Adaptive Robotic Emotional Intelligence for Well-being (ARoEQ)

Project Aim:

The ARoEQ Project aims to:

  1. equip humanoid robots with novel socio-emotional intelligence and adaptation capabilities grounded in the state of the art in in the fields of affective computing, social signal processing, computer vision and machine learning;
  2. create a novel, dynamic and adaptive socio-emotionally intelligent robotic framework for fostering human well-being;
  3. create a re-usable knowledge base consisting of algorithms, evaluation metrics, and data sets to enable benchmarking and/or standardisation in socio-emotionally intelligent HRI.

Studies Conducted:

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

  1. A longitudinal teleoperated robot coaching for mindfulness training [IEEE RO-MAN 2021]
  2. Participatory design of a robotic mental well-being coach [IEEE RO-MAN 2021]
  3. Designing, implemeting and evaluating an emotionally and continually adaptive robotic Positive Psychology (PP) coach in one-off sessions in lab setting [ACIIW'22]
  4. Longitudinal (4 weeks) study at a workplace delivering PP exercises to employees with two different robotic platforms [ACM/IEEE HRI'23, full paper], [IEEE RO-MAN 2023]
  5. Longitudinal (4 weeks) study at a cafe delivering mindfulness practice to people with two different robotic platforms [ACM/IEEE HRI'23 LBR paper]

Major Findings:

Major findings (as of July 2023):

  • - Stakeholders generally receptive to robotic coach
  • - Stakeholders want robot’s form to match its function
  • - Participant personality affects their perception of robotic coach over time
  • - Robot form/appearance affects how participants perceive its behaviours and personality
  • - People get used to robot behaviour over time, however they expect the robotic coach to be more responsive
  • - Coachees' behavioural responses to interaction ruptures evolved over time in robotic positive psychology coaching

Project Team:

Team (funded by the project):

  • - 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
  • - Dr Siyang Song (Postdoctoral RA, Aug 2021 – Jan 2023) – now a Lecturer at University of Leicester, UK
  • - Dr Indu Bodala (Postdoctoral RA, May 2019 – Oct 2021) – now a Lecturer at University of Southampton, UK
Affiliated Team Members (not directly funded by the project):
  • - Nikhil Churamani (PhD student working on Continual Learning for Affective Robotics) – now a postdoc at AFAR Lab on another project
  • - Minja Axelsson (PhD student working on Adaptive Robotic Wellbeing Coaches)
  • - Nida Abbasi (PhD student working on Robot Assisted Mental Wellbeing Assessment in Children)
  • - Batuhan Sayis (Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher & Margarita Salas Fellow from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain)
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