Tom Williams and Priscilla Briggs and Nathaniel Pelz and Matthias Scheutz
23rd IEEE Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication
Recent research indicates that other factors in addition to appearance may contribute to the “Uncanny Valley” effect, and it is possible that “uncanny actions” such as “robot telepathy” – the nonverbal exchange of information among multiple robots – could be one such factor. We thus specifically examine whether humans are negatively affected by displays of nonverbal robot-robot communication through a disaster relief scenario in which one robot must relay information from a human participant to another robot in order to successfully complete a task. Our results showed no significant difference between the verbal and nonverbal communication strategies, thus suggesting that “telepathic information transmission” is acceptable. However, we also found several unexplained robot-specific effects, prompting future follow-up studies to determine their causes and the extent to which these effects might impact human perception and acceptance of robot communication strategies.