|Thesis abstract: |
Human social interactions are based on the correct response to social situations. If someone does not respond in an expected way, he/she is margined by the others. Thus, robots that interact with humans in everyday life places, such as home, office, classroom and public spaces, should not only accomplish their task, but also be accepted by humans, which means that they feel comfortable to interact with robots. As a consequence, social robots must have the capacity to show emotions and behave in a socially correct way. However, building robots that could accomplish their tasks and show emotion is not an easy job due to the difficulty to select the correct emotion, show the emotion in a way that could be understandable by humans, together with all the traditional problems to perform a given task. This makes crucial to find a real environment that allows focusing the research efforts on the production of effective social and emotional interaction, without the need for other abilities (e.g., emotion detection, status detection, person recognition, etc.). Several researches have suggested that theatre could be an excellent place to test social and emotional abilities, due to theatre constraints that make the actor know what to say, how to react, where is expected to be the objects and other actors. All of this information is given before hand in a script. However, the few works that have been ut robots on stage in the last decade have used theatre as an environment to create robots for entertainment, without worrying about the use theatre actor¿s training theories to make the robot project emotions to the audience. TheatreBot aims at exploiting theatre constraints to build a robotic platform and software that allow the robot to be an actor in theatre and not just as prop, as currently is happening. The system and platform will be designed to allow extension to other application areas where showing emotions are important as in robot games and assistive robots. To accomplish this goal, the robot will use a relational social and social model of the world to represent its character¿s feelings and belief about the world. Besides, the concept of emotional state is used to add emotional features to action performance, so obtaining a full range of possibilities to show emotional and social interaction.