What could assistance robots learn from assistance dogs?

Márta Gácsi, Sára Szakadát, Miklósi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

These studies are part of our broader project that aims at revealing relevant aspects of human-dog interactions, which could help to develop and test robot social behaviour. We suggest that the cooperation between assistance dogs and their disabled owners could serve as a model to design successful assistance robot–human interactions. In Study 1, we analysed the behaviour of 32 assistance dog–owner dyads performing a fetch and carry task. In addition to important typical behaviours (attracting attention, eye-contact, comprehending pointing gestures), we found differences depending on how experienced the dyad was and whether the owner used a wheel chair or not. In Study 2 we investigated the reactions of a subsample of dogs to unforeseen difficulties during a retrieving task. We revealed different types of communicative and displacement behaviours, and importantly, dogs showed a strong commitment to execute the insoluble task or at least their behaviours lent a ‘‘busy’’ appearance to them, which can attenuate the owners’ disappointment. We suggest that assistant robots should communicate their inability to solve a problem using simple behaviours (non-verbal vocalisation, orientation alternation), and/or could show displacement behaviours rather than simply not performing the task. In sum, we propose that assistant dogs’ communicative behaviours and problem solving strategies could inspire the development of the relevant functions and social behaviours of assistance robots.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBio-Inspired Models of Network, Information and Computing Systems - 7th International ICST Conference, BIONETICS 2012, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsGuy Theraulaz, Gianni A. di Caro
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages105-119
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783319069432
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014
Event7th International ICST Conference on Bio-Inspired Models of Network, Information, and Computing Systems, BIONETICS 2012 - Lugano, Switzerland
Duration: Dec 10 2012Dec 11 2012

Publication series

NameLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST
Volume134
ISSN (Print)1867-8211

Other

Other7th International ICST Conference on Bio-Inspired Models of Network, Information, and Computing Systems, BIONETICS 2012
CountrySwitzerland
CityLugano
Period12/10/1212/11/12

Keywords

  • Assistance robot
  • Dog behaviour model
  • Ethological approach
  • Social interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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  • Cite this

    Gácsi, M., Szakadát, S., & Miklósi (2014). What could assistance robots learn from assistance dogs? In G. Theraulaz, & G. A. di Caro (Eds.), Bio-Inspired Models of Network, Information and Computing Systems - 7th International ICST Conference, BIONETICS 2012, Revised Selected Papers (pp. 105-119). (Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST; Vol. 134). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-06944-9_8