While humans actually need some overt communication channel to transmit information, be it verbally or nonverbally, robots could use their network connection to transmit information quickly to other robots. This raises the question how this covert robot-robot communication is perceived by humans. The current study investigates how transparency about communication happening between two robots affects humans’ trust in and perception of these robots as well as their feeling of being included/excluded in the interaction. Three different robot-robot communication styles were analyzed: silent, robotic language, and natural language. Results show that when robots transmit information in a robotic language (beep sounds) this leads to lower trust and more feelings of social exclusion than in the silent (i.e., covert) or natural language conditions. Results support the notion that humans are over-sensitive to signs of ostracism which seems to be detected in this style of overt but nonhuman robot-robot communication.



Author ORCID Identifier

Astrid Rosenthal-von der Pütten: 0000-0002-2497-143X

Nikolai Bock: 0000-0002-4668-9523