Chapter 72 — Social Robotics

Human-robot teaming in a search-and-retrieve task

This video shows an example from a human participant study examining the role of nonverbal social signals on human-robot teamwork for a complex search-and-retrieve task. In a controlled experiment, we examined the role of backchanneling and task complexity on team functioning and perceptions of the robots’ engagement and competence. Seventy three participants interacted with autonomous humanoid robots as part of a human-robot team: One participant, one confederate (a remote operator controlling an aerial robot), and three robots (2 mobile humanoids and an aerial robot). We found that, when robots used backchanneling, team functioning improved and the robots were seen as more engaged.
Cynthia Breazeal
Personal Robots Group, MIT Media Lab. This work was funded by an ONR MURI award N00014-07-1-0749 and ONR award N000140910112.