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Robotic Arm Slows Down to Avoid Uncanny Valley

By TechCrunch

November 8, 2019

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Disney Research roboticists learned that slowing a robot’s reaction time and movements made people feel less threatened, helping to avoid the "uncanny valley" effect.

The experiment involved people handing a ring to a robot hand in a natural and non-threatening manner, with the machine's arm moving at normal human speed.

The hand, mated to an anthropomorphic cat torso, reached out to take the ring at three different rates of speed and delay: slow, moderate, and fast.

People found fast robotic movement, and movement with no delay, discomforting and lacking warmth.

Reactions to slow robotic movement were better, especially when combined with a reasonable, but not sluggish, delay.

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