In this study, we examine whether touching a soft robot while doing different tasks can make participants synchronize their breathing rhythm with the robot. 28 participants interacted with the robot, which either was inflated and deflated, thus simulating breathing, or remained inactive. During the experiment, data were collected through two breathing belts and an EEG device. The findings of the study suggest higher arousal associated with positive emotional valence for participants in the breathing robot condition compared to the inactive robot condition. The participants in the breathing robot condition also breathed more deeply and regularly and blinked fewer times, a finding that suggests lower stress levels in comparison with people who interacted with the inactive robot. The analysis of the data suggests that touching the breathing robot led to some degrees of stress reduction, yet without leading to synchronization with the robot's inhalation rhythm.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHRI '22: Proceedings of the 2022 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
Publication date7. Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 7. Mar 2022


  • breathing robot
  • soft robot
  • synchrony
  • reducing stress
  • Human-robot interaction


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