Human robot interaction, implicit communication, physiological, human robot communication


Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) research is examining ways to make human-robot (HR) communication more natural. Incorporating natural communication techniques is expected to make HR communication seamless and more natural for humans. Humans naturally incorporate implicit levels of communication, and including implicit communication in HR communication should provide tremendous benefit. The aim for this work was to evaluate a model for humanrobot implicit communication. Specifically, the primary goal for this research was to determine whether humans can assign meanings to implicit cues received from autonomous robots as they do for identical implicit cues received from humans. An experiment was designed to allow participants to assign meanings to identical, implicit cues (pursuing, retreating, investigating, hiding, patrolling) received from humans and robots. Participants were tasked to view random video clips of both entity types, label the implicit cue, and assign a level of confidence in their chosen answer. Physiological data was tracked during the experiment using an electroencephalogram and eye-tracker. Participants answered workload and stress measure questionnaires following each scenario. Results revealed that participants were significantly more accurate with human cues (84%) than with robot cues (82%), however participants were highly accurate, above 80%, for both entity types. Despite the high accuracy for both types, participants remained significantly more confident in answers for humans (6.1) than for robots (5.9) on a confidence scale of 1 - 7. Subjective measures showed no significant differences for stress or mental workload across entities. Physiological measures were not significant for the engagement index across v entity, but robots resulted in significantly higher levels of cognitive workload for participants via the index of cognitive activity. The results of this study revealed that participants are more confident interpreting human implicit cues than identical cues received from a robot. However, the accuracy of interpreting both entities remained high. Participants showed no significant difference in interpreting different cues across entity as well. Therefore, much of the ability of interpreting an implicit cue resides in the actual cue rather than the entity. Proper training should boost confidence as humans begin to work alongside autonomous robots as teammates, and it is possible to train humans to recognize cues based on the movement, regardless of the entity demonstrating the movement.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date





Karwowski, Waldemar


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering








Release Date

August 2012

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science,Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic