Humanizing the Robot as a Medium for Communication

Michael Suguitan


Location: 310 Gates Hall

Time: 11 a.m

Abstract: Robots will not soon be entering our lives, particularly in social capacities, largely due to the difficulty in humanizing robots. Humanizing social robots is the long-held goal of human-robot interaction research, and often involves a combination of two objectives: anthropomorphism of the mind through human-like intelligence, or anthropomorphic bodies through lifelike humanoid features. We propose avoiding both of these intractable objectives and instead, using Masahiro Mori’s concept of the “uncanny” valley, humanize by making accessible three phases of robot development – design, movement, and telepresence – using the Blossom robot as a case study. By making Blossom accessible and involving users in its hardware, software, and embodied telecommunication capabilities, we make the robot more familiar and, thus, more human. We hope that this work inspires more human-robot interaction research that emphasizes robot-mediated communication for human-human interaction.