Adaptive Robotic Coaches for Wellbeing

Project Aim:

The Adaptive Robotic Coaches for Wellbeing Project aims to:

  1. investigate the deployment and use of two different forms of robotic well-being coaches in the workplace;
  2. enable real-time adaptation in agents, allowing them to learn with incrementally acquired data while preserving past knowledge;
  3. present a novel framework for real-world application of CL for modelling personalised human-robot interactions using a CL-based affect perception mechanism.

Studies Conducted:

A summary of studies with human participants (as of June 2023):

  1. Continual Learning for Affective Robotics: A Proof of Concept for Wellbeing [ACIIW 2022]
  2. Robotic Mental Well-being Coaches for the Workplace: An In-the-Wild Study on Form [HRI 2023]

Major Findings:

Major findings (as of June 2023):

  • - Our results demonstrate a clear preference in the participants for CL-based continual personalisation with significant improvements observed in the robot's anthropomorphism, animacy and likeability ratings as well as the interactions being rated significantly higher for warmth and comfort as the robot is rated as significantly better at understanding how the participants feel
  • - Our results show that the robot form significantly impacts coachees' perceptions of the robotic coach in the workplace. Coachees perceived the robotic coach in M more positively than in QT (both in terms of behaviour appropriateness and perceived personality), and they felt more connection with the robotic coach in M

Project Team:

  • - Prof Hatice Gunes (PI, Apr 2019-present)
  • - Dr Micol Spitale (Postdoctoral RA, Nov 2021-present)
  • - Nikhil Churamani (Research Assistant, Oct 2022 – Jan 2023) – now a postdoc at AFAR Lab on another project
  • - Minja Axelsson (PhD student working on Adaptive Robotic Wellbeing Coaches)
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