Metrics to Evaluate Human Teaching Engagement From a Robot's Point of View
This thesis was motivated by a study of how robots can be taught by humans, with an emphasis on allowing persons without programming skills to teach robots. The focus of this thesis was to investigate what criteria could or should be used by a robot to evaluate whether a human teacher is (or potentially could be) a good teacher in robot learning by demonstration. In effect, choosing the teacher that can maximize the benefit to the robot using learning by imitation/demonstration. The study approached this topic by taking a technology snapshot in time to see if a representative example of research laboratory robot technology is capable of assessing teaching quality. With this snapshot, this study evaluated how humans observe teaching quality to attempt to establish measurement metrics that can be transferred as rules or algorithms that are beneficial from a robot’s point of view. To evaluate teaching quality, the study looked at the teacher-student relationship from a human-human interaction perspective. Two factors were considered important in defining a good teacher: engagement and immediacy. The study gathered more literature reviews relating to further detailed elements of engagement and immediacy. The study also tried to link physical effort as a possible metric that could be used to measure the level of engagement of the teachers. An investigatory experiment was conducted to evaluate which modality the participants prefer to employ in teaching a robot if the robot can be taught using voice, gesture demonstration, or physical manipulation. The findings from this experiment suggested that the participants appeared to have no preference in terms of human effort for completing the task. However, there was a significant difference in human enjoyment preferences of input modality and a marginal difference in the robot’s perceived ability to imitate. A main experiment was conducted to study the detailed elements that might be used by a robot in identifying a “good” teacher. The main experiment was conducted in two subexperiments. The first part recorded the teacher’s activities and the second part analysed how humans evaluate the perception of engagement when assessing another human teaching a robot. The results from the main experiment suggested that in human teaching of a robot (human-robot interaction), humans (the evaluators) also look for some immediacy cues that happen in human-human interaction for evaluating the engagement.