Human gestures are often directly adopted in gesture design for humanoid robots when human-robot interaction is considered, but the interpretations of human and robot gestures can vary due to the structural difference between human and robot and due to people's perceptual difference of human and robot. In this paper, we investigate how people interpret human and robot gestures differently using emblematic gestures, a type of gesture with specific verbal translations. Nine commonly used emblems performed by a human were evaluated by 32 participants, and the nine emblems performed by a NAO humanoid robot were evaluated by another 32 participants. We compared participants' interpretations of the human and robot emblems systematically. The results indicate that the multimessage gesture and multigesture message characteristics of human emblems also exist in robot emblems. However, participants' recognition rates of robot emblems are lower than those of human emblems in many cases. The human and robot emblems can also vary in interpretations and corresponding percentages. Some interpretations of human emblems do not appear in robot emblems and vice versa; even when the interpretations of human and robot emblems are consistent, the corresponding percentage of each interpretation can vary between human and robot. Besides, participants' recognition of robot emblems can be affected by their familiarity with humanoids.

Emblematic gestures, Human-robot interaction, Humanoid robot, Robot gesture design, Social robotics
International Journal of Robotics and Automation
Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

Zheng, M. (Minhua), Liu, P, & Meng, M.Q.-H. (Max Q.-H.). (2019). Interpretation of human and robot emblematic gestures: How do they differ?. International Journal of Robotics and Automation, 34(1), 55–70. doi:10.2316/J.2019.206-5163