CLCG colloquium: R3D3: conversations with a virtual human / robot duo
Spreker: Mariët Theune, Human Media Interaction (HMI) University of Twente (http://wwwhome.ewi.utwente.nl/~theune/)
Title: "R3D3: conversations with a virtual human / robot duo"
Much research has been done in recent years on interaction with either virtual humans or social robots in various types of applications. However, applications that feature both a virtual human and a social robot are not common. The Rolling Receptionist Robot with Double Dutch Dialogue (R3D3) is an exception. It consists of two agents: a robot and a virtual human, carried by the robot on a tablet. The virtual human is capable of holding simple spoken conversations in Dutch. The robot does not speak, but can make head gestures and use affective gaze.
In this talk I will present R3D3 and discuss some experiments we carried out with it, both in controlled conditions and in a field study with groups of children in the NEMO Science Museum. In the experiments we investigated the role of the non-speaking robot in the conversations with R3D3. Specifically, we experimented with using the robot for turn managements in multi-party conversations with R3D3.
Turn-taking is seen as an important factor in managing fluent conversations. A key turn-taking behaviour in conversations between humans is the intentional direction of gaze. Gaze has also been shown to be a highly effective mechanism for turn-managament in human-robot interaction, especially when interacting with multiple people. Our findings suggest that the robot's gaze is a powerful social signal for R3D3 as well.