Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


People perceive robots as humans not objects

People perceive robots as humans not objects, UC research finds

October 29, 2012

University of Canterbury (UC) research has found people perceive robots, not as objects, but as humans.

UC researchers Christoph Bartneck and Jakub Zlotowski said there was societal relevance on how people will deal with robots in the near future.

``Our experiment showed that we do perceive robots not as objects, but more like humans and this is based on functions of the brain that are very deep down. This probably will have the consequence that we will treat robots, to some degree, like humans,’’ Dr Bartneck said today.

He and PhD student Zlotowski conducted a study on the inversion effect with images of robots in UC’s Human Interface Technology laboratory.

Zlotowski said certain types of images were harder to recognise when tipped upside down compared to when they are shown upright. Previous studies showed that this phenomenon affects images of people’s faces and body postures, but not objects.

``It is not more difficult to recognize objects whether they are presented upright or upside down, but it is more difficult to recognise human body postures presented upside down than when they are upright. Apparently, this effect is due to different processing of these two types of stimuli.

``What we investigated in our study, is whether images of robots can be recognised as humans or objects. We expected that that the more human looking robots would exhibit stronger inversion effect than machine-like robots.

``Interestingly, we found that despite using images of various robots they were perceived cognitively more like humans than objects.’’

Zlotowski said development of technology in recent years allowed production of robots that were not operating in factories or laboratories, but in natural human environments.

The first commercially available service robots were designed to do tasks such as mowing, mopping or vacuuming. However, the range of tasks that they are capable of achieving increases rapidly and robots can be found in theatres (actors), shopping malls (shopping assistants) or museums (tour guides).

There were also robots which take pets’ role and build an emotional relationship with their users or which are used in patient therapy, he said.

It is highly likely that further development of technology will spur their introduction in even more contexts. They will be assigned more roles and become a natural part of human working and living space as was the case with other technology like computers and mobile phones.

``However, it will still take several decades before robots will be capable of behaving as depicted in sci-fi movies and books, such as Blade Runner or Wall-E.’’


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Trade: NZ Trade Deficit Widens To A Record In September

Oct. 27 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's monthly trade deficit widened to a record in September as meat exports dropped to their lowest level in more than three years. More>>


Animal Welfare: Cruel Practices Condemned By DairyNZ Chief

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says cruel and illegal practices are not in any way condoned or accepted by the industry as part of dairy farming.

Tim says the video released today by Farmwatch shows some footage of transport companies and their workers, as well as some unacceptable behaviour by farmers of dragging calves. More>>


Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


International Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news