Robot to Human Approaches: Preliminary Results on Comfortable Distances and Preferences

Michael L Walters, Kheng Lee Koay, Sarah N. Woods, Dag S. Syrdal, K. Dautenhahn

This paper presents results from Human Robot Interaction (HRI) trials carried out at the University of Hertfordshire which examined how a robot companion must behave when fetching and carrying objects to and from human participants in a domestic living room scenario. It was found that different social approach rules apply depending whether the interacting human is sitting, standing in the open, or against a wall or obstacle. The main purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the techniques for automatically annotating HRI trial videos with participant supplied comfort data. During the trial participants indicated via a Comfort Level Device (CLD) their preferences for robot approach distances. This data was correlated with distance measurements obtained from the CLD annotated video recording of the trials. The development of a post-processing technique for overlaying a structured grid on to the video recordings of the trial, allowed a continuous record of both human and robot's positions and distances during the HRI trials to be recorded. Implications and suggestions for further HRI trials and an improvement of the methodology conclude the paper.

Subjects: 17. Robotics; 6.3 User Interfaces

Submitted: Jan 26, 2007

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