Cross-Cultural Design and Evaluation of Robot Prototypes Based on Kawaii (Cute) Attributes

Dave Berque, Hiroko Chiba, Tipporn Laohakangvalvit, Michiko Ohkura, Peeraya Sripian, Midori Sugaya, Kevin Bautista, Jordyn Blakey, Feng Chen, Wenkang Huang, Shun Imura, Kento Murayama, Eric Spehlmann, Cade Wright

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We report on a cross-cultural collaborative project between students and faculty at DePauw University in the United States and Shibaura Institute of Technology in Japan that used cross-cultural teams to design and evaluate robotic gadgets to gain a deeper understanding of the role that kawaii (Japanese cuteness) plays in fostering positive human response to, and acceptance of, these devices across cultures. Two cross-cultural design teams used Unity and C# to design and implement prototypes of virtual robotic gadgets as well as virtual environments for the robots to interact in. One team designed a virtual train station as well as robotic gadgets to operate in the station. The other team designed a virtual university campus as well as robotic gadgets that operated in that environment. Two versions of each robotic gadget were designed, such that the two versions differed with respect to one kawaii attribute (shape, size, etc.) Using these robots, we conducted a formal study that compared perceptions of kawaii robots between American college students and Japanese college students, as well as across genders. The findings revealed that there was not much difference in perception of kawaii across cultures and genders. Furthermore, the study shows that designing a robot to be more kawaii/cute appears to positively influence human preference for being around the robot. This study will inform our long-term goal of designing robots that are appealing across gender and culture.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCross-Cultural Design. Applications in Cultural Heritage, Tourism, Autonomous Vehicles, and Intelligent Agents - 13th International Conference, CCD 2021, Held as Part of the 23rd HCI International Conference, HCII 2021, Proceedings
EditorsPei-Luen Patrick Rau
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Pages319-334
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783030770792
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event13th International Conference on Cross-Cultural Design, CCD 2021, Held as Part of the 23rd HCI International Conference, HCII 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 2021 Jul 242021 Jul 29

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12773 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference13th International Conference on Cross-Cultural Design, CCD 2021, Held as Part of the 23rd HCI International Conference, HCII 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Period21/7/2421/7/29

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural design
  • Human-robot interaction
  • Kawaii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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