Uncanny valley: A preliminary study on the acceptance of Malaysian urban and rural population toward different types of robotic faces

No Thumbnail Available
Tay T.T.
Low R.
Loke H.J.
Chua Y.L.
Goh Y.H.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Institute of Physics Publishing
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
The proliferation of robotic technologies in recent years brings robots closer to humanities. There are many researches on going at various stages of development to bring robots into our homes, schools, nurseries, elderly care centres, offices, hospitals and factories. With recently developed robots having tendency to have appearance which increasingly displaying similarities to household animals and humans, there is a need to study the existence of uncanny valley phenomenon. Generally, the acceptance of people toward robots increases as the robots acquire increasing similarities to human features until a stage where people feel very uncomfortable, eerie, fear and disgust when the robot appearance become almost human like but not yet human. This phenomenon called uncanny valley was first reported by Masahiro Mori. There are numerous researches conducted to measure the existence of uncanny valley in Japan and European countries. However, there is limited research reported on uncanny valley phenomenon in Malaysia so far. In view of the different cultural background and exposure of Malaysian population to robotics technology compared to European or East Asian populations, it is worth to study this phenomenon in Malaysian context. The main aim of this work is to conduct a preliminary study to determine the existence of uncanny valley phenomenon in Malaysian urban and rural populations. It is interesting to find if there are any differences in the acceptance of the two set of populations despite of their differences. Among others the urban and rural populations differ in term of the rate of urbanization and exposure to latest technologies. A set of four interactive robotic faces and an ideal human model representing the fifth robot are used in this study. The robots have features resembling a cute animal, cartoon character, typical robot and human-like. Questionnaire surveys are conducted on respondents from urban and rural populations. Survey data collected are analysed to determine the preferred features in a humanoid robot, the acceptance of respondents toward the robotic faces and the existence of uncanny valley phenomenon. Based on the limited study, it is found that the uncanny valley phenomenon existed in both the Malaysian urban and rural population. � Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.
Animals; Anthropomorphic robots; Integrated circuits; Robotics; Stars; Surveys; Cartoon characters; Cultural backgrounds; European Countries; Interactive robotics; Preferred features; Questionnaire surveys; Robotic technologies; Robotics technology; Landforms