Generating Legible and Glanceable Swarm Robot Motion through Trajectory, Collective Behavior, and Pre-attentive Processing Features -Venue name: Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction

Lawrence H Kim, Sean Follmer
THRI: Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction, 2021
As swarm robots begin to share the same space with people, it is critical to design legible swarm robot motion that clearly and rapidly communicates the intent of the robots to nearby users. To address this, we apply concepts from intent-expressive robotics, swarm intelligence, and vision science. Specifically, we leverage the trajectory, collective behavior, and density of swarm robots to generate motion that implicitly guides people's attention toward the goal of the robots. Through online evaluations, we compared different types of intent-expressive motions both in terms of legibility as well as glanceability, a measure we introduce to gauge an observer's ability to predict robots' intent pre-attentively. The results show that the collective behavior-based motion has the best legibility performance overall, whereas, for glanceability, trajectory-based legible motion is most effective. These results suggest that the optimal solution may involve a combination of these legibility cues based on the scenario and the desired properties of the motion.