Conference Paper

Hoffman, G., & Vanunu, K. (2013)

Effects of Robotic Companionship on Music Enjoyment and Agent Perception

Proceedings of the 3rd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction


We evaluate the effects of robotic listening companionship on people’s enjoyment of music, and on their perception of the robot. We present a robotic speaker device designed for joint listening and embodied performance of the music played on it. The robot generates smoothed real-time beat-synchronized dance moves, uses nonverbal gestures for common ground, and can make and maintain eye-contact.

In an experimental between-subject study (n=67), participants listened to songs played on the speaker device, with the robot either moving in sync with the beat, moving off-beat, or not moving at all. We found that while the robot’s beat precision was not consciously detected by Ps, an on-beat robot positively affected song liking. There was no effect on overall experience enjoyment. In addition, the robot’s response caused Ps to attribute more positive human-like traits to the robot, as well as rate the robot as more similar to themselves. Notably, personal listening habits (solitary vs. social) affected agent attributions.

This work points to a larger question, namely how a robot’s perceived response to an event might affect a human’s perception of the same event.

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