How Can a Robot Attract the Attention of Its Human Partner? A Comparative Study over Different Modalities for Attracting Attention

  • Elena Torta
  • Jim van Heumen
  • Raymond H. Cuijpers
  • James F. Juola
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7621)


One of the most common tasks of a robot companion in the home is communication. In order to initiate an information exchange with its human partner, the robot needs to attract the attention of the human. This paper presents results of a user study (N=12) with elderly people (62 - 70 years) to evaluate different modalities for attracting attention. Results show that actions which involve sound generate the fastest reaction times and are better perceived by participants. Surprisingly attempting to attract attention by establishing eye-contact resulted in worse participants’ perception. We interpret these results as that robot gazing behaviour is better suited for situations in which the user’s focus of visual attention is already on the robot.


Attracting Attention Human-robot interaction Smart homes Speech Eye-contact Facial expression 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Torta
    • 1
  • Jim van Heumen
    • 1
  • Raymond H. Cuijpers
    • 1
  • James F. Juola
    • 1
  1. 1.Eindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

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