Teamwork with Robots
Research on Human-robot Interaction to date has largely focused on examining a single human interacting with a single robot. This work has led to advances in fundamental understanding about the psychology of human-robot interaction (e.g. how specific design choices affect interactions with and attitudes towards robots) and about the effective design of human-robot interaction (e,g. how novel mechanisms or computational tools can be used to improve HRI). However, the single-robot-single-human focus of this growing body of work stands in stark contrast to the complex social contexts in which robots are increasingly placed. While robots increasingly support teamwork across a wide range of settings covering search and rescue missions, minimally invasive surgeries, space exploration missions, or manufacturing, we have limited understanding of how robots affect team dynamics and how we design robots to support groups of people. In this talk I present empirical findings from several studies that show how robots can shape in direct but also subtle ways how people interact and collaborate with each other in teams.