IROS 2015 Paper Abstract


Paper ThFT1.2

Mead, Ross (University of Southern California), Mataric, Maja (University of Southern California)

Proxemics and Performance: Subjective Human Evaluations of Autonomous Sociable Robot Distance and Social Signal Understanding

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular session "Robot Companions and Social Human-Robot Interaction" (ThFT1), Thursday, October 1, 2015, 17:05−17:20, Saal D

2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Sept 28 - Oct 03, 2015, Congress Center Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on July 19, 2019

Keywords Robot Companions and Social Human-Robot Interaction, Human Centered Robotics, Personal Robots


An objective of an autonomous sociable robot is to meet the needs and preferences of a human user. However, this can sometimes be at the expense of the robot's own ability to understand social signals produced by the user. In particular, human preferences of distance (proxemics) to the robot can have significant impact on the performance rates of its automated speech and gesture recognition systems. In this work, we investigated how people perceive a sociable robot based on its performance at different locations. We performed an experiment in which a robot's ability to understand social signals was artificially attenuated across distance; robot maximum, minimum, and average performance rates were also varied. Participants (N=160) instructed a robot using speech and pointing gestures, and then responded to a questionnaire to provide their subjective evaluations of the robot. We identified significant relationships between robot performance and user perceptions of robot competence, anthropomorphism, engagement, likability, and technology adoption; we identified no relationship between human-robot distance and subjective measures, which contrasts related work. Our results have significant implications for autonomous sociable robot design.



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