The iCub robot was created by IIT staff to conduct experimental interactions with humans. The robot has a height of just over one meter, a humanoid face and eyes equipped with cameras to maintain eye contact. Moreover, the robot has more than 50 different behaviors, which allows it to enter into various social situations and maintain a general mood with a person.
A group of researchers conducted an experiment, the essence of which was two different behaviors of the robot while watching small videos. In the first situation, the robot greeted all the participants, asked their names and actively reacted to the video recording, accompanying all this with constant eye contact. In the second situation, the robot behaved quite "stereotypically", ignoring people and moving with mechanical sound signals.
After the experiment, all participants were asked to complete a survey about the behavior of the robot while watching videos. The entire survey focused on two response options - the robot acts independently or according to instructions.
The participants who sat together with the active version of the robot claimed that he reacted to the video absolutely at will, he was just as surprised, happy and commented on what was happening. The opinions of the participants who met the inactive robot were divided. But the participants who met with the "stereotypical" version of the robot, and then with the active one, were also sure that the robot independently chooses the behavior model it needs in a particular society of people and a video.
The researchers concluded that short experiences with humanoid robots, presumably inducing the impression of "I'm like me" and social bonding, increased the likelihood of adopting an intentional position.