Persistence of the Uncanny Valley: the Influence of Repeated Interactions and a Robot’s Attitude on its Perception
The uncanny valley theory proposed by Mori has been heavily investigated in the recent years by researchers from various fields. However, the videos and images used in these studies did not permit any human interaction with the uncanny objects. Therefore, in the field of human-robot interaction it is still unclear what, if any, impact an uncanny-looking robot will have in the context of an interaction. In this paper we describe an exploratory empirical study using a live interaction paradigm that involved repeated interactions with robots that differed in embodiment and their attitude towards a human. We found that both investigated components of the uncanniness (likeability and eeriness) can be affected by an interaction with a robot. Likeability of a robot was mainly affected by its attitude and this effect was especially prominent for a machine-like robot. On the other hand, merely repeating interactions was sufficient to reduce eeriness irrespective of a robot’s embodiment. As a result we urge other researchers to investigate Mori’s theory in studies that involve actual human-robot interaction in order to fully understand the changing nature of this phenomenon.