What sets robots apart from other intelligent agents, is that they’re capable of physical movement. As people are highly sensitive to physical movement and spatiotemporal affordances, we argue that robot motion can go a long way towards people’s comprehension and acceptance of robots. In the field of animation a body of knowledge has been established on how to convey any idea, message or intention via motion. The idea of incorporating animation is therefore not new to robotics. However, it is barely visible in today’s world, because the adoption of animation has only been investigated in social robotics. As a result, the growing numbers of implemented robots outside of that category are left to rely on traditional signals like light and sound for communicating.
I will discuss three concepts from animation that can be adopted to create intuitively interpretable robot behaviour. To illustrate these and the importance of a more movement-centric design approach, a case study of a hospital transport robot will be presented, showing that this approach cannot only contribute to the acceptance of a robot and a more pleasant environment, but also to a more efficient system.