Can I Help You?

A Spatial Attention System for a Receptionist Robot
  • Patrick Holthaus
  • Ingo Lütkebohle
  • Marc Hanheide
  • Sven Wachsmuth
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6414)


Social interaction between humans takes place in the spatial dimension on a daily basis. We occupy space for ourselves and respect the dynamics of spaces that are occupied by others. In human-robot interaction, the focus has been on other topics so far. Therefore, this work applies a spatial model to a humanoid robot and implements an attention system that is connected to it. The resulting behaviors have been verified in an on-line video study. The questionnaire revealed that these behaviors are applicable and result in a robot that has been perceived as more interested in the human and shows its attention and intentions to a higher degree.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Breazeal, C., Scassellati, B.: How to build robots that make friends and influence people. In: Intelligent Robot Systems (IROS), Kyonjiu, Korea, pp. 858–863 (1999)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fong, T., Nourbakhsh, I., Dautenhahn, K.: A survey of socially interactive robots. Robotics and Autonomous Systems 42(3), 143–166 (2003)CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lütkebohle, I., Peltason, J., Schillingmann, L., Elbrechter, C., Wrede, B., Wachsmuth, S., Haschke, R.: The curious robot - structuring interactive robot learning. In: International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Kobe, Japan. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hall, E.T.: Proxemics. Current Anthropology 9(2/3), 83 (1968)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Takayama, L., Pantofaru, C.: Inuences on proxemic behaviors in human-robot interaction. In: Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), St. Louis, MO (2009)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Syrdal, D.S., Dautenhahn, K., Walters, M.L., Koay, K.L.: Sharing spaces with robots in a home scenario anthropomorphic attributions and their effect on proxemic expectations and evaluations in a live HRI trial. In: Proc. AAAI Fall 2008 Symposium AI in Eldercare: New Solutions to Old Problems, Washington, DC, USA (2008)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    van Oosterhout, T., Visser, A.: A visual method for robot proxemics measurements. In: Proceedings of Metrics for Human-Robot Interaction: A Workshop at the Third ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2008), pp. 61–68. University of Hertfordshire (2008)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kirby, R., Simmons, R., Forlizzi, J.: Companion: A constraint optimizing method for person-acceptable navigation. In: IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), pp. 607–612 (September 2009)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pacchierotti, E., Christensen, H.I., Jensfelt, P.: Evaluation of passing distance for social robots. In: IEEE Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (ROMAN), Hartfordshire (2006)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pitsch, K., Kuzuoka, H., Suzuki, Y., Lu, P., Heath, C., Yamazaki, K., Yamazaki, A., Kuno, Y.: The rst ve seconds: Contigent step-wise entry as a means to secure sustained engagement in human-robot-interaction. In: International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Toyama, Japan (September 2009)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Muhl, C., Nagai, Y.: Does disturbance discourage people from communicating with a robot? In: The 16th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Jeju, Korea (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Beuter, N., Spexard, T., Lütkebohle, I., Peltason, J., Kummert, F.: Where is this? - gesture based multimodal interaction with an anthropomorphic robot. In: International Conference on Humanoid Robots, Daejeon, Korea. IEEE-RAS (2008)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hackel, M., Schwope, M., Fritsch, J., Wrede, B., Sagerer, G.: Designing a sociable humanoid robot for interdisciplinary research. Advanced Robotics 20(11), 1219–1235 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lütkebohle, I., Hegel, F., Schulz, S., Hackel, M., Wrede, B., Wachsmuth, S., Sagerer, G.: The bielefeld anthropomorphic robot head “flobi“. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Anchorage, Alaska. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2010)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hegel, F.: Gestalterisch konstruktiver Entwurf eines sozialen Roboters. PhD thesis, Bielefeld University (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Viola, P., Jones, M.: Rapid object detection using a boosted cascade of simple features. In: Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), vol. 1, pp. 511–518 (2001)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kendon, A.: Some functions of gaze-direction in social interaction. Acta Psychologica 26, 22–63 (1967)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Holthaus
    • 1
  • Ingo Lütkebohle
    • 1
  • Marc Hanheide
    • 2
  • Sven Wachsmuth
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Informatics, Faculty of TechnologyBielefeld UniversityGermany
  2. 2.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of BirminghamEngland

Personalised recommendations