Developing robot emotions through interaction with caregivers

Angelica Lim*, Hiroshi G. Okuno

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    In this chapter, the authors explore social constructivist theories of emotion, which suggest that emotional behaviors are developed through experience, rather than innate. The authors' approach to artificial emotions follows this paradigm, stemming from a relatively young field called developmental or 'epigenetic' robotics. The chapter describes the design and implementation of a robot called MEI (multimodal emotional intelligence) with an emotion development system. MEI synchronizes to humans through voice and movement dynamics, based on mirror mechanism-like entrainment. Via typical caregiver interactions, MEI associates these dynamics with its physical feeling, e.g. distress (low battery or excessive motor heat) or flourishing (homeostasis). Our experimental results show that emotion clusters developed through robot-directed motherese ("baby talk") are similar to adult happiness and sadness, giving evidence to constructivist theories.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Synthesizing Human Emotion in Intelligent Systems and Robotics
    PublisherIGI Global
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Print)9781466672796, 1466672781, 9781466672789
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov 30

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Science(all)
    • Engineering(all)


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