Dutch people not in favour of humanoid robots

July 8, 2015 by Janneke Van Den Elshout, University of Twente
Dutch people not in favour of humanoid robots

Most Dutch people feel that the ideal social robot should not resemble a human being too much, as is the case with robots currently being produced in Japan. People do expect a robot to have certain human traits, but the distinction between human and robot must remain clear. Moreover, a social robot with an overly human appearance creates an unrealistic sense of expectation, according to Maartje de Graaf, who recently earned her PhD from the University of Twente based on research into this topic. Not surprisingly, De Graaf also found that people are especially keen to welcome a butler robot into the domestic environment.

There are a growing number of different types of robots, and their roles within society are expanding. Robots have long been used for such as automobile manufacturing or for heavy lifting in warehouses. These days, however, robots are being accorded a more in fields such as education, healthcare and recreation.

Accepting robots

To boost the societal acceptance of social robots, Dutch people must first be convinced of the fact that these devices are indeed useful and that their privacy will not be compromised. Furthermore, developers need to promote social robots as status symbols that are fun to use and that perform useful tasks in and around the house.

Relationship between people and robots

De Graaf's research reveals that people rapidly start to treat robots as objects after working or living with them for only a short while. "Although most people would reasonably agree that robots are programmed machines that only simulate social behavior, the same people seem to 'forget' this while interacting with these machines. They start to treat the as a social other fellow human being and even care for it as they would one of their own family members." Sometimes people's response to robots goes a step further and they start to build a kind of relationship between man and machine.

Robots and the elderly

Social robots are increasingly being used in eldercare. The main objective in this setting is often to provide companionship. Alongside the fact that robots will engage in more social interactions with us in the future, a situation like this provides a fertile ground for the development of human-robot relationships. Maartje de Graaf currently works as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Twente. In the upcoming year, she aims to investigate whether and how the relationships some users are willing to establish with social robots can contribute to the psychological well-being of those users.

Dutch people not in favour of humanoid robots

Dutch people not in favour of humanoid robots
Dutch people not in favour of humanoid robots

Explore further: Robots can't kill you – claiming they can is dangerous

Related Stories

Robots can't kill you – claiming they can is dangerous

July 6, 2015

Robots' involvement in human deaths is nothing new. The recent death of a man who was grabbed by a robot and crushed against a metal plate at a Volkswagen factory in Baunatal, Germany, attracted extensive media attention. ...

Standard knowledge for robots

May 20, 2015

What do you know? There is now a world standard for capturing and conveying the knowledge that robots possess—or, to get philosophical about it, an ontology for automatons.

Evolving robot brains

March 2, 2015

Researchers are using the principles of Darwinian evolution to develop robot brains that can navigate mazes, identify and catch falling objects, and work as a group to determine in which order they should exit and re-enter ...

Recommended for you

Researchers 3-D print electronics and cells directly on skin

April 25, 2018

In a groundbreaking new study, researchers at the University of Minnesota used a customized, low-cost 3D printer to print electronics on a real hand for the first time. The technology could be used by soldiers on the battlefield ...

Balancing nuclear and renewable energy

April 25, 2018

Nuclear power plants typically run either at full capacity or not at all. Yet the plants have the technical ability to adjust to the changing demand for power and thus better accommodate sources of renewable energy such as ...

Electrode shape improves neurostimulation for small targets

April 24, 2018

A cross-like shape helps the electrodes of implantable neurostimulation devices to deliver more charge to specific areas of the nervous system, possibly prolonging device life span, says research published in March in Scientific ...

China auto show highlights industry's electric ambitions

April 22, 2018

The biggest global auto show of the year showcases China's ambitions to become a leader in electric cars and the industry's multibillion-dollar scramble to roll out models that appeal to price-conscious but demanding Chinese ...

After Facebook scrutiny, is Google next?

April 21, 2018

Facebook has taken the lion's share of scrutiny from Congress and the media about data-handling practices that allow savvy marketers and political agents to target specific audiences, but it's far from alone. YouTube, Google ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.