Gendered Robots: The Impact of Visual Design on Robots’ Gender Perception

Abstract

With the rise of gendered innovations, the field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) has begun to pay more attention to gender issues of robots, especially the effects of gendered robots on Human-Robot Interaction. This study aims to investigate the influence of robots’ visual design on people's gender perception in robots by using Kansai engineering methods. A within-subjects study experiment was conducted. Four types of design cues commonly seen in gendered robot design, hair length, body-color, decorative color, and accessories, were chosen as independent variables. Based on Taguchi's orthogonal array, 9 experiment conditions were selected, and images of the 9 robot prototypes were prepared based on Ubtech's Lynx robot. The 6 masculine adjectives and 6 feminine adjectives in the 12-item Ben's Gender Role Inventory (BSRI-12), plus an adjective pair of subjective gender judgment, male-female, were used as the gender perceptual dimensions (the dependent variables). Through the online questionnaire, we asked the participants to look at the robot images one by one, then rated the gender perceptual dimensions with a 5-point Likert scale for each robot. From 280 valid questionnaires, the results showed that: (1) visual design does affect people’s gender perception in robots; (2) gender-related stereotypes are also applied to judge robots’ gender (male/female), but not gender role (masculine/feminine); (3) The feelings of robot’s gender and the feelings of robot’s gender role are to some extent different, and gender cues to elicit these two types of gender perception are also different.



Author Information
Hsiao-Chen You, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Wei-Tsz Hung, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2021
Stream: Aesthetics

This paper is part of the ACAH2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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