Robots and Interpersonal Team Dynamics
One human collaborating with one robot—that’s the scenario explored by most research on human-robot interactions. In the real world, however, work is more likely to be performed by larger groups in settings where performance depends on the quality of interpersonal interactions within the group. As robots become more integrated into team-based work in areas such as surgery, space exploration, search-and-rescue missions, and manufacturing, we need to understand how robots affect interpersonal dynamics among human team members.
With this CAREER award, Malte F. Jung, Information Science, is investigating how a robot’s behavior affects interactions between humans and their ability to perform as a team. Jung is focusing on allocation behaviors: the way a robot allocates resources and tasks among human team members by, for example, handing over a tool or building block, providing assistance, or directing social attention to a member of the team. Based on the project’s findings, researchers will develop novel ways for robots to shape team dynamics and improve a team's likelihood of success.
This project will advance understanding of robot-assisted teamwork. It will also generate educational activities that allow children and students to develop the skills necessary to succeed in a work environment that includes robots.