Chapter 72 — Social Robotics

Social referencing behavior

This video is an example of how nonverbal and verbal communication, emotive behavior, and social learning integrate to support social referencing in human-robot interaction. The robot, Leonardo, learns the affective appraisal of two novel objects by reading the affective appraisal given by a person (via facial expression, tone of voice, and word choice). The robot uses joint attention mechanisms to understand the referent of the interaction, and learns to associate the affective appraisal with this novel object. The robot then uses its own emotive responses to engage with that object accordingly (e.g., approach and explore a positively appraised object, avoid a negatively appraised object).
Cynthia Breazeal
Personal Robots Group, MIT Media Lab