Negotiating with Robots for Human-Robot Collaboration

Keywords

Human-Robot Negotiation, Hesitation, Nonverbal Gestures

Summary

People share spaces and objects with each other every day. When conflicts regarding access to these shared resources occur, people communicate with each other to negotiate a solution. But what should a robot do when such conflicts occur between a human and a robotic assistant? Answers to this question depend on the context of the situation. In order for robots to be successfully deployed in homes and workplaces, it is important for robots to be equipped with the ability to make socially and morally acceptable decisions about the conflict at hand. However, robots today are not very good at making such decisions. The objective of my research is to investigate an interactive paradigm of human-robot conflict resolution that heavily relies on the communicative interaction between the agents. I propose to design a robotic system that can respond to imminent resource conflicts with people using humanlike hesitation gestures. These designed robot gestures, generated as real-time responses, will exhibit an appropriate level of persistent interest in the resource, thereby allowing a human-robot pair to interactively negotiate for the access to the resource. Upon successful implementation of the system, I will have demonstrated the efficacy of a new approach to resolving human-robot conflicts as an alternative to implementing simple collision avoidance behaviours or computationally heavy artificial decision-making algorithms on a robot.

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