Peter Stone's Selected Publications

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Passive Demonstrations of Light-Based Robot Signals for Improved Human Interpretability

Rolando Fernandez, Nathan John, Sean Kirmani, Justin Hart, Jivko Sinapov, and Peter Stone. Passive Demonstrations of Light-Based Robot Signals for Improved Human Interpretability. In Proceedings of the 27th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), August 2018.

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Abstract

When mobile robots navigate crowded, human-populated environments, the potentialfor conflict arises in the form of intersecting trajectories. This studyinvestigates the use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) arranged along the chassisof a robot in an arrangement similar to a turn signal on a car as anon-anthropomorphic, yet familiar signal to convey the intended path of a mobileservice robot. We study the scenario of a human and a robot heading directlytoward each other in a hallway, which may give rise to the familiar humanexperience in which both parties step to the right, then the left, then theright, continuing to block each other's paths until they are able to coordinatetheir movements and pass each other. We conducted a pilot study which revealedthat people do not always interpret this signal as one may expect, which wouldbe similar to how a car uses its turn signal. This motivated a $2\times 2$experiment in which the robot either does or does not use LEDs to indicateits intended direction of travel, and in which study participants either areable to or unable to witness the robot's ``lane-changing'' behavior further downthe hallway prior to coming into direct proximal contact with the robot. Theresults demonstrate that exposing participants to the robot's use of the LEDsignal only once prior to passing each other in the hallway is sufficient todisambiguate its meaning to the user, and thus greatly enhances its utilityin-situ, with no direct instruction or training to the user. These findingssuggest a paradigm of passive demonstration of such signals in futureapplications.

BibTeX Entry

@InProceedings{ROMAN18-fernandez,
  author = {Rolando Fernandez and Nathan John and Sean Kirmani and Justin Hart and Jivko Sinapov and Peter Stone},
  title = {Passive Demonstrations of Light-Based Robot Signals for Improved Human Interpretability},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the 27th {IEEE} International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication {(RO-MAN)}},
  location = {Nanjing, China},
  month = {August},
  year = {2018},
  abstract = {
When mobile robots navigate crowded, human-populated environments, the potential
for conflict arises in the form of intersecting trajectories. This study
investigates the use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) arranged along the chassis
of a robot in an arrangement similar to a turn signal on a car as a
non-anthropomorphic, yet familiar signal to convey the intended path of a mobile
service robot. We study the scenario of a human and a robot heading directly
toward each other in a hallway, which may give rise to the familiar human
experience in which both parties step to the right, then the left, then the
right, continuing to block each other's paths until they are able to coordinate
their movements and pass each other. We conducted a pilot study which revealed
that people do not always interpret this signal as one may expect, which would
be similar to how a car uses its turn signal. This motivated a $2\times 2$
experiment in which the robot either does or does not use LEDs to indicate
its intended direction of travel, and in which study participants either are
able to or unable to witness the robot's ``lane-changing'' behavior further down
the hallway prior to coming into direct proximal contact with the robot. The
results demonstrate that exposing participants to the robot's use of the LED
signal only once prior to passing each other in the hallway is sufficient to
disambiguate its meaning to the user, and thus greatly enhances its utility
in-situ, with no direct instruction or training to the user. These findings
suggest a paradigm of passive demonstration of such signals in future
applications.
  },
}

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