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S-FACTOR Facilitation Robotics for Teams Foundational Research on Group Processes in Human-Robot Ensembles with Social Robots

Coordinator (PI): Johanna Seibt, Aarhus University

Contributors: Johanna Seibt, Iolanda Leite, Kerstin Fischer, and Pekka Mäkela

Start Date: 1st January 2021

End Date: 31st December 2023

Funded by Nordic Programme for Interdisciplinary Research

Project Code or Grant Number: 105081

Social robots are artificial agents that can act autonomously within the physical and symbolic space of human social interaction – they are programmed to simulate the norm-guided social behavior of humans, including non-verbal and verbal communication. Currently it is not yet well understood how people experience their interactions with such new 'social others', and in which ways this depends on the robot’s features, on human personalities, or tasks contexts. In particular, group processes in interactions with social robots have received little attention so far.

The project Facilitation Robotics for Teams--Foundational Research on Group Processes in Human-Robot Ensembles with Social Robots (S-FACTOR) investigates how human groups perform certain tasks when they are guided by a "social robot". Previous research suggests that certain robotic designs can be conducive for positive group dynamics. We conduct a series of experiments to explore whether social robots can facilitate group processes within small teams that enhance the team’s creativity and further "team reasoning," i.e., rational decision making that benefits the team rather than some individual member of the team. In addition, some of our experiments focus on the role of a robot’s non-verbal behavior to create trust.

The S-FACTOR project is coordinated by the Research Unit for Robophilosophy (R.U.R) at Aarhus University.

Please visit the Official web site here for more details.

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