Two papers accepted at ICSR 2021

Lucas Morillo and Neziha Akalin both got their paper accepted at International Conference on Social Robotics 2021. You can find here the title and abstract of the papers! Congratulations to the authors!

Age-Related Differences in the Perception of Eye-Gaze from a Social Robot

L Morillo-Mendez, M. Schrooten, A. Loutfi and O. M. Mozos


The sensibility to deictic gaze declines naturally with age and often results in reduced social perception. Thus, the increasing efforts in developing social robots that assist older adults during daily life tasks need to consider the effects of aging. In this context, as non-verbal cues such as deictic gaze are important in natural communication in human-robot interaction, this paper investigates the performance of older adults, as compared to younger adults, during a controlled, online (visual search) task inspired by daily life activities, while assisted by a social robot. This paper also examines age-related differences in social perception. Our results showed a significant facilitation effect of head movement representing deictic gaze from a Pepper robot on task performance. This facilitation effect was not significantly different between the age groups. However, social perception of the robot was less influenced by its deictic gaze behavior in older adults, as compared to younger adults. This line of research may ultimately help informing the design of adaptive non-verbal cues from social robots for a wide range of end users.

Robot-Assisted Training with Swedish and Israeli Older Adults

N. Akalin, M. Krakovsky, O. Avioz-Sarig, A. Loutfi, and Y. Edan


This paper explores robot-assisted training in a cross-cultural context with older adults. We performed user studies with 28 older adults with two different assistive training robots: an adaptive robot, and a non-adaptive robot, in two countries (Sweden and Israel). In the adaptive robot group, the robot suggested playing music and decreased the number of repetitions based on the participant’s level of engagement. We analyzed the facial expressions of the participants in these two groups. Results revealed that older adults in the adaptive robot group showed more varying facial expressions. The adaptive robot created a distraction for the older adults since it talked more than the non-adaptive robot. This result suggests that a robot designed for older adults should utilize the right amount of communication capabilities. The Israeli participants expressed more positive attitudes towards robots and rated the perceived usefulness of the robot higher than the Swedish participants.

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