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Understanding human cooperation with humanoid robots: analysis from a social psychological perspective (HUMROBCOOPERATION)
Start date: Jun 1, 2014, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The aim of this project is to understand better people’s social interaction with humanoid robots to predict humans’ willingness to cooperate with them. Specifically, in the outgoing phase, the project examines whether (a) the predisposition to cooperate with other humans, (b) the influence of positive or negative information about the robot on impression formation, (c) the type of causal attribution: personal vs. situational, of robots’ actions, and (d) perspective-taking through robotic embodiment controlled by a brain-computer interface, can help predict cooperation with humanoid robots. In the return phase, the project (e) analyzes whether perceived body ownership with respect to robotic embodiment influences willingness to cooperate, and (f) explores willingness to cooperate with humanoid robots in extreme situations using Virtual Reality (VR). The practical implementation of the project will be through experimental research comprehending a total of six experiments involving human-robot interaction. The project addresses people’s understanding of robots from an innovative perspective by applying the principles of social perception theories to predict human cooperation with a robot. The results will contribute to a better understanding of the variables influencing human cooperation with humanoid robots and the consequences of the cutting-edge research field of embodying people in robotic bodies physically present in a remote location. In addition, the results are expected to provide valuable information for engineers and designers to help build robots with higher capabilities of predicting human behaviour and with higher social acceptance. Potential activities in which humanoid robots might be applied include rescue actions, hazardous operations, or assistance of elderly and people with disabilities, among others. Understanding human factors influencing cooperation with robots is fundamental for a successful implementation of these machines into society."

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