Conference Paper

A study of a retro-projected robotic face and its effectiveness for gaze reading by humans

DOI: 10.1145/1734454.1734471 Conference: Proceedings of the 5th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction, HRI 2010, Osaka, Japan, March 2-5, 2010
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT Reading gaze direction is important in human-robot interactions as it supports, among others, joint attention and non-linguistic interaction. While most previous work focuses on implementing gaze direction reading on the robot, little is known about how the human partner in a human-robot interaction is able to read gaze direction from a robot. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to introduce a new technology to implement robotic face using retro-projected animated faces and (2) to test how well this technology supports gaze reading by humans. We briefly discuss the robot design and discuss parameters influencing the ability to read gaze direction. We present an experiment assessing the user's ability to read gaze direction for a selection of different robotic face designs, using an actual human face as baseline. Results indicate that it is hard to recreate human-human interaction performance. If the robot face is implemented as a semi sphere, performance is worst. While robot faces having a human-like physiognomy and, perhaps surprisingly, video projected on a flat screen perform equally well and seem to suggest that these are the good candidates to implement joint attention in HRI.

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Questions & Answers about this publication

  • Frédéric Delaunay added an answer in Assistive Robotics:
    Can anyone help with the estimation of robots' gaze by human viewers?
    We recently bought an iCub2 with enhanced communication abilities (see Nina below). We are currently working on visual attention and try to characterize the perception of the robot's gaze direction by human observers. We got surprised! The morphology of robotic eyes with no deformation of the eyelids and palpebral commissure strongly biases the estimation of eyes direction as soon as the gaze is averted.

    Are you aware of any study (similar to what SAMER AL MOUBAYED and KTH colleagues have done with Furhat) on robots?

    Thank you in advance for your help!
    Frédéric Delaunay · University of Plymouth
    Hi Gérard, we conducted a gaze-reading experiment comparing 2D avatars, 3D rear projected faces, and humans in 2010 (check attachment). To establish a metric, we used a transparent grid comprised of 5x5cm cells through which two participants could read the gaze.

    Let me know if you'd like to discuss this.

    Best,

    - Frédéric -