Social touch interaction with robots

Title:Social touch interaction with robots
Institute:University of Twente (HMI)
Place:Enschede The Netherlands
Type:Capita selecta and Research Topics
End date:not present
HMI ContactMerel JungChristian Willemse


Social touches such as a comforting hug or a supportive pat on the back form an important part of our non-verbal communication repertoire. These social touches can have profound physiological, emotional, and behavioral effects on people. In order to be perceived as real social agents, robots employ different verbal and non-verbal cues such as gaze, intonation, and gestures. However, social touch in human-robot interaction is often overlooked and therefore not well understood.

In this Capita Selecta assignment, you will be gathering and reviewing existing research on (social) touch in human-robot interaction. A clear distinction has to be made between active and passive touch. That is: the robot could either touch the user, or be touched by the user. The focus will be on the perceptions the user has as a consequence of the social touch interaction; not on the technologies that facilitate such interactions. Ideally, you will not only collect and review research articles, but also collect available visual materials of touch in human-robot interactions to categorize different forms of touch interaction.