Building social robots that interact with living beings is the frontier in neuroscience, robotics and farming. For different applications – from animal welfare to intervention for neurodevelopmental disorders – it is crucial to understand which interactions enhance social attachment, engagement and learning and how social robots can sustain social behaviour. To reach this goal, we will investigate which mechanosensory and acoustic robot-animal interactions enhance social responses and learning in domestic chicks. Chicks are a well-known and tractable model for social behaviour, with huge importance for industrial farming worldwide. This novel and multidisciplinary approach combines the expertise in animal behaviour, robotics and network analysis.
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