The Robot in the Room: Influence of Robot Facial Expressions and Gaze on Human-Human-Robot Collaboration

by   Di Fu, et al.

Robot facial expressions and gaze are important factors for enhancing human-robot interaction (HRI), but their effects on human collaboration and perception are not well understood, for instance, in collaborative game scenarios. In this study, we designed a collaborative triadic HRI game scenario, where two participants worked together to insert objects into a shape sorter. One participant assumed the role of a guide. The guide instructed the other participant, who played the role of an actor, by placing occluded objects into the sorter. A humanoid robot issued instructions, observed the interaction, and displayed social cues to elicit changes in the two participants' behavior. We measured human collaboration as a function of task completion time and the participants' perceptions of the robot by rating its behavior as intelligent or random. Participants also evaluated the robot by filling out the Godspeed questionnaire. We found that human collaboration was higher when the robot displayed a happy facial expression at the beginning of the game compared to a neutral facial expression. We also found that participants perceived the robot as more intelligent when it displayed a positive facial expression at the end of the game. The robot's behavior was also perceived as intelligent when directing its gaze toward the guide at the beginning of the interaction, not the actor. These findings provide insights into how robot facial expressions and gaze influence human behavior and perception in collaboration.


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