Pelikan & Hofstetter 2022: Managing delays in human-robot interaction

Pelikan & Hofstetter have recently published “Managing Delays in Human-Robot Interaction“.


Delays in the completion of joint actions are sometimes unavoidable. How should a robot communicate that it cannot immediately act or respond in a collaborative task? Drawing on video recordings of a face scanning activity in family homes, we investigate how humans make sense of a Cozmo robot’s delays on a moment-by-moment basis. Cozmo’s sounds and embodied actions are recognized as indicators of delay but encourage human participants to act in ways that undermine the scanning process. In comparing the robot’s delay management strategies with human-human vocal and embodied practices, we demonstrate key differences in the sequences that impact how the robot is understood. The study demonstrates how delay events are accomplished as embodied displays that are distributed across co-participants. We present a framework for making delay transparent through situated explanations, particularly in the form of non-lexical sounds and bodily actions.

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