Robot Gaze During Autonomous Navigation and its Effect on Social Presence

by   Kerry He, et al.

As robots have become increasingly common in human-rich environments, it is critical that they are able to exhibit social cues to be perceived as a cooperative and socially-conformant team member. We investigate the effect of robot gaze cues on people's subjective perceptions of a mobile robot as a socially present entity in three common hallway navigation scenarios. The tested robot gaze behaviors were path-oriented (looking at its own future path), or person-oriented (looking at the nearest person), with fixed-gaze as the control. We conduct a real-world study with 36 participants who walked through the hallway, and an online study with 233 participants who were shown simulated videos of the same scenarios. Our results suggest that the preferred gaze behavior is scenario-dependent. Person-oriented gaze behaviors which acknowledge the presence of the human are generally preferred when the robot and human cross paths. However, this benefit is diminished in scenarios that involve less implicit interaction between the robot and the human.


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