This technique is used in the “Straight Man/Funny Man” technique, but I need to give you a few more pointers on it. The general idea behind creating the illusion of emotion is to shift naturally in and out of conflict between you and your robot.
To reduce conflict and therefore the tension in your scene, have scripts where the robot obeys your commands, or responds to the emotion in your dialogue. An example of the former is simple, tell your robot to do something and have him do it. The latter is a little more advanced. Here’s an example of the latter:
You say to your robot “I’m all out of batteries!”. This is very sad to your robot. One potential script is: he turns around, walks to the corner, and sulks by making small listless arm movements. It’s an emotion that is in agreement with the emotion of your dialogue.
To create conflict, have him do things that are in disagreement with your dialogue. This too takes a simple and a more advanced form. The simple form is to have him disobey or ignore you outright as was used in the “Straight Man/Funny Man” technique. The more advanced technique is to have him do things that show an unpredictable emotional response to your dialogue. For example:
You say to your robot: “Here is my new doggie robot, what do you think?”. Instead of playing nicely with the Doggy Bot he starts attacking it mercilessly. This creates conflict and gives the illusion that your robot doesn’t like dogs. (Please use a robot dog or a doggy doll and not a real Chihuahua dog, unless you like little Chihuahua presents on your carpet!).
NOTE: The phrase that follows “You say to your robot” is a voice command that triggers a script.
Click here to learn how to mix Basic Commands and Voice Activated Scripts