Soft Robots: The Psychology of Working with Flexible Technology
A recent study from Washington State University found that people were less anxious about working with soft robots, which are made with flexible materials, than traditional rigid robots. The study discovered that watching videos of soft robots working with humans lowered safety concerns and feelings of job insecurity, even when the robots were in close proximity to the person.
Features of Soft Robots
The research team is in the process of developing soft robots for a range of functions, including fruit picking, pruning, and pollinating. Soft robots also have the potential to aid elderly or disabled individuals in home or health care settings.
The Significance of Soft Robots in Human-Robot Interactions
The study not only provides insight into the potential psychological advantages of soft robots over traditional rigid robots, but also highlights the possibility of humans being able to work more closely with soft robots in the future.
Furthermore, the study emphasizes the importance of understanding human-robot interactions early on in the development process, and how this information can be integrated into the design of soft robots.