A quantitative technique for analysing robot-human interactions
This paper proposes a technique for quantitatively describing and analysing robot-human interactions in terms of low-level behavioural criteria (so-called micro-behaviours). In order to demonstrate the usefulness of this technique, we describe a case study that was conducted as part of the Aurora project where we develop robotic toys as therapautic tools for children with autism. In this project we made explicit choices of how to assess robot-human interaction and how to study the impact of interaction. Results of a comparative study with autistic children are shown where we focus on eye gaze behaviour. The results point out common tendencies as well as clear differences among the children, important information for future development of robots in the Aurora project. We propose that this technique is applicable to a wide range of application areas that involve robot-human interactions. The work presented in this paper is intended to open up a discussion on appropriate techniques to systematically assess robot-human interactions. Such research is important for the development of robots in human-inhabited environments.