Exercise 4: Peer Review

Paper: Augmenting Soft Robotics with Sound

Bering Christiansen, Mads & Jørgensen, Jonas. (2020). Augmenting Soft Robotics with Sound. 133-135. 10.1145/3371382.3378328.

The following form is a synthesis of typical review forms, although strongly influenced by the HRI process.

  1. Do you have any conflict of interest in reviewing this paper? A “conflict of interest” is defined as follows:
    1. Ph.D. thesis advisor or advisee
    2. Postdoctoral advisor or advisee
    3. Collaborators or co-authors for the past 48 months
    4. Any other individual or institution with which the investigator has financial ties Yes/no. If yes, please disqualify yourself instead of proceeding. 
  2. Expertise. Provide your expertise in the topic area of this paper.
    • 4 – Expert
    • 3 – Knowledgeable
    • 2 – Passing Knowledge
    • 1 – No Knowledge

  1. Summary. Please summarize what you believe are the paper’s main contributions to the field of soft robotics. Please write a short paragraph. 

Augmenting Soft Robotics with Sound proposes the use of internal and external sounds within soft robots as a form of communication. The paper explores how movement and sound can be coupled to form expressive soft robots that can guide human interaction in the future.

  1. Strengths and Weaknesses. What are the main strengths and weaknesses of this work? Does the paper have strengths in originality and novelty?Please write a short paragraph. 

The work is definitely novel and original but is more based in curiosity and exploration through the design process rather than empirical data. One of the biggest strengths in this paper was the application of how sound has been implemented in other fields and how it can apply to robotics. For example, the concept behind the SONOS soft robot is based in science fiction movies, imitating the internal and external dialogue a creature might make.

  1. Soundness. Are the ideas, algorithms, results or studies technologically/methodologically sound? Please write a short paragraph arguing for the strengths and weaknesses of the work. 

While novel and easy to replicate, one of the weaknesses of the study is the application of further work. SONOS is more of a passive robot that creates sound through manual inflation and deflation. If applying this to create more intuitive and emotionally engaging interactions, how can this manifest in a real life scenario. One of the biggest strengths in this exploration is the attempt to answer how soft robots can be used to portray expressions and strengthen the communication beyond mimicking gestures.

  1. Related Work. Does the paper adequately describe related and prior work? Please write a sentence or short paragraph. 

The paper describes related prior work well in relation to the application of sounds in different fields. Could be a little more in-depth in any overlaps or differences.

  1. Presentation. Is the paper well organized, well written and clearly presented? Please write a sentence or short paragraph. 

The paper is well organized and well-written.

  1. Suggestions. Do you have suggestions for improving this paper? Please write several paragraphs detailing specific points of the paper which merit reconsideration. Be sure to address the text, figures and tables, mathematics, and grammar and spelling. 

The paper could be longer with why or how the work is meaningful. Section 2 talks about sounds in product design and then sounds in robots which seems to skip a lot of steps in between as the next section talks about using sounds from science fiction movies in SONOS. I think there could be more depth in discussing how sounds can aid the intended use of creating intuitive interactions along with effective/ineffective uses of sound.

There’s a small grammar mistake in 3.2.1 when describing the technicalities of how the robot works. The sentence is missing a comma which misconstrues the meaning. The exploration can be further grounded in numbers and figures to understand the impacts of different sources on the movement or sound of SONOS.

  1. Comments to Committee (Hidden from authors). Does the paper have enough originality and importance to merit publication? Is the paper relevant to the field? These comments will NOT be sent to the authors: Please write one or more paragraphs as needed to justify your review judgment. 

The paper is definitely relevant to the field in terms of holistic creative robotics, focusing on the end user as well as the technology itself. This paper is applicable in many fields from filmmaking to assistive robotics and pushes new considerations of how soft robots can be implemented easily without super high-tech implementation methods. Overall, this paper breaks down soft robotics in a way that’s accessible to everyone

  1. Overall Rating. Provide your overall rating of the paper (5 is best)
    • 5 – Definite accept: I would argue strongly for accepting this paper.
    • 4 – Probably accept: I would argue for accepting this paper.
    • 3 – Borderline: Overall I would not argue for accepting this paper.
    • 2 – Probably reject: I would argue for rejecting this paper.
    • 1 – Definite reject: I would argue strongly for rejecting this paper.

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