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Infrasound for HRI: A Robot Using Low-Frequency Vibrations to Impact How People Perceive its Actions

We investigate robots using infrasound, low-frequency vibrational energy at or near the human threshold for hearing, as an interaction tool for working with people. Research in psychology suggests that the presence of infrasound can impact a person’s emotional state and mood, even when the person is not acutely aware of the infrasound. Thus, we examine if infrasound may impact how people interpret a robot’s social communication: if the presence of infrasound makes a robot seem more or less happy, energetic, etc., as a result of impacting a person’s mood. We present the results from a series of experiments that investigate how people rate a social robot’s emotionally-charged gestures, and how varied levels and sources of infrasound impact these ratings. Our results show that infrasound does have a psychological effect on the person’s perception of the robot’s behaviors, supporting this as a technique that a robot can use as part of its interaction-design toolkit. We further provide a comparison of infrasound generation methods.

Thiessen, R., Rea, D. J., Garcha, D. S., Cheng, C.,Young, J. E. (2019). Infrasound for HRI: A Robot Using Low-Frequency Vibrations to Impact How People Perceive its Actions. In Proceedings of the 14th ACM/IEEE International Conference of Human-Robot Interaction.

Authors

Raquel Thiessen

Raquel Thiessen

Undergraduate Student
Daniel J. Rea

Daniel J. Rea

PhD Student
Diljot Singh Garcha

Diljot Singh Garcha

Undergraduate Student
Cheng Cheng

Cheng Cheng

Alumni
James E.Young

James E.Young

Associate Professor