Robots & Social Cues

understanding and presenting social cues

Detecting Help

A socially assistive robot helps a user through social interaction. To detect when and how it should assist a user, we detect social cues conveyed by the user. The user may explicitly ask for help, but more subtle ways a user may indicate that they need help is through various eye gaze patterns. Using cameras, microphones, and other sensors, the robot combines information to understand how much help the user needs. (Wilson et al., 2022; Reneau & Wilson, 2020; Kurylo & Wilson, 2019; Wilson et al., 2019)

Building Rapport

In addition to a robot understanding social cues, it can use social cues to build rapport with the user. Our prior work revealed that gestures and verbal acknowledgments contribute to the development of rapport (Wilson et al., 2017). Future work will integrate this into our automatic generation of behaviors (see child-robot interaction project)



  1. When to Help? A Multimodal Architecture for Recognizing When a User Needs Help from a Social Robot
    Jason R. Wilson, Phyo Thuta Aung , and Isabelle Boucher
    In Proceedings of the International Conference on Social Robotics , 2022


  1. Supporting User Autonomy with Multimodal Fusion to Detect when a User Needs Assistance from a Social Robot
    Alex Reneau , and Jason R. Wilson
    In Proceedings of the AI-HRI Symposium at AAAI-FSS 2020 , 2020


  1. Using human eye gaze patterns as indicators of need for assistance from a socially assistive robot
    Ulyana Kurylo , and Jason R. Wilson
    In Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Social Robotics , 2019
  2. Developing Computational Models of Social Assistance to Guide Socially Assistive Robots
    Jason R. Wilson, Seongsik Kim , Ulyana Kurylo , and 2 more authors
    In Proceedings of the AAAI Fall Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Human-Robot Interaction for Service Robots in Human Environments , 2019


  1. Hand Gestures and Verbal Acknowledgments Improve Human-Robot Rapport
    Jason R. Wilson, Nah Young Lee , Annie Saechao , and 3 more authors
    In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Social Robotics , 2017