Pennsylvania State University (PSU) researchers have found robots can keep their parts and still change their gender, as the arrival of robots with screens has made it easier to assign distinct personalities.
They demonstrated that people found feminine cues on the robot's screen were enough to convince them a robot was female, according to PSU doctoral student Eun Hwa Jung.
The findings could help robot developers customize robots for certain roles and to serve certain populations. "The screen, by itself, helped participants perceive whether the robot was male or female," Jung says.
PSU professor S. Shyam Sundar says this shows it may not be necessary to alter the robot's shape or features to meet users' expectations and preferences.
Participants in PSU's study assumed a robot without any gender cues was male, and also found male robots to be more human-like, more animated, and less anxious.
"Gender is just one example that we tested here, but we see implications for other role definitions that we can potentially outfit a robot with by just manipulating a screen," Sundar says.
The researchers presented their findings this week at the ACM CHI 2016 conference in San Jose, CA.
From Penn State News
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