Robots can defuse high-intensity conflict situations

Translated title of the contribution: Robots can defuse high-intensity conflict situations

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Abstract—This paper investigates the specific scenario of high-intensity confrontations between humans and robots, to understand how robots can defuse the conflict. It focuses on the effectiveness of using five different affective expression modalities as main drivers for defusing the conflict. The aim is to discover any strengths or weaknesses in using each modality to mitigate the hostility that people feel towards a poorly performing robot. The defusing of the situation is accomplished by making the robot better at acknowledging the conflict and by letting it express remorse. To facilitate the tests, we used a custom affective robot in a simulated conflict situation with 105 test participants. The results show that all tested expression modalities can successfully be used to defuse the situation and convey an acknowledgment of the confrontation. The ratings were remarkably similar, but the movement modality was different (ANON p<.05) than the other modalities. The test participants also had similar affective interpretations on how impacted the robot was of the confrontation across all expression modalities. This indicates that defusing a high- intensity interaction may not demand special attention to the expression abilities of the robot, but rather require attention to the abilities of being socially aware of the situation and reacting in accordance with it.
Translated title of the contributionRobots can defuse high-intensity conflict situations
Original languageDanish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
Number of pages8
Publication date25 Oct 2020
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-6211-9/20
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2020
Event2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems - Las Vegas, Las Vegas, United States
Duration: 25 Oct 202024 Dec 2020


Conference2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
LocationLas Vegas
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas
Internet address


  • Robot, conflict, interaction, behavior, engineering


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