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  1. Homophily, a person's bias for having ties with people who are similar to themselves in social ways, has a vital role in creating a social connection between people. Studying homophily in human-robot interactions can provide valuable insights for improving those interactions. In this paper, we investigate whether similar interests have a positive effect on a human-robot interaction similar to the positive impact it can have on human-human interaction. We explore whether sharing similar interests can affect trust. This experiment consisted of two NAO robots; each gave differing speeches. For each participant, their national origin was asked in the pre-questionnaire, and during the sessions, one of the robot's topics was either personalized or not to their national origin. Since one robot shared a familiar topic, we expected to observe bonding between humans and the robot. We gathered data from a post-questionnaire and analyzed them. The results summarize the hypotheses here. We conclude that homophily plays a significant role in human-robot interaction, affecting trust in a robot partner.
  2. We present a context classification pipeline to allow a robot to change its navigation strategy based on the observed social scenario. Socially-Aware Navigation considers social behavior in order to improve navigation around people. Most of the existing research uses different techniques to incorporate social norms into robot path planning for a single context. Methods that work for hallway behavior might not work for approaching people, and so on. We developed a high-level decision-making subsystem, a model-based context classifier, and a multi-objective optimization-based local planner to achieve socially-aware trajectories for autonomously sensed contexts. Using a context classification system, the robot can select social objectives that are later used by Pareto Concavity Elimination Transformation (PaCcET) based local planner to generate safe, comfortable, and socially appropriate trajectories for its environment. This was tested and validated in multiple environments on a Pioneer mobile robot platform; results show that the robot could select and account for social objectives related to navigation autonomously.
  3. Mobile robots are increasingly populating homes, hospitals, shopping malls, factory floors, and other human environments. Human society has social norms that people mutually accept; obeying these norms is an essential signal that someone is participating socially with respect to the rest of the population. For robots to be socially compatible with humans, it is crucial for robots to obey these social norms. In prior work, we demonstrated a Socially-Aware Navigation (SAN) planner, based on Pareto Concavity Elimination Transformation (PaCcET), in a hallway scenario, optimizing two objectives so the robot does not invade the personal space of people. This article extends our PaCcET-based SAN planner to multiple scenarios with more than two objectives. We modified the Robot Operating System’s (ROS) navigation stack to include PaCcET in the local planning task. We show that our approach can accommodate multiple Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) scenarios. Using the proposed approach, we achieved successful HRI in multiple scenarios such as hallway interactions, an art gallery, waiting in a queue, and interacting with a group. We implemented our method on a simulated PR2 robot in a 2D simulator (Stage) and a pioneer-3DX mobile robot in the real-world to validate all the scenarios. A comprehensive set of experimentsmore »shows that our approach can handle multiple interaction scenarios on both holonomic and non-holonomic robots; hence, it can be a viable option for a Unified Socially-Aware Navigation (USAN).« less
  4. Robots’ autonomous navigation in public spaces and their social awareness suited to the environmental context is an active investigation in HRI. In this paper, we are presenting a methodology to achieve this goal. While most navigation models focus on objects, context, or human presence in the scene, we will incorporate all three to perceive the environment more accurately. Other than scene perception, the other important aspect of socially aware navigation is the social norms associated with the context. To do so, we have included interviews with museum visitors, volunteers, and staff to gather information about museums and convert the text data to social rules. This effort is currently in progress, we present a framework for future study and analysis of this problem.
  5. This work presents ideation and preliminary results of using contextual information and information of the objects present in the scene to query applicable social navigation rules for the sensed context. Prior work in socially-Aware Navigation (SAN) shows its importance in human-robot interaction as it improves the interaction quality, safety and comfort of the interacting partner. In this work, we are interested in automatic detection of social rules in SAN and we present three major components of our method, namely: a Convolutional Neural Network-based context classifier that can autonomously perceive contextual information using camera input; a YOLO-based object detection to localize objects with a scene; and a knowledge base of social rules relationships with the concepts to query them using both contextual and detected objects in the scene. Our preliminary results suggest that our approach can observe an on-going interaction, given an image input, and use that information to query the social navigation rules required in that particular context.
  6. As Human-Robot Interaction becomes more sophisticated, measuring the performance of a social robot is crucial to gauging the effectiveness of its behavior. However, social behavior does not necessarily have strict performance metrics that other autonomous behavior can have. Indeed, when considering robot navigation, a socially-appropriate action may be one that is sub-optimal, resulting in longer paths, longer times to get to a goal. Instead, we can rely on subjective assessments of the robot's social performance by a participant in a robot interaction or by a bystander. In this paper, we use the newly-validated Perceived Social Intelligence (PSI) scale to examine the perception of non-humanoid robots in non-verbal social scenarios. We show that there are significant differences between the perceived social intelligence of robots exhibiting SAN behavior compared to one using a traditional navigation planner in scenarios such as waiting in a queue and group behavior.
  7. Robotic social intelligence is increasingly important. However, measures of human social intelligence omit basic skills, and robot-specific scales do not focus on social intelligence. We combined human robot interaction concepts of beliefs, desires, and intentions with psychology concepts of behaviors, cognitions, and emotions to create 20 Perceived Social Intelligence (PSI) Scales to comprehensively measure perceptions of robots with a wide range of embodiments and behaviors. Participants rated humanoid and non-humanoid robots interacting with people in five videos. Each scale had one factor and high internal consistency, indicating each measures a coherent construct. Scales capturing perceived social information processing skills (appearing to recognize, adapt to, and predict behaviors, cognitions, and emotions) and scales capturing perceived skills for identifying people (appearing to identify humans, individuals, and groups) correlated strongly with social competence and constituted the Mind and Behavior factors. Social presentation scales (appearing friendly, caring, helpful, trustworthy, and not rude, conceited, or hostile) relate more to Social Response to Robots Scales and Godspeed Indices, form a separate factor, and predict positive feelings about robots and wanting social interaction with them. For a comprehensive measure, researchers can use all PSI 20 scales for free. Alternatively, they can select the most relevant scales formore »their projects.« less
  8. As systems that utilize computer vision move into the public domain, methods of calibration need to become easier to use. Though multi-plane LiDAR systems have proven to be useful for vehicles and large robotic platforms, many smaller platforms and low-cost solutions still require 2D LiDAR combined with RGB cameras. Current methods of calibrating these sensors make assumptions about camera and laser placement and/or require complex calibration routines. In this paper we propose a new method of feature correspondence in the two sensors and an optimization method capable of using a calibration target with unknown lengths in its geometry. Our system is designed with an inexperienced layperson as the intended user, which has led us to remove as many assumptions about both the target and laser as possible. We show that our system is capable of calibrating the 2-sensor system from a single sample in configurations other methods are unable to handle.
  9. Sampling based planning is an important step for long-range navigation for an autonomous vehicle. This work proposes a GPU-accelerated sampling based path planning algorithm which can be used as a global planner in autonomous navigation tasks. A modified version of the generation portion for the Probabilistic Road Map (PRM) algorithm is presented which reorders some steps of the algorithm in order to allow for parallelization and thus can benefit highly from utilization of a GPU. The GPU and CPU algorithms were compared using a simulated navigation environment with graph generation tasks of several different sizes. It was found that the GPU-accelerated version of the PRM algorithm had significant speedup over the CPU version (up to 78×). This results provides promising motivation towards implementation of a real-time autonomous navigation system in the future.