Warning Signals for Poor Performance Improve Human-Robot Interaction

Rik van den Brule, Gijsbert Bijlstra, Ron Dotsch, Pim Haselager, Daniel H. J. Wigboldus


The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot’s nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the robot’s task. In two experiments, participants learned either that a robot’s gestures predicted subsequent poor performance, or they did not. Participants evaluated a robot that uses predictive gestures as more trustworthy, understandable, and reliable compared to a robot that uses gestures that are not predictive of their performance. Finally, participants who learned the relation between gestures and performance improved collaboration with the robot through prevention behavior immediately after a predictive gesture. This limits the negative consequences of the robot’s mistakes, thus improving the interaction.


Human-robot interaction, error prevention, predictive signals, evaluation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5898/JHRI.5.2.Van_den_Brule


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