A Nice Gesture by Jeroen Arendsen

A Nice Gesture by Jeroen Arendsen

A mix of posts on gesture, HCI, perception or robots and some personal information.

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Archive for Gesture Semiotics

Why the Robonaut Handshake with ISS Captain Burbank is not a Greeting

Last Februari 15, 2012, NASA made a little fuss about Robonaut (or R2) performing ‘the first human-humanoid handshake in space’. You can watch it in the video below.

‘Robonaut Shakes Hands’, uploaded by ReelNASA
I would like to use this occasion to enlighten both humans and humanoids about greetings. Although it is of course nice that cpt. [...]

Is a Yawn a Gesture?

In an old article BBC News reported about research showing that Pet dogs can ‘catch’ human yawns. The article is available online in Biology Letters here. (Article ‘Dogs catch human yawns’ by Ramiro M Joly-Mascheroni, Atsushi Senju* and Alex J Shepherd, 2008).
The copying activity suggests that canines are capable of empathising with people, say the [...]

Brilliantly funny ‘body language’ instructional tape

Here is a must-see video for anyone who is interested in gestures and body language and has a sense of humour. Be warned, it may force you to rethink some of your ideas about the conventionality of body language and the extent to which interpreting it can be taught (should you be a communications trainer).
In [...]

Thesis of Mats Andrén

For those among you who are interested in good gesture research it may be of interest to know that Mats Andrén, from Lund University, has published (online) his thesis called Children’s Gestures from 18 to 30 months. So far, I am enjoying reading it very much. Good job, Mats, and good luck with the defense [...]

Golden Oldie: Garfield & the Waving Snowman

Boy, I have been looking for this cartoon for two and a half years (off and on, that is, see here). So, a big thanks to diamond-blade for pointing out the link.

It was the Garfield daily comic from February 27, 2005 (source)
The reason why I like this comic so much (besides my general fascination for [...]

Gesture Definitions

I am going to try and coin some definitions regarding gestures.
A gesture is any act, except speech, by which we intend to communicate something beyond the act itself

This definition includes all normal gestures, that have meaning (the message that was communicated intentionally) because of cultural conventions (including languages) or iconicity, and all such acts (like [...]

Iconicity in Gestures and Sign Language

Let us assume for a moment that Mueller was right: Iconicity in Gestures is achieved by hands that act, embody, model and draw. We further agree with her that achieving iconicity presupposes certain knowledge in the observer (and in the producer for that matter). But it is general knowledge about techniques such as modeling. It [...]

MPI Lecure on Metonymy in Metaphoric Gestures

The Nijmegen Gesture Centre Lecture Series 2007 hosted a talk by Alan Cienki (currently at the VU Amsterdam as lecturer MA in English Language and Culture) and Cornelia Müller (Berlin Gesture Center) last week. I attended the lecture ‘How metonymic are metaphoric gestures?’ together with about 20 people. The talk and discussion afterwards were perhaps [...]

Is there a gesture in every click?

I have been catching stories in my newsreader where the word ‘gesture’ is used in a way I found hard to understand. A group of people are talking about the gestures that can be seen in people’s internet behaviour or computer usage. Who started this use of the word gesture? I don’t know exactly, but [...]

Is Cube-Flopping Gesturing?

Fellow PhD student at the TU Delft, Miguel Bruns-Alonso created a nice video of his Music Cube (his graduation project, see paper). And then Jasper van Kuijk (another colleague) blogged it for usability. And here I come wandering wondering: whether moving this Cube in certain ways to control music playing can or should be considered [...]


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