Between Legibility and Contact: The Role of Gaze in Robot Approach

Kerstin Fischer, Lars Christian Jensen, Stefan-Daniel Suvei, Leon Bodenhagen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we explore experimentally the possible tradeoff between gaze to the user and gaze to the path in robot approach. While some previous work indicates that gaze towards the user increases perceived safety because the user feels recognized, other work indicates that it is legibility of the robot's actions that put users at ease. If the robot does not drive up to the person in a straight line directly, the robot can either continuously look at the person and thus maintain eye contact, or indicate its path through its gaze behavior, increasing legibility. In an experiment with N=36 participants, we tested the tradeoff between legibility and eye contact. The behavioral results show that users are significantly more at ease with the robot that gazes at them than with the robot that looks where it is going, measured by the number of instances of glances away from the robot. Likewise, the participants rate the robot that looks at them continuously as more intelligent and more cooperative. Thus, participants value mutual gaze higher than legibility.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 25th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication
PublisherIEEE
Publication date15. Nov 2016
Pages646-651
Article number7745186
ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-3930-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5090-3929-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15. Nov 2016
Event25th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication - Columbia University, New York City, United States
Duration: 26. Aug 201631. Aug 2016
Conference number: 25

Conference

Conference25th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication
Number25
LocationColumbia University
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York City
Period26/08/201631/08/2016
SeriesIEEE RO-MAN proceedings
ISSN1944-9445

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