Robots


Affective Personalization of a Social Robot Tutor for Children’s Second Language Skills

AAAI Conferences

Though substantial research has been dedicated towards using technology to improve education, no current methods are as effective as one-on-one tutoring. A critical, though relatively understudied, aspect of effective tutoring is modulating the student's affective state throughout the tutoring session in order to maximize long-term learning gains. We developed an integrated experimental paradigm in which children play a second-language learning game on a tablet, in collaboration with a fully autonomous social robotic learning companion. As part of the system, we measured children's valence and engagement via an automatic facial expression analysis system. These signals were combined into a reward signal that fed into the robot's affective reinforcement learning algorithm. Over several sessions, the robot played the game and personalized its motivational strategies (using verbal and non-verbal actions) to each student. We evaluated this system with 34 children in preschool classrooms for a duration of two months. We saw that (1) children learned new words from the repeated tutoring sessions, (2) the affective policy personalized to students over the duration of the study, and (3) students who interacted with a robot that personalized its affective feedback strategy showed a significant increase in valence, as compared to students who interacted with a non-personalizing robot. This integrated system of tablet-based educational content, affective sensing, affective policy learning, and an autonomous social robot holds great promise for a more comprehensive approach to personalized tutoring.


Crowdsourcing Real World Human-Robot Dialog and Teamwork through Online Multiplayer Games

AI Magazine

We present an innovative approach for large-scale data collection in human-robot interaction research through the use of online multi-player games. By casting a robotic task as a collaborative game, we gather thousands of examples of human-human interactions online, and then leverage this corpus of action and dialog data to create contextually relevant, social and task-oriented behaviors for human-robot interaction in the real world. We demonstrate our work in a collaborative search and retrieval task requiring dialog, action synchronization and action sequencing between the human and robot partners. A user study performed at the Boston Museum of Science shows that the autonomous robot exhibits many of the same patterns of behavior that were observed in the online dataset and survey results rate the robot similarly to human partners in several critical measures.


Crowdsourcing Real World Human-Robot Dialog and Teamwork through Online Multiplayer Games

AI Magazine

We present an innovative approach for large-scale data collection in human-robot interaction research through the use of online multi-player games. By casting a robotic task as a collaborative game, we gather thousands of examples of human-human interactions online, and then leverage this corpus of action and dialog data to create contextually relevant, social and task-oriented behaviors for human-robot interaction in the real world. We demonstrate our work in a collaborative search and retrieval task requiring dialog, action synchronization and action sequencing between the human and robot partners. A user study performed at the Boston Museum of Science shows that the autonomous robot exhibits many of the same patterns of behavior that were observed in the online dataset and survey results rate the robot similarly to human partners in several critical measures.


The Second International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction

AI Magazine

The second international conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI-2007) was held in Arlington, Virginia, March 9-11, 2007. The theme of the conference was "Robot as Team Member" and included posters and paper presentations on teamwork, social robotics, adaptation, observation and metrics, attention, user experience, and field testing. One hundred seventy-five researchers and practitioners attended the conference, and many more contributed to the conference as authors or reviewers. HRI-2008 will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from March 12-15, 2008.


The Second International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction

AI Magazine

The second international conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI-2007) was held in Arlington, Virginia, March 9-11, 2007. The theme of the conference was "Robot as Team Member" and included posters and paper presentations on teamwork, social robotics, adaptation, observation and metrics, attention, user experience, and field testing. One hundred seventy-five researchers and practitioners attended the conference, and many more contributed to the conference as authors or reviewers. HRI-2008 will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from March 12-15, 2008.