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Parsons School of Design MFA Design and Technology program theses2020 ➔ EmotiTactor: Emotional Expression of Robotic Physical Contact


Related people/organizations

Ran Zhou (designer)
Harpreet Sareen (thesis advisor)
Loretta Wolozin (thesis advisor)
John Sharp (thesis advisor)
Barbara Morris (thesis advisor)


May 3 2020


The study of affective communication through robots has primarily been focused on facial expression and vocal interaction. However, communication between robots and humans can be significantly enriched through haptics. In being able to improve the relationships of robotic artifacts with humans, I posed a design question - What if the robots had the ability to express their emotions to humans via physical touch? I created a robotic tactor (tactile organ) interface that performs haptic stimulations on the forearm. I modified timing, movement, and touch of tactors on the forearm to create a palate of primary emotions. Through a preliminary case study, the results indicate a varied success in individuals being able to decode the primary emotions through robotic touch alone.

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Parsons Institutional Collections



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