How Do People Perceive Other People’s Affordances, and How Might That Help Us Design Robots That Can Do So?

Keith S. Jones, Nicholas A. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

A considerable amount of research has worked toward enabling robot caregivers to perform various tasks for individuals in need of assistance. However, little, if any, research has aimed to enable robot caregivers to determine when individuals need help performing tasks. One way to develop such robots is to start with what is already known about people determining whether other people can perform a task without help. Ecological Psychologists conceptualize that task in terms of people perceiving other people’s affordances. There is an extensive and growing literature concerning the perception of others’ affordances, which has provided many important insights. Hence, our long-term goal is to develop robot caregivers that perceive people’s affordances in ways that are similar to how people perceive others’ affordances, which will require a considerable amount of research. As a first step, we have carefully reviewed the Ecological Psychology literature concerning how people perceive other people’s affordances and discuss how such knowledge might inform the design of robot caregivers. In addition, we identify areas that, if further researched, would shed additional light on how to design robot caregivers that perceive people’s affordances, and move us toward a fuller understanding of how people perceive other people’s affordances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-172
Number of pages26
JournalEcological Psychology
Volume33
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

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