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Shiomi M.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs | Kanda T.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs | Howley I.,Carnegie Mellon University | Hayashi K.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Hagita N.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs
International Journal of Social Robotics | Year: 2015

This study investigates whether the presence of a social robot and interaction with it raises children’s interest in science. We placed Robovie, our social robot, in an elementary school science class where children could freely interact with it during their breaks. Robovie was tele-operated and its behaviors were designed to answer any questions related to science. It encouraged the children to ask about science by initiating conversations about class topics. Our result shows that even though Robovie did not influence the science curiosity of the entire class, there were individual increases in the children who asked Robovie science questions. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source


Ishi C.T.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs | Even J.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs | Hagita N.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs
IEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences | Year: 2014

We proposed a method for estimating sound source positions in 3D space by integrating sound directions estimated by multiple microphone arrays and taking advantage of reflection information. Two types of sources with different directivity properties (human speech and loudspeaker speech) were evaluated for different positions and orientations. Experimental results showed the effectiveness of using reflection information, depending on the position and orientation of the sound sources relative to the array, walls, and the source type. The use of reflection information increased the source position detection rates by 10% on average and up to 60% for the best case. Copyright © 2014 The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers. Source


Ishi C.T.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs | Ishiguro H.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs | Ishiguro H.,Osaka University | Hagita N.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs
Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH | Year: 2011

Interjections are often used in dialogue communication for expressing a reaction (such as agreement, surprise and disgust) to the interlocutor. Thus, a correct interpretation of the paralinguistic information (intention, attitude or emotion) carried by interjections is important for achieving a smooth dialogue interaction between humans and robots. In the present work, analyses are conducted on several interjections appearing in spontaneous conversational speech databases to investigate the relationship between acoustic-prosodic features (related to intonation and voice quality) and their paralinguistic functions in dialogue speech. It is found that there are common and interjection-dependent relationships between acoustic features and paralinguistic information. Regardless of the interjection type, non-modal voice qualities, such as whispery, harsh and pressed voices, are shown to be important cues for the expression of emotions and attitudes. Copyright © 2011 ISCA. Source


Nakagawa K.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs | Shiomi M.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs | Shinozawa K.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs | Matsumura R.,Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Social Robotics | Year: 2013

This paper presents the effect of a robot's whispering behavior on people's motivation. Here, "whispering behavior" consists of a whispering cue and a small voice, which provides a natural sense of physical proximity in a context of confidentiality, thus increasing intimacy. A laboratory experiment was conducted to investigate this effect. In the experiment, a robot requested the participants to perform an annoying task that involved writing as many equations in a 9×9 multiplication table as possible. The result showed that the whispering cue improved task performance as measured by the number of written equations and writing time. The small voice, however, had no effect. Furthermore, to investigate the effectiveness of a robot's whispering behavior on recommendations, we conducted a field trial in a shopping mall. The results showed the effectiveness of whispering on recommendations, suggesting that whispering behaviors are useful for various services that aim to build motivation, such as advertisements, sales promotions, and encouragement to study. © 2012 Springer Science & Business Media BV. Source

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