Laban movement analysis and affective movement generation for robots and other near-living creatures

Sarah Jane Burton, Ali Akbar Samadani, Rob Gorbet, Dana Kulić

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This manuscript describes an approach, based on Laban Movement Analysis, to generate compact and informative representations of movement to facilitate affective movement recognition and generation for robots and other artificial embodiments. We hypothesize that Laban Movement Analysis, which is a comprehensive and systematic approach for describing movement, is an excellent candidate for deriving a low-dimensional representation of movement which facilitates affective motion modeling. First, we review the dimensions of Laban Movement Analysis most relevant for capturing movement expressivity and propose an approach to compute an estimate of the Shape and Effort components of Laban Movement Analysis using data obtained from motion capture. Within a motion capture environment, a professional actor reproduced prescribed motions, imbuing them with different emotions. The proposed approach was compared with a Laban coding by a certified movement analyst (CMA). The results show a strong correlation between results from the automatic Laban quantification and the CMA-generated Laban quantification of the movements. Based on these results, we describe an approach for the automatic generation of affective movements, by adapting pre-defined motion paths to overlay affective content. The proposed framework is validated through cross-validation and perceptual user studies. The proposed approach has great potential for application in fields including robotics, interactive art, animation and dance/acting training.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDance Notations and Robot Motion
EditorsJean-Paul Lamond, Naoko Abe
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783319257396
ISBN (Print)9783319257372
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpringer Tracts in Advanced Robotics
ISSN (Print)1610-7438
ISSN (Electronic)1610-742X

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