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Perceptual Evaluation of Blended Sonification of Mechanical Robot Sounds Produced by Emotionally Expressive Gestures: Augmenting Consequential Sounds to Improve Non-verbal Robot Communication

Emma Frid 1, 2 Roberto Bresin 1
2 Repmus - Représentations musicales
STMS - Sciences et Technologies de la Musique et du Son
Abstract : This paper presents two experiments focusing on perception of mechanical sounds produced by expressive robot movement and blended sonifications thereof. In the first experiment, 31 participants evaluated emotions conveyed by robot sounds through free-form text descriptions. The sounds were inherently produced by the movements of a NAO robot and were not specifically designed for communicative purposes. Results suggested no strong coupling between the emotional expression of gestures and how sounds inherent to these movements were perceived by listeners; joyful gestures did not necessarily result in joyful sounds. A word that reoccurred in text descriptions of all sounds, regardless of the nature of the expressive gesture, was "stress". In the second experiment, blended sonification was used to enhance and further clarify the emotional expression of the robot sounds evaluated in the first experiment. Analysis of quantitative ratings of 30 participants revealed that the blended sonification successfully contributed to enhancement of the emotional message for sound models designed to convey frustration and joy. Our findings suggest that blended sonification guided by perceptual research on emotion in speech and music can successfully improve communication of emotions through robot sounds in auditory-only conditions.
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https://hal.sorbonne-universite.fr/hal-03250909
Contributor : Emma Frid <>
Submitted on : Saturday, June 5, 2021 - 1:00:37 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 2:17:13 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, September 6, 2021 - 6:04:18 PM

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Emma Frid, Roberto Bresin. Perceptual Evaluation of Blended Sonification of Mechanical Robot Sounds Produced by Emotionally Expressive Gestures: Augmenting Consequential Sounds to Improve Non-verbal Robot Communication. International Journal of Social Robotics, Springer, 2021, ⟨10.1007/s12369-021-00788-4⟩. ⟨hal-03250909⟩

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