The Repertoire of Robot Behavior: Enabling Robots to Achieve Interaction Goals through Social Behavior

Chien-Ming Huang, Bilge Mutlu


In social interaction, people draw on a large repertoire of social acts tailoring their use of these acts to meet the demands of the social situation and to achieve the goals of the interaction. This paper presents an approach to creating such a repertoire of social acts for robots and enabling designers to specify the social situation to which robots may adapt their behaviors. Drawing on principles of Activity Theory and social-scientific findings on human social behavior, this paper introduces an implementation of this approach—the Robot Behavior Toolkit—and two studies that use a limited, proof-of-concept repertoire of specifications for gaze cues to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach for controlling robot gaze behavior. The first study assessed the feasibility of the use of this repertoire, comparing it to alternative, baseline repertoires in two human-robot interaction tasks, and found that it enabled the robot to more effectively support the the interaction goals. The second study investigated the feasibility of the robot adapting its use of the repertoire to a social situation by comparing different goal specifications in two human-robot interaction tasks. The results showed that these specifications enabled the robot to achieve some of its task and communicative goals, although participant gender strongly affected whether the robot elicited these interaction outcomes.


Human-robot social interaction; social cues; robot behavior; interaction outcomes; Activity Theory; social cues repository; activity model; Robot Behavior Toolkit

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