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Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics

Editor-in-Chief: Schöner, Gregor

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2081-4836
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Cross-cultural study on human-robot greeting interaction: acceptance and discomfort by Egyptians and Japanese

Gabriele Trovato
  • Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, #41-304, 17 Kikui-cho, Shinjuku-ku, 162-0044 Tokyo, Japan
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/ Massimiliano Zecca
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, and the Humanoid Robotics Institute, Waseda University
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/ Salvatore Sessa
  • School of Innovative Design Engineering Mechatronics and Robotic Dept., Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology, Borg El Arab, 21934 Alexandria, Egypt
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/ Lorenzo Jamone
  • Instituto de Sistemas e Robotica, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
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/ Jaap Ham
  • Department of Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513 5600 MB, IPO 1.20, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
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/ Kenji Hashimoto / Atsuo Takanishi
  • Department of Modern Mechanical Engineering, Waseda University; and director of the Humanoid Robotics Institute (HRI), Waseda University
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Published Online: 2013-12-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/pjbr-2013-0006

Abstract

As witnessed in several behavioural studies, a complex relationship exists between people’s cultural background and their general acceptance towards robots. However, very few studies have investigated whether a robot’s original language and gesture based on certain culture have an impact on the people of the different cultures. The purpose of this work is to provide experimental evidence which supports the idea that humans may accept more easily a robot that can adapt to their specific culture. Indeed, improving acceptance and reducing discomfort is fundamental for future deployment of robots as assistive, health-care or companion devices into a society. We conducted a Human- Robot Interaction experiment both in Egypt and in Japan. Human subjects were engaged in a simulated video conference with robots that were greeting and speaking either in Arabic or in Japanese. The subjects completed a questionnaire assessing their preferences and their emotional state, while their spontaneous reactions were recorded in different ways. The results suggest that Egyptians prefer the Arabic robot, while they feel a sense of discomfort when interacting with the Japanese robot; the opposite is also true for the Japanese. These findings confirm the importance of the localisation of a robot in order to improve human acceptance during social human-robot interaction.

Keywords: Human-Robot Interaction; Humanoid robots; Cultural differences; Technology social factors; Social robotics

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-12-10

Published in Print: 2013-12-01


Citation Information: Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, ISSN (Print) 2081-4836, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/pjbr-2013-0006.

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