To study how robot sounds are interpreted in everyday interaction we placed a Cozmo toy robot Swedish and German family homes and video-recorded the encounters. We analysed on a turn-by-turn basis how participants respond to audible and visible robot behavior that is designed to display emotion. Focusing on one happy and one sad robot animation, we show how emotion animations are consequential for interactional progressivity: While displays of happiness typically move the interaction forward, displays of sadness regularly lead to a reconsideration of previous actions by humans. Furthermore, in making sense of the robot animations people may move beyond the designer’s reported intentions, actually broadening the opportunities for their subsequent engagement. We suggest that sadness can function as an interactional “rewind button” and discuss how the inherent vagueness of emotion displays can be deployed in design.
Results published at [HRI2020].