Intelligent Service Robotics

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 45–54 | Cite as

DualKeepon: a human–robot interaction testbed to study linguistic features of speech

  • Hoang-Long CaoEmail author
  • Lars Christian Jensen
  • Xuan Nhan Nghiem
  • Huong Vu
  • Albert De Beir
  • Pablo Gomez Esteban
  • Greet Van de Perre
  • Dirk Lefeber
  • Bram Vanderborght
Original Research Paper


In this paper, we present a novel dual-robot testbed called DualKeepon for carrying out pairwise comparisons of linguistic features of speech in human–robot interactions. Our solution, using a modified version of the MyKeepon robotic toy developed by Beatbots, is a portable open-source system for researchers to set up experiments quickly, and in an intuitive way. We provide an online tutorial with all required materials to replicate the system. We present two human–robot interaction studies to demonstrate the testbed. The first study investigates the perception of robots using filled pauses. The second study investigates how social roles, realized by different prosodic and lexical speaking profiles, affect trust. Results show that the proposed testbed is a helpful tool for linguistic studies. In addition to the basic setup, advanced users of the system have the ability to connect the system to different robot platforms, i.e., NAO, Pepper.


Keepon Social robot Human–robot interaction NAO Low-cost robotics Linguistics 



The authors would like to acknowledge the helpful comments of the anonymous reviewers on the earlier versions of this paper. The work leading to these results has received funding from the EC FP7 project DREAM (grant no. 611391) and the ICON project ROBO-CURE.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hoang-Long Cao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lars Christian Jensen
    • 2
  • Xuan Nhan Nghiem
    • 1
  • Huong Vu
    • 1
  • Albert De Beir
    • 1
  • Pablo Gomez Esteban
    • 1
  • Greet Van de Perre
    • 1
  • Dirk Lefeber
    • 1
  • Bram Vanderborght
    • 1
  1. 1.Robotics and Multibody Mechanics Research GroupVrije Universiteit Brussel and Flanders MakeBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Design and CommunicationUniversity of Southern DenmarkSønderborgDenmark

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