014 ACM/IEEE international conference on Human-robot interaction, HRI '14
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-2658-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventHRI 2014: 9th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction - Bielefeld University , Bielefeld, Germany
Duration: 3 Mar 20146 Mar 2014
Conference number: 9


ConferenceHRI 2014
Abbreviated titleHRI '14
Internet address


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