We proposed a robot that promotes an enjoyable party game as a facilitation robot system. In this task, a robot participates in a quiz game as one of participants and tries to promote the other participants’ enjoyment of the game. The functions implemented in the robot are: (1) The robot participates in the group’s communication using its basic group conversation functions; (2) The robot performs the game according to the rules of the game; (3) The robot facilitates communication using its proper actions, depending on the game’s and participants’ situations. We conducted a real field experiment in which a prototype system participates in a quiz game with elderly people in an elderly day-care center. The robot successfully entertained the people with its one-hour demonstration. We also evaluated its interactions with subjects in the Nandoku quiz game using video analysis and a semantic differential (SD) method that utilizes questionnaires. The results of the SD method indicate that the subjects were more pleased and felt the game was noisier when the robot participated. The results of the video analysis indicate that the smiling duration ratio is greater with the robot’s participation. These results evidence the robot’s communication activation function in the party game.

NANDOKU setting
Illustration of the Nandoku game setting in which each participant has a role (speaker, addressee, or side participant) and a robot participates in the game as one of panelists in order to directly and indirectly facilitate the game.
Field Experiment at An Elderly Care Center

Experiments

A scene of a NANDOKU user study

Related Publications

  • Shinya Fujie, Yoichi Matsuyama, Hikaru Taniyama, and Tetsunori Kobayashi, Conversation Robot Participating in and Promoting Human-Human Communication, The Transactions of The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineering (IEICE) A, Vol.J95-A No.1, pp37-45, 2012.
  • Yoichi Matsuyama, Shinya Fujie, Hikaru Taniyama and Tetsunori Kobayashi, Framework of Communication Activation Robot Participating in Multiparty Conversation, AAAI 2010 Fall Symposia Dialog with Robots, pp.68-73, November 2010.
  • Yoichi Matsuyama, Shinya Fujie, Hikaru Taniyama and Tetsunori Kobayashi, Psychological Evaluation of A Group Communication Activation Robot in A Party Game, Proceedings of Interspeech 2010, pp.3046-3049, September 2010.
  • Yoichi Matsuyama, Hikaru Taniyama, Shinya Fujie, Tetsunori Kobayashi, System Design of Group Communication Activator: An Entertainment Task for Elderly Care, ACM/IEEE Human-Robot Interaction 2009, San Diego, pp.243-244, March 2009.
  • Yoichi Matsuyama, Hikaru Taniyama, Shinya Fujie, and Tetsunori Kobayashi, Designing Communication Activation System in Group Communication, Proceedings of Humanoids 2008, pp.629-634, December 2008.

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