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

G. Trovato, M. Zecca, S. Sessa, L. Jamone, J.R.C. Ham, K. Hashimoto, A. Takanishi

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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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalPaladyn : Journal of Behavioral Robotics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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