Referential practices : Effects of a museum guide robot suggesting a deictic ‘repair’ action to visitors attempting to orient to an exhibit

Pitsch, Karola GND; Dankert, Timo ORCID; Gehle, Raphaela GND; Wrede, Sebastian ORCID

An autonomous robot system was equipped with basic means to monitor the users’ success/failure in following a robot’s verbal-gestural deictic reference to an object and – in case of problems – to provide additional help, i.e. to suggest a
‘repair’ action. A real-world field trial with the robot acting as museum guide constitutes the basis for analysis of the users’ reactions to the first reference and the subsequent ‘repair’ action in two structurally different conditions. Results indicate that deictic ‘repair’ actions are mostly successful helping users to correctly orient, but they may also lead to confusion for initially correctly oriented visitors in situations of small groups of users.
A recurring user practice is revealed which consists of displaying to co-visitors their understanding of the reference by pointing to the location and thus providing additional orientational help.

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Pitsch, K., Dankert, T., Gehle, R., Wrede, S., 2020. Referential practices: Effects of a museum guide robot suggesting a deictic ‘repair’ action to visitors attempting to orient to an exhibit. https://doi.org/10.1109/ROMAN.2016.7745135
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