Video_1_“That Robot Stared Back at Me!”: Demonstrating Perceptual Ability Is Key to Successful Human–Robot Interactions.MP4

Communication robots, such as robotic salespeople and guide robots, are increasingly becoming involved in various aspects of people's everyday lives. However, it is still unclear what types of robot behavior are most effective for such purposes. In this research, we focused on a robotic salesperson. We believe that people often ignore what such robots have to say owing to their weak social presence. Thus, these robots must behave in ways that attract attention encouraging people to nod or reply when the robots speak. In order to identify suitable behaviors, we conducted two experiments. First, we conducted a field experiment in a shop in a traditional Kyoto shopping street to observe customers' real-world interactions with a robotic salesperson. Here, we found that the first impression given by the robot had a crucial influence on its subsequent conversations with most customer groups and that it was important for the robot to indicate it could understand how much attention customers were paying to the robot in the early stages of its interactions if it was to persuade customers to respond to what it said. Although the field experiment enabled us to observe natural interactions, it also included many external factors. In order to validate some of our findings without the involving these factors, we further conducted a laboratory experiment to investigate whether having the robot look back at the participants when they looked at it increased their perception that the robot was aware of their actions. These results supported the findings of the field experiment. Thus, we can conclude that demonstrating that a robot can recognize and respond to human behavior is important if it is to engage with people and persuade them to nod and reply to its comments.