Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-042611-100248

Document Typethesis
Author NameHolroyd, Aaron
TitleGenerating Engagement Behaviors in Human-Robot Interaction
DepartmentComputer Science
  • Charles Rich, Advisor
  • David Brown, Reader
  • Keywords
  • open source
  • robot operating system
  • ROS
  • humanoid
  • engagement
  • generating
  • computer science
  • hri
  • interaction
  • BML realizer
  • human-robot
  • behavior markup language
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2011-04-26
    Availability unrestricted


    Based on a study of the engagement process between humans, I have developed models for four types of connection events involving gesture and speech: directed gaze, mutual facial gaze, adjacency pairs and backchannels. I have developed and validated a reusable Robot Operating System (ROS) module that supports engagement between a human and a humanoid robot by generating appropriate connection events. The module implements policies for adding gaze and pointing gestures to referring phrases (including deictic and anaphoric references), performing end-of-turn gazes, responding to human-initiated connection events and maintaining engagement. The module also provides an abstract interface for receiving information from a collaboration manager using the Behavior Markup Language (BML) and exchanges information with a previously developed engagement recognition module. This thesis also describes a Behavior Markup Language (BML) realizer that has been developed for use in robotic applications. Instead of the existing fixed-timing algorithms used with virtual agents, this realizer uses an event-driven architecture, based on Petri nets, to ensure each behavior is synchronized in the presence of unpredictable variability in robot motor systems. The implementation is robot independent, open-source and uses the Robot Operating System (ROS).

  • aholroyd.pdf

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