Conference Paper

Hoffman, G., & Breazeal, C. (2007)

Effects of Anticipatory Action on Human-robot Teamwork: Efficiency, Fluency, and Perception of Team

Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE international conference on Human-Robot Interaction


A crucial skill for fluent action meshing in human team activity is a learned and calculated selection of anticipatory actions. We believe that the same holds for robotic teammates, if they are to perform in a similarly fluent manner with their human counterparts. In this work, we propose an adaptive action selection mechanism for a robotic teammate, making anticipatory decisions based on the confidence of their validity and their relative risk. We predict an improvement in task efficiency and fluency compared to a purely reactive process.

We then present results from a study involving untrained human subjects working with a simulated version of a robot using our system. We show a significant improvement in best-case task efficiency when compared to a group of users working with a reactive agent, as well as a significant difference in the perceived commitment of the robot to the team and its contribution to the team’s fluency and success. By way of explanation, we propose a number of fluency metrics that differ significantly between the two study groups.