An integrative framework of time-varying affective robotic behavior
Moshkina, Lilia V.
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As robots become more and more prevalent in our everyday life, making sure that our interactions with them are natural and satisfactory is of paramount importance. Given the propensity of humans to treat machines as social actors, and the integral role affect plays in human life, providing robots with affective responses is a step towards making our interaction with them more intuitive. To the end of promoting more natural, satisfying and effective human-robot interaction and enhancing robotic behavior in general, an integrative framework of time-varying affective robotic behavior was designed and implemented on a humanoid robot. This psychologically inspired framework (TAME) encompasses 4 different yet interrelated affective phenomena: personality Traits, affective Attitudes, Moods and Emotions. Traits determine consistent patterns of behavior across situations and environments and are generally time-invariant; attitudes are long-lasting and reflect likes or dislikes towards particular objects, persons, or situations; moods are subtle and relatively short in duration, biasing behavior according to favorable or unfavorable conditions; and emotions provide a fast yet short-lived response to environmental contingencies. The software architecture incorporating the TAME framework was designed as a stand-alone process to promote platform-independence and applicability to other domains. In this dissertation, the effectiveness of affective robotic behavior was explored and evaluated in a number of human-robot interaction studies with over 100 participants. In one of these studies, the impact of Negative Mood and emotion of Fear was assessed in a mock-up search-and-rescue scenario, where the participants found the robot expressing affect more compelling, sincere, convincing and "conscious" than its non-affective counterpart. Another study showed that different robotic personalities are better suited for different tasks: an extraverted robot was found to be more welcoming and fun for a task as a museum robot guide, where an engaging and gregarious demeanor was expected; whereas an introverted robot was rated as more appropriate for a problem solving task requiring concentration. To conclude, multi-faceted robotic affect can have far-reaching practical benefits for human-robot interaction, from making people feel more welcome where gregariousness is expected to making unobtrusive partners for problem solving tasks to saving people's lives in dangerous situations.