Keep your friends close and your robots closer: the psychology of human-robot interaction

by Rebecca Stower

Albano 3: 6203 - Floor 6 Large Lunch Room (44 seats) (Albano Building 3)

Albano 3: 6203 - Floor 6 Large Lunch Room (44 seats)

Albano Building 3


Humans are beginning to interact with robots in a multitude of different contexts, including the service industry (robot servers, last mile delivery drones), healthcare, and entertainment (e.g., Disney droids). These interactions span from inherently goal or task-based to socially oriented. As such, people have different expectations and beliefs about how robots should behave during their interactions with humans. The field of human-robot interaction therefore focuses on understanding how features such as the robot’s appearance and behaviour influence people’s attitudes and behaviours towards these (social) robots. Nonetheless, despite recent technological advances, robot failures remain inevitable. Robot failures in real-life, uncontrolled interactions are even more inevitable. In this talk, we will cover why robot failures occur, what happens when robots fail, and how we can recover from failure. Understanding our relationships with robots, especially in situations and contexts where things do not go as expected, in turn has the potential to better inform our own understanding of ourselves, leading to better human-human interactions, too.