DePauw University has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant for nearly $300,000 to partner with researchers on a study at Shibaura Institute of Technology in Japan. The university says the project will focus on the concept of "cuteness" in robots and how humans respond to robotics.
The NSF funding will support 12 DePauw students who will spend seven weeks in Japan working with faculty and student researchers at SIT. Student expenses including travel, lodging, meal allowance and cultural excursions are covered by the grant and the students will also be paid a stipend.
“The collaboration between DePauw and SIT will build upon research related to the Japanese concept of kawaii (Japanese cuteness) in hopes of gaining a deeper understanding of the role that cuteness plays in fostering positive human response to, and acceptance of, robotic gadgets across cultures," Hiroko Chiba, professor of Japanese Studies at DePauw.
DePauw’s award starts in August 19 and ends July 31, 2022.