Our publications presented chronologically
Further details below

2018

  • Pérez-Osorio, J. & Wykowska, A. (submitted) Adopting the intentional stance towards humanoid robots. 
  • Marchesi, S., Ghiglino, D., Ciardo, F., Baykara, E., & Wykowska, A. (submitted) Do we adopt the Intentional Stance toward humanoid robots? Preprint doi: 10.31234/osf.io/6smkq 
  • Kompatsiari, K., Pérez-Osorio, J., De Tommaso, D., Metta, G., Wykowska, A., Baykara, E., & Wykowska, A. (In press). Neuroscientifically-grounded research for improved human-robot interaction. 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Madrid, 6 Pages.
  • Pérez-Osorio, J., De Tommaso D., Baykara, E., & Wykowska, A. (In press). Joint action with iCub: a successful adaptation of a paradigm of cognitive neuroscience to HRI. 27th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), Nanjing - Tai'an, 6 Pages.
  • Wykowska, A., Metta, G., Becchio, C., Hortensius, R. & Cross, E. (2018). Cognitive and social neuroscience methods for HRI. In Proceedings of ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Chicago, IL, USA, March 2018 (HRI '18 Companion), 2 pages. doi: 10.1145/3173386.3173563 

  • Willemse, C., Marchesi, S., & Wykowska, A. (2018). Robot Faces that Follow Gaze Facilitate Attentional Engagement and Increase Their Likeability. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:70. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00070

2017

  • Natale, L., Bartolozzi, C., Pucci, D., Wykowska, A., & Metta, G. (2017). The not-yet-finished story of building a robot child. Science Robotics, Vol. 2, Issue 13, eaaq1026 DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aaq1026

  • Kompatsiari K., Tikhanoff V., Ciardo F., Metta G., & Wykowska A. (2017). The Importance of Mutual Gaze in Human-Robot Interaction. In: Kheddar A. et al. (eds) Social Robotics. ICSR 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10652, Springer, 443-452. DOI: doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-70022-9_44 [Full manuscript]

  • Wiese, E., Metta, G., & Wykowska, A. (2017). Robots as Intentional Agents: Using neuroscientific methods to make robots appear more social. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:1663, DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01663

2018

Cognitive and social neuroscience methods for HRI

ABSTRACT
This workshop focuses on research in HRI using objective measures from social and cognitive neuroscience to provide guidelines for the design of robots well-tailored to the workings of the human brain. The aim is to present results from experimental studies in which human behavior and brain activity are measured during interactive protocols with robots. Discussion will focus on means to improve replicability and generalizability of experimental results in HRI.

  • Citation
    Wykowska, A., Metta, G., Becchio, C., Hortensius, R. & Cross, E. (2018). Cognitive and social neuroscience methods for HRI. In Proceedings of ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Chicago, IL, USA, March 2018 (HRI '18 Companion), 2 pages. DOI: 10.1145/3173386.3173563

Robot Faces that Follow Gaze Facilitate Attentional Engagement and Increase Their Likeability

ABSTRACT
Gaze behavior of humanoid robots is an efficient mechanism for cueing our spatial orienting, but less is known about the cognitive–affective consequences of robots responding to human directional cues. Here, we examined how the extent to which a humanoid robot (iCub) avatar directed its gaze to the same objects as our participants affected engagement with the robot, subsequent gaze-cueing, and subjective ratings of the robot’s characteristic traits. In a gaze-contingent eyetracking task, participants were asked to indicate a preference for one of two objects with their gaze while an iCub avatar was presented between the object photographs. In one condition, the iCub then shifted its gaze toward the object chosen by a participant in 80% of the trials (joint condition) and in the other condition it looked at the opposite object 80% of the time (disjoint condition). Based on the literature in human–human social cognition, we took the speed with which the participants looked back at the robot as a measure of facilitated reorienting and robot-preference, and found these return saccade onset times to be quicker in the joint condition than in the disjoint condition. As indicated by results from a subsequent gaze-cueing tasks, the gaze-following behavior of the robot had little effect on how our participants responded to gaze cues. Nevertheless, subjective reports suggested that our participants preferred the iCub following participants’ gaze to the one with a disjoint attention behavior, rated it as more human-like and as more likeable. Taken together, our findings show a preference for robots who follow our gaze. Importantly, such subtle differences in gaze behavior are sufficient to influence our perception of humanoid agents, which clearly provides hints about the design of behavioral characteristics of humanoid robots in more naturalistic settings.

