Can Real-time, Adaptive Human-Robot Motor Coordination Improve Humans’ Overall Perception of a Robot?
Previous research on social interaction among humans suggested that interpersonal motor coordination can help to establish social rapport. Our research addresses the question of whether, in a human-humanoid interaction experiment, the human’s overall perception of a robot can be improved by realising motor coordination behaviour that allows the robot to adapt in real-time to a person’s behaviour. A synchrony detection method using information distance was adopted to realise the real-time human-robot motor coordination behaviour, which guided the humanoid robot to coordinate its movements to a human by measuring the behaviour synchrony between the robot and the human. The feedback of the participants indicated that most of the participants preferred to interact with the humanoid robot with the adaptive motor coordination capability. The results of this proof-of-concept study suggest that the motor coordination mechanism improved humans’ overall perception of the humanoid robot. Together with our previous findings, namely that humans actively coordinate their behaviours to a humanoid robot’s behaviours, this study further supports the hypothesis that bidirectional motor coordination could be a valid approach to facilitate adaptive human-humanoid interaction.