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Emotion in robot cultures Cultural models of affect in social robot design

Selma Ĺ abanovi?

This paper shows how cultural models relating to the display, perception, and experience of emotion are reflected in social robot design through a comparative analysis of social robotics in Japan and the US. A more implicit approach to emotional expression in Japanese robotics is related to community-oriented social practices and existing cultural forms such as Noh theatre, which encourages situational interpretation of neutral facial expressions, and interdependent notions of self. Western robot designs, in contrast, display more explicit expressions of emotion that may be related to an independent definition of the self. I review the literature on cultural models of affect to identify relevant themes, which I use to analyze historical and contemporary uses of cultural models in technology design. I conclude by suggesting possible research directions and design implications for cross-cultural robotics. By tracing particular cultural models of affect as they are embodied in technological artifacts, we gain a new perspective on the repeated assembly of culture through technology.


Cultural models, social robotics, affective design, comparative analysis