Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble Équipe Ingénierie de l'Interaction Homme-Machine

Équipe Ingénierie de l'Interaction

Toward Companion Robots Behaving with Style

In Proceedings of the 2014 IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (ROMAN). pages 1063-1068. 2014.

Wafa Johal, Sylvie Pesty, Gaëlle Calvary


Sociability of companion robots is one of the challenges that the field of human-robot interaction faces. Inspired from research in psychology and sociology dealing with inter-personal relationships, we aim to render robots capable of a behaviour compatible to be among humans. In the context of a companion robot for children, we propose different parenting styles (namely authoritative and permissive) and evaluate their effectiveness and acceptability by parents. We implemented behaviours of different styles played out by two robots, Nao and Reeti, with body and facial channels respectively for communication. 94 parents watched videos of the robots and replied to a questionnaire about the authoritativeness, effectiveness and
acceptability of the robots. The results showed that robots can be perceived as dominant and authoritative; however their effectiveness as an authoritative figure is limited to young children and is correlated to the style played when giving an order. When given a choice between authoritative styles, the
parents ended up not always choosing a parenting style similar to their own. This work contributes in formalising context dependent personalisation to parent expectation of a companion robot for children using the concept of styles.