Partially disembodied robot: Social interactions with a robot's virtual body

Hirotaka Osawa, Thibault Voisin, Michita Imai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We propose a novel social robot called partially disembodied robot. This system has the advantages of real-world robots and virtual agents, guaranteeing a high social presence without sacrificing space efficiency. The robot consists of body parts that mimic human hands and eyes in order to give the user visual feedback, and is able to react to human contact through 3D detection, thus allowing the possibility for the user to interact through touching the robot. We evaluated how our system regulates users' behaviors during the solving process of the Tower of Hanoi problem. First, the users solve a Tower of Hanoi problem while being helped by the robot, but without having defined its body. In the second phase, the users were asked to define the robot's body and to play with it using the different interactions implemented. Finally, they were asked to solve the Tower of Hanoi problem once again, this time with the robot's body they defined. We could observe that the presence of the robot was perceived much more clearly by the user after they defined the robot's body, and when they were able to physically interact with it. Users' social response to the robot also seemed to be mediated by their feelings about its social presence. Finally, we found that the shyness of the users can impact the size of the robot's body that they define.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Robotics - 4th International Conference, ICSR 2012, Proceedings
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 16
Event4th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2012 - Chengdu, China
Duration: 2012 Oct 292012 Oct 31

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume7621 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other4th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2012


  • Disembodiment
  • Embodiment
  • Human Robot Interaction
  • Social Presence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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