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An Automated Box on Wheels—with Personality


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This robot transports trolleys around the hospital.

This robot transports trolleys around St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim, Norway. When people hear it speak, they perceive it as a kind of funny animal-like creature, rather than a robot.

Credit: Roger Sraa/NTNU

People find boxy talking robots humorous and engaging, which may make robotic technology more acceptable in everyday life, according to new research.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) scientists studied robotic Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) deployed at St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim, Norway, which were equipped with voices with a distinctive local dialect, rather than a generic Norwegian voice.

NTNU's Roger A. Soraa said, "We found that these robots, which were not created to be social robots, were actually given social qualities by the humans relating to them."

Soraa said this quality helps people accept the robots, which he described as "emissaries of technologies."

From Norwegian SciTech News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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