A motivation system for regulating human-robot interaction

C. Breazeal


This paper presents a motivational system for an autonomous robot which is designed to regulate human-robot interaction. The mode of social interaction is that of a caretaker-infant dyad where a human acts as the caretaker for the robot. An infant’s emotions and drives play a very important role in generating meaningful interactions with the caretaker, and regulating these interactions to maintain an environment suitable for the learning process (Bullowa 1979). Similarly, the learning task for the robot is to apply various communication skills acquired during social exchanges to manipulate the caretaker such that its drives are satisfied. Toward this goal, the motivational system implements drives, emotions, and facial expressions. Although the details of the learning itself are beyond the scope of this paper, this work represents an important step toward realizing robots that can engage in meaningful bi-directional social interactions with humans.

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