Embodiment of an agent by anthropomorphization of a common object

Hirotaka Osawa, Yuji Matsuda, Ren Ohmura, Michita Imai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a direct anthropomorphization method to improve interaction between human and an agent. In this method, an artifact is converted into an agent by attaching humanoid parts to it. There have been many studies that have provided valuable information on using spoken directions and gestures via anthropomorphic agents such as computer graphics agents and communication robots. In the direct anthropomorphization method, an artifact is directly anthropomorphized by being fitted with robotic parts shaped in the form of human body parts. An anthropomorphized artifact with such robotic parts can provide information to people through spoken directions and body language. This will persuade people to pay more attention to the artifact, as compared to when using an anthropomorphic virtual or robot agent. The authors conducted experiments to investigate how the response of users to an explanation of the functions of an artifact changes using the direct anthropomorphization method. The results of pre-experiment indicated that participants paid more attention to the target artifact and memorized its functions more quickly and easily when using the direct anthropomorphization method than when using humanoid agent. In following two experiments, the authors compared human-like aspect separately and evaluate what is key element for anthropomorphization. The authors found that "voice" was the key factor for rendering an object as an anthropomorphic agent. Furthermore, the "eyes" were found to be more effective in interactions than the "mouth".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-358
Number of pages14
JournalWeb Intelligence and Agent Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct 22


  • Human agent interaction
  • human interface
  • human robot interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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