The participant on the left, wearing a mouth mask for COVID19 protection, interacting with the Furhat on the right.

Happy to announce that the project work from the Multi-Modal Interaction course at KTH was accepted as a poster at Persuasive Technology 2021. Proud of Irene Kaklopoulou, Thays Santos Duarte, Ziyi Zhu, Yuqi Liu, for proposing this timely and important topic, implementing the interaction, and executing a preliminary user study to evaluate their work. Great job, especially during the pandemic in which we face additional challenges when conducting in-person studies.

We explore how a social robot can facilitate women’s discussions about menstruation, an important topic still taboo to many. Informed by interviews with the target group, we designed and implemented an interaction about menstruation with a social robot. In a pilotstudy (N = 7), we explored how participants perceived the interaction, and the role of robot non-verbal expressions in this context.

Take-away messages from this work:

  • Robots can use gaze and empathetic affirmations to put users at ease when discussing intimate and sensitive topics;
  • The role of non-verbal expressions requires further investigation.

Find the video presentation here:

Check out their project video on the Furhat Robotics Youtube channel: