Human-humanoid interaction: is a humanoid robot perceived as a human?
4th IEEE/RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, 2004.
As humanoid robots become more commonplace in our society, it is important to understand the relation between humans and humanoid robots. In human face-to-face interaction, the observation of another individual performing an action facilitates the execution of a similar action, and interferes with the execution of a different action. This phenomenon has been explained by the existence of shared neural mechanisms for the execution and perception of actions, which would be automatically engaged
... the perception of another individual's action. In one interference experiment, null interference was reported when subjects observed a robotic arm perform the incongruent task, suggesting that this effect may be specific to interacting with other humans. This experimental paradigm, designed to investigate motor interference in human interactions, was adapted to investigate how similar the implicit perception of a humanoid robot is to a human agent. Subjects performed rhythmic arm movements while observing either a human agent or humanoid robot performing either congruent or incongruent movements. The variance of the executed movements was used as a measure of the amount of interference in the movements. Both the human and humanoid agents produced a significant interference effect. These results suggest that observing the action of humanoid robots and human agents may rely on similar perceptual processes. Our findings suggest that experimental paradigms adopted from cognitive psychology can be used to derive measures for quantifying the degree of the implicit perception of a robot as human.