Researchers from Yale’s Social Robotics Lab, Yale’s Human Nature Lab, and Cornell’s Robots in Groups Lab published a study titled Vulnerable robots positively shape human conversational dynamics in a human-robot team in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). This National Science Foundation-funded study focused on how a robot’s verbal utterances (vulnerable, neutral, or silent) shaped the conversational dynamics in a collaborative team composed of one robot and three people. Their results illustrate that the vulnerable utterances from a social robot positively influence the amount of conversation between the human team members as well as each team member’s perception of their group dynamics. This work highlights the ability that social robots have to shape not only how people interact with the robot itself, but how people in the group interact with each other.
Please check out the following video and the Yale News’ article detailing our work.