Non-human Looking Robot Arms Induce Illusion of Embodiment

Abstract : We examine whether non-human looking humanoid robot arms can be perceived as part of one’s own body. In two subsequent experiments, participants experi- enced high levels of embodiment of a robotic arm that had a blue end effector with no fingers (Experiment 1) and of a robotic arm that ended with a gripper (Experiment 2) when it was stroked synchronously with the real arm. Levels of embodiment were significantly higher than the correspond- ing asynchronous condition and similar to those reported for a human-looking arm. Additionally, we found that visuo- movement synchronization also induced embodiment of the robot arm and that embodiment was even partially main- tained when the robot hand was covered with a blue plastic cover. We conclude that humans are able to experience a strong sense of embodiment towards non-human looking robot arms. The results have important implications for the domains related to robotic embodiment.
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Laura Aymerich-Franch, Damien Petit, Gowrishankar Ganesh, Abderrahmane Kheddar. Non-human Looking Robot Arms Induce Illusion of Embodiment. International Journal of Social Robotics, Springer, 2017, 9 (4), pp.479-490. ⟨10.1007/s12369-017-0397-8⟩. ⟨lirmm-01925587⟩

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