Humans Obtain Aroused When Touching Robots, New Study Shows

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 1:57 AM

Researchers at Stanford Univ studying the physiological impact of human-on-bot contact found that "touching areas perceived as private made the skin more moist." The team of scientists programmed a two-foot-tall robot — portion Michelin Man, portion Wall-E — to command four female and six male subjects to touch various parts of its body.

Humans Obtain Aroused When Touching Robots, New Study Shows

In a first for mechanical man, scientists have revealed that humans obtain aroused by touching robots. Researchers at Stanford Univ studying the physiological impact of human-on-bot contact found that "touching areas perceived as private made the skin more moist."

The team of scientists programmed a two-foot-tall robot — portion Michelin Man, portion Wall-E — to command four female and six male subjects to touch various parts of its body. Study participants wore finger sensors to measure arousal and reaction time.

When asked to touch a neutral, easily accessible portion of the body such as the hand, there was number marked response. However, when instructed to touch the robot'south buttocks, participants not only took longer to reply but showed a "measurable expand" in skin conductance, or high emotional arousal. The researchers found that "physiological arousal was inversely related to accessibility" — meaning that touching bottoms came up tops.

"Our work shows that robots are a new form of media that's particularly powerful. It shows that people reply to robots in a primitive, social way," said researcher Jamy Li in the study conclusion. "Social conventions regarding touching someone else'south private parts apply to a robot'south body parts as well. This research has implications for both robot design and theory of artificial systems."

Distant from futuristic fantasy, A. I. robots are increasingly becoming a larger portion of our reality, and the study findings allow valuable insight into the extent to which humans will perceive comfortable interacting with humanoids and their anthropomorphic anatomy.

In the offing right now: The hit TV series "Humans" explores the ways in which highly developed robots could transform — or disrupt — the regulation of homo sapiens; Hilton Hotels has a robot concierge named Connie, who can reply to guests' queries and give directions; the film "Ex Machina" focused on the dilemma of programming a robot to chase all commands, yet have a mind of its own; and a Hong Kong-based inventor recently debuted a home-made Scarlett Johansson doppelganger humanoid who can (somewhat creepily) smile and be engaged in in conversation.

The Stanford team will present the full findings of its study at the sixty-sixth Annual Conference of the International Communication Organization in Fukuoka, Japan, in June.

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