Replicating Human-Human Physical Interaction

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Conference Proceeding

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Machines might physically interact with humans more smoothly if we better understood the subtlety of humanhuman physical interaction. We recently reported that two people working cooperatively on a physical task will quickly negotiate an emergent strategy: typically subjects formed a temporal specialization such that one member commands the early parts of motion and the other the late parts [1]. In our current study, we replaced one of the humans with a robot programmed to perform one of the typical human specialized roles. We expected the remaining human to adopt the complementary specialized role. Subjects did believe that they were interacting with another human but did not adopt a specialized behavior as subjects would when physically working with another human; our negative result suggests a very subtle negotiation takes place in human-human physical interaction.

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Proceedings 2007 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, p. 3615-3620