Soft robots offer inherently safer interactions with humans, yet only a few publications have addressed how humans experience soft robots and how intuitive and engaging interaction with them might be designed. Adding sound to soft robots has not previously been explored, despite the fact that sound is argued to be a vital element of human communication and interaction, which should be supported in human-robot interaction.
This exploratory arts-led research project departs from the speculative question “What does a soft robot sound like?”. It explores how incorporating sound into a soft robot can add to its qualities.
The aim of the research is to enable the design of soft robots that meaningfully incorporate sound by investigating how people respond to such robots within social robotics and cobot application scenarios. I.e. we seek to determine what sound designs that are appropriate and desirable for soft robots when used within these areas of application.
This information can be used to design robots that are more appealing and easier to interact with.