Tag Archives: crowd manipulation

A New Purpose for Robots


“Robots with “Soul”” is a TED talk given by Guy Hoffman in which he questions current human interaction with robots, while sharing insight that he found in the world of acting and animation.

Between 15:17 and 15:38 Hoffman progresses from a revelation to a final product that would sum up the entirety of his presentation.

During the entire sixteen minutes Hoffman uses images and videos to convey information and maintain an engaging atmosphere. However, in this segment he deliberately projects an empty black slide that would not distract viewers in order to highlight his verbal speech as much as possible. To further attract his audience he includes a couple humorous remarks that keep the mood light and bring more attention to his speech. Through gesturing with his arms and hands he enhances the humor of his statements. For example, when Hoffman initially remarks that people “liked that the robot was enjoying the music” he raises his arms in plain disbelief to emphasize the unexpected discovery, hence adding to the humor of the comment.

As he begins to describe his idea of applying what he had learned in a final robot, the black screen begins to seem like a curtain hiding something important. This serves to create a sense of anticipation throughout the audience.

To satisfy this anticipation Hoffman finally displays his final product in the form of an animation. As opposed to a still image, the animation allows him to project multiple things to the audience at once in a non-verbal fashion such as the physical appearance, the purpose, and the graceful dynamics of the robot.

Hoffman controls his audience by presenting information in a series of steps. He uses subtle verbal and nonverbal techniques to progress his ideas in such a way that shifts the entire focus of the audience between him and his displays.