Empirically Informed Sound Synthesis Application for Enhancing the Perception of Expressive Robotic Movement
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Since people often communicate internal states and intentions through movement, robots can better interact with humans if they too can modify their movements to communicate changing state. These movements, which may be seen as supplementary to those required for workspace tasks, may be termed “expressive.” However, robot hardware, which cannot recreate the same range of dynamics as human limbs, often limit expressive capacity. One solution is to augment expressive robotic movement with expressive sound. To that end, this paper presents an application for synthesizing sounds that match various movement qualities. Its design is based on an empirical study analyzing sound and movement qualities, where movement qualities are parametrized according to Laban’s Effort System. Our results suggests a number of correspondences between movement qualities and sound qualities. These correspondences are presented here and discussed within the context of designing movement-quality-to-sound-quality mappings in our sound synthesis application. This application will be used in future work testing user perceptions of expressive movements with synchronous sounds.