16th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Dresden, Germany
September 6-10, 2015

Relieving Mental Stress of Speakers Using a Tele-Operated Robot in Foreign Language Speech Education

Shizuka Nakamura, Miki Watanabe, Yuichiro Yoshikawa, Kohei Ogawa, Hiroshi Ishiguro

Osaka University, Japan

In an effort to relieve the mental stress experienced by speakers in foreign language speech education classes, an experiment using a tele-operated robot was conducted and its effect was evaluated. The robot was utilized in the following class environment: the teacher and classmates were not able to see the actual appearance of the speaker; however, the speaker could visually recognize the tele-operated robot speaking as its proxy, and was aware of the fact that the teacher and classmates also recognized the situation. The results of statistical analysis of subjective evaluation by the speakers to evaluate the effect on stress show that the degree of stress in speakers was lower when conversations with the teacher were conducted indirectly via the robot than doing so directly. A similar tendency is indicated by the results of subjective evaluation by the listeners in this experiment to imagine the case that they themselves are speakers. These results confirm that it is possible to relieve the mental stress experienced by speakers by utilizing a tele-operated robot.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Nakamura, Shizuka / Watanabe, Miki / Yoshikawa, Yuichiro / Ogawa, Kohei / Ishiguro, Hiroshi (2015): "Relieving mental stress of speakers using a tele-operated robot in foreign language speech education", In INTERSPEECH-2015, 1835-1838.