Consequential Motor Sounds Of Robots

Research into the acoustic perceptions of robots and how the mechanical sounds they make effect peoples perception of their ability.

2016 — 2017

Academic research into the subjective perceptions of servo motor sounds, commonly used in Human Robot Interaction.

Published work at HRI 2017 and Ro-Man 2017.

How do sounds shape interaction with robots? My co-author Dylan Moore and I worked together to conduct research into how the sounds that robots generate consequentially influence the way in which people percieve the robot. Our goal is to do fundamental research that designers and engineers can utilise in the workplace when making decisions about products they are making that generate sound, such as in the recent explosion of social robotics into the home.

Our initial study was looking at the audio from 20 servo motors in isolation, characterising the sound acoustically and perceptually. This work was written up and published at HRI (Human Robot Interaction) 2017. We found little correlation between acoustic measures and a peoples perceptual ideas of quality, precision and other metrics. Moreover, qualitative commentary o ered by participants suggests both anthropomorphic associations with sounds as well as negative impressions of the sounds overall.

© Hamish Tennent 2017