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One of the main aims of humanoid robotics is to develop robots that are capable of interacting naturally with people. However, to understand the essence of human interaction, it is crucial to investigate the contribution of behavior and appearance. Our group’s research explores these relationships by developing androids that closely resemble human beings in both aspects. If humanlike appearance causes us to evaluate an android’s behavior from a human standard, we are more likely to be cognizant of deviations from human norms. Therefore, the android’s motions must closely match human performance to avoid looking strange, including such autonomic responses as the shoulder movements involved in breathing. This paper proposes a method to implement motions that look human by mapping their three-dimensional appearance from a human performer to the android and then evaluating the verisimilitude of the visible motions using a motion capture system. Previous research has focused on copying and moving joint angles from a person to a robot. Our approach has several advantages: (1) in an android robot with many degrees of freedom and kinematics that differ from that of a human being, it is difficult to calculate which joint angles would make the robot’s posture appear similar to the human performer; and (2) the motion that we perceive is at the robot’s surface, not necessarily at its joints, which are often hidden from view.
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- Generating Natural Motion in an Android by Mapping Human Motion
Karl F. MacDorman
- Springer Singapore
- Chapter 4