Autonomous Robots

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 55–74 | Cite as

Behavioral overlays for non-verbal communication expression on a humanoid robot

  • Andrew G. Brooks
  • Ronald C. Arkin


This research details the application of non-verbal communication display behaviors to an autonomous humanoid robot, including the use of proxemics, which to date has been seldom explored in the field of human-robot interaction. In order to allow the robot to communicate information non-verbally while simultaneously fulfilling its existing instrumental behavior, a “behavioral overlay” model that encodes this data onto the robot's pre-existing motor expression is developed and presented. The state of the robot's system of internal emotions and motivational drives is used as the principal data source for non-verbal expression, but in order for the robot to display this information in a natural and nuanced fashion, an additional para-emotional framework has been developed to support the individuality of the robot's interpersonal relationships with humans and of the robot itself. An implementation on the Sony QRIO is described which overlays QRIO's existing EGO architecture and situated schema-based behaviors with a mechanism for communicating this framework through modalities that encompass posture, gesture and the management of interpersonal distance.


Proxemics Body language Human-robot interaction Natural behavior Affective display 



The work described in this document was performed at Sony Intelligence Dynamics Laboratories (SIDL) during a summer research internship program. The authors wish to gratefully acknowledge the generous support and assistance provided by Yukiko Hoshino, Kuniaki Noda, Kazumi Aoyama, Hideki Shimomura, the rest of the staff and management of SIDL, and the other summer internship students, in the realization of this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robotic Life GroupMIT Media LaboratoryCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Mobile Robot Laboratory and GVU CenterCollege of Computing, Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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