Sorry to Interrupt, But May I Have Your Attention? Preliminary Design and Evaluation of Autonomous Engagement in HRI

Vincent Rousseau, Francois Ferland, Dominic Létourneau, Francois Michaud


The design and the evaluation of an autonomous interactive robot is a challenging research endeavor because there is as much to learn from the interaction between the integrated technologies as there is from the embodied human-robot interaction, in addition to observing their mutual interdependencies. This paper reports on IRL-0, a prototyping platform that we used to conduct preliminary studies on the influences of combining verbal and nonverbal modalities (facial expressions, head movement, arm gestures, and approach trajectory) for engaging interaction with people in controlled conditions and in real-world settings. IRL-0 is made of a compliant omnidirectional mobile base equipped with an expressive face and a three degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) compliant arm. By assembling this prototype and conducting these preliminary studies, our objective is to acquire insights in terms of design (e.g., technology, control) and experimental procedures that are important to take into consideration for the designing and evaluating autonomous robots engaging interaction with people.


Autonomous interaction, Engagement, Facial expression and head movement, Arm gestures, Mobility, Integrated design and evaluation methodology

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