  • Citation

    Willemse, C., Marchesi, S., & Wykowska, A. (2018). Robot Faces that Follow Gaze Facilitate Attentional Engagement and Increase Their Likeability. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:70. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00070


2017

The not-yet-finished story of building a robot child

ABSTRACT
The iCub open-source humanoid robot child is a successful initiative supporting research in embodied artificial intelligence.

  • Citation

    Natale, L., Bartolozzi, C., Pucci, D., Wykowska, A., & Metta, G. (2017). The not-yet-finished story of building a robot child. Science Robotics, Vol. 2, Issue 13, eaaq1026 DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aaq1026


The Importance of Mutual Gaze in Human-Robot Interaction

ABSTRACT
Mutual gaze is a key element of human development, and constitutes an important factor in human interactions. In this study, we examined –through analysis of subjective reports– the influence of an online eye-contact of a humanoid robot on humans’ reception of the robot. To this end, we manipulated the robot gaze, i.e., mutual (social) gaze and neutral (non-social) gaze, throughout an experiment involving letter identification. Our results suggest that people are sensitive to the mutual gaze of an artificial agent, they feel more engaged with the robot when a mutual gaze is established, and eye-contact supports attributing human-like characteristics to the robot. These findings are relevant both to the human-robot interaction (HRI) research - enhancing social behavior of robots, and also for cognitive neuroscience - studying mechanisms of social cognition in relatively realistic social interactive scenarios.

  • Citation

    Kompatsiari K., Tikhanoff V., Ciardo F., Metta G., & Wykowska A. (2017). The Importance of Mutual Gaze in Human-Robot Interaction. In: Kheddar A. et al. (eds) Social Robotics. ICSR 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10652, Springer, 443-452. DOI: doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-70022-9_44


Robots as Intentional Agents: Using neuroscientific methods to make robots appear more social

ABSTRACT
Robots are increasingly envisaged as our future cohabitants. However, while considerable progress has been made in recent years in terms of their technological realization, the ability of robots to interact with humans in an intuitive and social way is still quite limited. An important challenge for social robotics is to determine how to design robots that can perceive the user’s needs, feelings, and intentions, and adapt to users over a broad range of cognitive abilities. It is conceivable that if robots were able to adequately demonstrate these skills, humans would eventually accept them as social companions. We argue that the best way to achieve this is using a systematic experimental approach based on behavioral and physiological neuroscience methods such as motion/eye-tracking, electroencephalography, or functional near-infrared spectroscopy embedded in interactive human–robot paradigms. This approach requires understanding how humans interact with each other, how they perform tasks together and how they develop feelings of social connection over time, and using these insights to formulate design principles that make social robots attuned to the workings of the human brain. In this review, we put forward the argument that the likelihood of artificial agents being perceived as social companions can be increased by designing them in a way that they are perceived as intentional agents that activate areas in the human brain involved in social-cognitive processing. We first review literature related to social-cognitive processes and mechanisms involved in human–human interactions, and highlight the importance of perceiving others as intentional agents to activate these social brain areas. We then discuss how attribution of intentionality can positively affect human–robot interaction by (a) fostering feelings of social connection, empathy and prosociality, and by (b) enhancing performance on joint human–robot tasks. Lastly, we describe circumstances under which attribution of intentionality to robot agents might be disadvantageous, and discuss challenges associated with designing social robots that are inspired by neuroscientific principles.

  • Citation

    Wiese, E., Metta, G., & Wykowska, A. (2017). Robots as Intentional Agents: Using neuroscientific methods to make robots appear more social. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:1663, DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01663

   


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