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Designing and Evaluating Human-Robot Communication: Informing Design through Analysis of User Interaction
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Human - Computer Interaction, MDI. (Human-Computer Interaction)
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores the design and evaluation of human-robot communication for service robots that use natural language to interact with people.  The research is centred around three themes: design of human-robot communication; evaluation of miscommunication in human-robot communication; and the analysis of spatial influence as empiric phenomenon and design element.  The method has been to put users in situations of future use through means of Hi-fi simulation. Several scenarios were enacted using the Wizard-of-Oz technique: a robot intended for fetch- and carry services in an office environment; and a robot acting in what can be characterised as a home tour, where the user teaches objects and locations to the robot. Using these scenarios a corpus of human-robot communication was developed and analysed.  The analysis of the communicative behaviours led to the following observations: the users communicate with the robot in order to solve a main task goal. In order to fulfil this goal they overtake service actions that the robot is incapable of. Once users have understood that the robot is capable of performing actions, they explore its capabilities.  During the interactions the users continuously monitor the behaviour of the robot, attempting to elicit feedback or to draw its perceptual attention to the users’ communicative behaviour. Information related to the communicative status of the robot seems to have a fundamental impact on the quality of interaction. Large portions of the miscommunication that occurs in the analysed scenarios can be attributed to ill-timed, lacking or irrelevant feedback from the robot.  The analysis of the corpus data also showed that the users’ spatial behaviour seemed to be influenced by the robot’s communicative behaviour, embodiment and positioning. This means that we in robot design can consider the use strategies for spatial prompting to influence the users’ spatial behaviour.  The understanding of the importance of continuously providing information of the communicative status of the robot to it’s users leaves us with an intriguing design challenge for the future: When designing communication for a service robot we need to design communication for the robot work tasks; and simultaneously, provide information based on the systems communicative status to continuously make users aware of the robots communicative capability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2009. , vi, 220 p.
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2009:02
Keyword [en]
Human-Robot Interaction, Human-Robot Communication, Natural language user interfaces, Interaction Design
National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9917ISBN: 978-91-7415-224-1OAI: diva2:158201
Public defence
2009-02-20, D2, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, 13:00 (English)
QC 20100714Available from: 2009-02-02 Created: 2009-01-30 Last updated: 2010-07-14Bibliographically approved

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