High Social Acceptance of Head Gaze Loosely Synchronized with Speech for Social Robots
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This research demonstrates that robots can achieve socially acceptable interactions, using loosely synchronized head gaze-speech, without understanding the semantics of the dialog. Prior approaches used tightly synchronized head gaze-speech, which requires significant human effort and time to manually annotate synchronization events in advance, restricting interactive dialog, and requiring the operator to act as a puppeteer. This approach has two novel aspects. First, it uses affordances in the sentence structure, time delays, and typing to achieve autonomous synchronization of head gaze-speech. Second, it is implemented within a behavioral robotics framework derived from 32 previous implementations. The efficacy of the loosely synchronized approach was validated through a 93-participant 1 x 3 (loosely synchronized head gaze-speech, tightly synchronized head gaze-speech, no-head gazespeech) between-subjects experiment using the “Survivor Buddy” rescue robot in a victim management scenario. The results indicated that the social acceptance of loosely synchronized head gaze-speech is similar to tightly synchronized head gazespeech (manual annotation), and preferred to the no head gaze-speech case. These findings contribute to the study of social robotics in three ways. First, the research overall contributes to a fundamental understanding of the role of social head gaze in social acceptance, and the production of social head gaze. Second, it shows that autonomously generated head gaze-speech coordination is both possible and acceptable. Third, the behavioral robotics framework simplifies creation, analysis, and comparison of implementations.
SubjectSocial Head Gaze
User Study and Evaluation
Srinivasan, Vasant (2014). High Social Acceptance of Head Gaze Loosely Synchronized with Speech for Social Robots. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from