Media Technology MSc

Abstract Affective Robotics (2010)

Abstract Affective Robotics

Already, social and affective robots are entering our healthcare institutions, our schools and our homes. The current de facto standard of affective robot design focuses on mimicking the human or animal body with varying degrees of abstraction. However, the human or animal morphology often does not match with the technological or functional requirements of the robot. Additionally, mimicry requires complex measures to match the robot design with the way people construct their attitude towards it. For his graduation, student Alwin de Rooij developed a fundamentally novel design method for for affective robots which adopts an approach of minimal requirements, which we call abstract affective robotics. This design philosophy is grounded in how abstraction plays a role in perception, and how this connects to visual emotion recognition and emotion attribution. The novelty of this approach lies in the fact that it is based on the recognition of affect, independent of the configuration of the human body and face. Alwin's research unifies affective robotics, affective science and abstract art from a psychological perspective to create a scientific context, from which design guidelines are developed.

Combining Arts and Science

Within this graduation research project, Alwin beautifully combined scientific questions and methods with his knowledge of abstract arts. He holds a bachelor degree from the Royal Academy of Arts in Den Haag, and now also a master of science from the Media Technology program.