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It’s in the Eyes: The Engaging Role of Eye Contact in HRI
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Social Cognition in Human-Robot Interaction, Centre for Human Technologies, Genoa, Italy. Ludwig Maximilian University, Planegg, Germany.
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Social Cognition in Human-Robot Interaction, Centre for Human Technologies, Genoa, Italy.
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, iCub Facility, Genoa, Italy.
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, iCub Facility, Genoa, Italy. University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
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2019 (English)In: International Journal of Social Robotics, ISSN 1875-4791, E-ISSN 1875-4805Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This paper reports a study where we examined how a humanoid robot was evaluated by users, dependent on established eye contact. In two experiments, the robot was programmed to either establish eye contact with the user, or to look elsewhere. Across the experiments, we altered the level of predictiveness of the robot’s gaze direction with respect to a subsequent target stimulus (in Exp.1 the gaze direction was non-predictive, in Exp. 2 it was counter-predictive). Results of subjective reports showed that participants were sensitive to eye contact. Moreover, participants felt more engaged with the robot when it established eye contact, and the majority attributed higher degree of human-likeness in the eye contact condition, relative to no eye contact. This was independent of predictiveness of the gaze cue. Our results suggest that establishing eye contact by embodied humanoid robots has a positive impact on perceived socialness of the robot, and on the quality of human–robot interaction (HRI). Therefore, establishing eye contact should be considered in designing robot behaviors for social HRI. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Eye contact, Social human–robot interaction, Social attention, iCub
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Engineering Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-75126DOI: 10.1007/s12369-019-00565-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-75126DiVA, id: diva2:1332798
Available from: 2019-06-28 Created: 2019-06-28 Last updated: 2019-06-28

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Wykowska, Agnieszka

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