Towards a Task-Aware Proactive Sociable Robot Based on Multi-state Perspective-Taking
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- Pandey, A.K., Ali, M. & Alami, R. Int J of Soc Robotics (2013) 5: 215. doi:10.1007/s12369-013-0181-3
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Robots are expected to cooperate with humans in day-to-day interaction. One aspect of such cooperation is behaving proactively. In this paper we will enable our robots, equipped with visuo-spatial perspective-taking capabilities, to behave proactively based on reasoning ‘where’ its human partner might perform a particular task with different effort levels. For this, the robot analyzes the agents’ abilities not only from the current state but also from a set of different states the agent might attain.
Depending on the task and the situation, the robot exhibits different types of proactive behaviors, such as, reaching out, suggesting a solution and providing clues by head movement, for two different tasks performed by the human partner: give and make accessible. These proactive behaviors are intended to be informative to reduce confusion of the human partner, to communicate the robot’s ability and intention and to guide the partner for better cooperation.
We have validated the behaviors by user studies, which suggest that such proactive behaviors reduce the ‘confusion’ and ‘effort’ of the users. Further, the participants reported the robot to be more ‘supportive and aware’ compared to the situations where the robot was non-proactive.
Such proactive behaviors could enrich multi-modal interaction and cooperation capabilities of the robot as well as help in developing more complex socially expected and accepted behaviors in the human centered environment.