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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 241;

Robotic Motion Learning Framework to Promote Social Engagement

Department of Biomedical Engineering, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences, Department of Computer Science, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Robotics)
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Imitation is a powerful component of communication between people, and it poses an important implication in improving the quality of interaction in the field of human–robot interaction (HRI). This paper discusses a novel framework designed to improve human–robot interaction through robotic imitation of a participant’s gestures. In our experiment, a humanoid robotic agent socializes with and plays games with a participant. For the experimental group, the robot additionally imitates one of the participant’s novel gestures during a play session. We hypothesize that the robot’s use of imitation will increase the participant’s openness towards engaging with the robot. Experimental results from a user study of 12 subjects show that post-imitation, experimental subjects displayed a more positive emotional state, had higher instances of mood contagion towards the robot, and interpreted the robot to have a higher level of autonomy than their control group counterparts did. These results point to an increased participant interest in engagement fueled by personalized imitation during interaction. View Full-Text
Keywords: human–robot interaction; socially assistive robotics; imitation; motion learning human–robot interaction; socially assistive robotics; imitation; motion learning

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Burns, R.; Jeon, M.; Park, C.H. Robotic Motion Learning Framework to Promote Social Engagement. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 241.

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