Interpersonal motor coordination: From human–human to human–robot interactions

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Here, we propose that bidirectionality in implicit motor coordination between humanoid robots and humans could enhance the social competence of human–robot interactions. We first detail some questions pertaining to human–robot interactions, introducing the Uncanny Valley hypothesis. After introducing a framework pertinent for the understanding of natural social interactions, motor resonance, we examine two behaviors derived from this framework: motor coordination, investigated in and informative about human–human interaction, and motor interference, which demonstrates the relevance of the motor resonance framework to describe human perception of humanoid robots. These two lines of investigation are then put together to "close the loop" by proposing to implement a key feature of motor coordination, bidirectionality, in robots' behavior. Finally, we discuss the feasibility of implementing motor coordination between humanoid robots and humans, and the consequences of this implementation in enhancing the social competence of robots interacting with humans.
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  • Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems
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