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Mutual adaptation is an important phenomenon in human-human communications. Traditionally HRI research was more interested in investigating adaptation of the robot to the human using machine learning techniques but the possibility of utilizing the natural ability of humans to adapt to other humans and artifacts including robots is recently becoming increasingly attractive. This paper presents some of the results from an experiment conducted to investigate the interaction patterns and effectiveness of motion cues as a feedback modality between a human operator and a miniature robot in a confined collaborative navigation task. The results presented in this paper show evidence of human adaptation to the robot and moreover suggest that the adaptation rate is not constant or continuous in time but is discontinuous and nonlinear. The results also show evidence of a starting exploration stage before the adaptation with duration dependent on the expectations of the human regarding the capabilities of the robot in the given task. The paper investigates how to utilize these and related findings for building robots not only capable of adapting to human operators but can also help those operators adapt to them.
Date of Conference: 1-3 Aug. 2008