Engaging with Robots While Giving Simple Instructions
To facilitate fluent interaction with humans, socially assistive robots need to communicate in a way that can be intuitively understood. To investigate the effects of important nonverbal gestures on human experience in human-robot interactions, participants read a series of instructions to a robot which responded with nods, blinks, changes in gaze direction, or a combination of these. Participants then rated their engagement in the task as well as the perceived robot engagement, perceived robot comprehension and the robot’s likability. Unbeknown to the participants, the robot had no form of speech processing or gesture recognition, but simply measured speech volume levels and responded with a gesture or combination of gestures when it detected a lull in sound. Engagement of the human participants was not differentially affected by the different responses of the robot. However, the participants’ perception of the robot’s engagement in the task and its understanding of the instructions being communicated as well as its likability depended on the nonverbal gesture presented, with nodding being the most effective response.
KeywordsHuman-robot interaction non-verbal communication experienced engagement
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