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Bots of a feather: Exploring user perceptions of group cohesiveness for application in robotic swarms


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Stower, Rebecca, Zibetti, Elisabetta and St-Onge, David. 2022. « Bots of a feather: Exploring user perceptions of group cohesiveness for application in robotic swarms ». In 31st IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN) (Naples, Italie, Aug. 29 - Sept. 02, 2022) pp. 95-100. IEEE.

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Behaviours of robot swarms often take inspiration from biological models, such as ant colonies and bee hives. Yet, understanding how these behaviours are actually perceived by human users has so far received limited attention. In this paper, we use animations to represent different kinds of possible swarm motions intended to communicate specific messages to a human. We explore how these animations relate to the perceived group cohesiveness of the swarm, comprised of five different parameters: synchronising, grouping, following, reacting, and shape forming. We conducted an online user study where 98 participants viewed nine animations of a swarm displaying different behaviours and rated them for perceived group cohesiveness. We found that the parameters of group cohesiveness correlated with the messages the swarm was perceived as communicating. In particular, the message of initiating communication was highly positively correlated with all group parameters, whereas broken communication was negatively correlated. In addition, the importance of specific group parameters differed within each animation. For example, the parameter of grouping was most associated with animations signalling an intervention is needed. These findings are discussed within the context of designing intuitive behaviour for robot swarms.

Item Type: Conference proceeding
St-Onge, David
Affiliation: Génie mécanique
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2022 14:30
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2022 21:05

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