Using Human-Inspired Signals to Disambiguate Navigational Intentions

Justin Hart, Reuth Mirsky, Xuesu Xiao, Stone Tejeda, Bonny Mahajan, Jamin Goo, Kathryn Baldauf, Sydney Owen, Peter Stone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

14 Scopus citations


People are proficient at communicating their intentions in order to avoid conflicts when navigating in narrow, crowded environments. Mobile robots, on the other hand, often lack both the ability to interpret human intentions and the ability to clearly communicate their own intentions to people sharing their space. This work addresses the second of these points, leveraging insights about how people implicitly communicate with each other through gaze to enable mobile robots to more clearly signal their navigational intention. We present a human study measuring the importance of gaze in coordinating people’s navigation. This study is followed by the development of a virtual agent head which is added to a mobile robot platform. Comparing the performance of a robot with a virtual agent head against one with an LED turn signal demonstrates its ability to impact people’s navigational choices, and that people more easily interpret the gaze cue than the LED turn signal.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Robotics - 12th International Conference, ICSR 2020, Proceedings
EditorsAlan R. Wagner, David Feil-Seifer, Kerstin S. Haring, Silvia Rossi, Thomas Williams, Hongsheng He, Shuzhi Sam Ge
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783030620554
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event12th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2020 - Golden, United States
Duration: 14 Nov 202018 Nov 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12483 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference12th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Gaze
  • Human-robot interaction
  • Social navigation


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