These cathartic stress robots – can take a beating


Luria and his team created four cathartic objects that were designed to deal with a wide range of emotions and behaviors. "Object 1" looks like a black sofa pillow everyday, but is designed to be stabbed with sharp objects. After he is stabbed, he begins to shake and continues to shake until the user removes all the objects. Another object looks like a lighted crystal and was designed to be cursed. An object laughs in an annoying way, "Tickle Me Elmo" and just stops laughing after the user starts hitting a surface. Another object allows users to write a custom message on a tile and then annihilate it completely with a hammer. As the tile breaks, the object begins to emit light and sound.

Psychologists have long warned patients that bottling or repressing anger is dangerous. But it is unclear whether hitting a punching bag, swearing or banging on one of these "cathartic objects" can do so well. The scientific evidence that supports the theory of catharsis, which is the belief that ruminating anger is better than ignoring it, is very weak. A 1999 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has purposely infuriated its participants in a laboratory experiment. Participants were then divided into two groups; a group had the opportunity to hit a punching bag and a group did nothing. In a later test, the punch bag group acted more aggressively than the control group.

But researchers realize that no one wants to feel angry on purpose. Luria noted in an interview with IEEE Spectrum that people tend to feel "aversion" for negative emotions. But if we have no choice but to be angry or sad feed us, why not take the rage out of a robot instead of a living and breathing human being? "That's why I think it can be an interesting space for robotic objects: we do not want to take our aggressions to other people, but we do not usually release that energy when we're alone. space to express negative emotions with technology, "said Luria.


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