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Verbal explanations by collaborating robot teams

Authors
  • Singh, Avinash Kumar1
  • Baranwal, Neha1
  • Richter, Kai-Florian1
  • Hellström, Thomas1
  • Bensch, Suna1
  • 1 Department of Computing Science, Sweden , (Sweden)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Nov 16, 2020
Volume
12
Issue
1
Pages
47–57
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/pjbr-2021-0001
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

In this article, we present work on collaborating robot teams that use verbal explanations of their actions and intentions in order to be more understandable to the human. For this, we introduce a mechanism that determines what information the robots should verbalize in accordance with Grice’s maxim of quantity, i.e., convey as much information as is required and no more or less. Our setup is a robot team collaborating to achieve a common goal while explaining in natural language what they are currently doing and what they intend to do. The proposed approach is implemented on three Pepper robots moving objects on a table. It is evaluated by human subjects answering a range of questions about the robots’ explanations, which are generated using either our proposed approach or two further approaches implemented for evaluation purposes. Overall, we find that our proposed approach leads to the most understanding of what the robots are doing. In addition, we further propose a method for incorporating policies driving the distribution of tasks among the robots, which may further support understandability.

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