Do not let the robot get too close: Investigating the shape and size of shared interaction space for two people in a conversation

Peter A.M. Ruijten (Corresponding author), Raymond H. Cuijpers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Robotic and other autonomous systems that need to operate in environments with people should respect social rules. One important aspect of this is personal space, which is the space surrounding a person. When two people are in a conversation, they position themselves such that a so-called shared interaction space is created in the middle of them. The aim of the current research was to experimentally investigate the shape and size of this shared interaction space in different formations. In three experiments, we had a robot approaching two people who were having a conversation from 5 different directions, and those people indicated what would be a comfortable distance for the robot to stop. We expected that people would take the personal space of their conversation partner into account when stopping the robot. Findings of the three studies mostly confirm this expectation. Apart from some exceptions, people tend to stop the robot at a similar distance from their conversation partner as from themselves. If these findings are applied in the behavior of robotic and other autonomous systems, people would be more likely to trust and later accept robots in their physical space, ultimately creating natural social interactions between humans and robots.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147
Number of pages17
JournalInformation
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Comfortable distance
  • Personal space
  • Robot navigation
  • Shared interaction space

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