Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research Group

Engineering Human-Computer Interaction
Research Group

Expressing Parenting Styles with Companion Robots

In Human Robot Interaction (HRI) 2014, Workshop on Applications for Emotional Robots. 2014.

Wafa Johal, Sylvie Pesty, Gaëlle Calvary


The inspiration of methods for research in social human-robot interaction comes primarily from psychology theories dealing with inter-person relationships for rendering robots capable of a behaviour compatible to be among humans.
However, which theorems of human cognition and psychology can be made applicable for robots and to make them communicate like humans is a domain currently being worked on.
In the context of rendering a robot more suitable to be a companion for children, we propose different parenting styles (namely authoritative and permissive) and evaluate them.
As a first step, we use expression cues of the parenting styles; we implemented behaviours of different styles
played out by two robots, Nao and Reeti, with body and facial channels respectively for communication.
88 parents watched videos of the robots and replied to a questionnaire about the directivity, and perceived emotional mental state of the robots.
The results showed that the expression by the robots were accurate.
The scale of directivity was found to be correlated to the Dominance dimension of mental state, whereas the Pleasure and Arousal dimension were not perceived as influencing the robots behaviour.