Arousal regulation and affective adaptation to human responsiveness by a robot that explores and learns a novel environment
Frontiers in Neurorobotics
In the context of our work in developmental robotics regarding robot-human caregiver interactions, in this paper we investigate how a "baby" robot that explores and learns novel environments can adapt its affective regulatory behavior of soliciting help from a "caregiver" to the preferences shown by the caregiver in terms of varying responsiveness. We build on two strands of previous work that assessed independently (a) the differences between two "idealized" robot profiles-a "needy" and an
... ependent" robot-in terms of their use of a caregiver as a means to regulate the "stress" (arousal) produced by the exploration and learning of a novel environment, and (b) the effects on the robot behaviors of two caregiving profiles varying in their responsiveness-"responsive" and "non-responsive"-to the regulatory requests of the robot. Going beyond previous work, in this paper we (a) assess the effects that the varying regulatory behavior of the two robot profiles has on the exploratory and learning patterns of the robots; (b) bring together the two strands previously investigated in isolation and take a step further by endowing the robot with the capability to adapt its regulatory behavior along the "needy" and "independent" axis as a function of the varying responsiveness of the caregiver; and (c) analyze the effects that the varying regulatory behavior has on the exploratory and learning patterns of the adaptive robot.