Christian Dondrup


A Visually-Aware Conversational Robot Receptionist
Nancie Gunson | Daniel Hernandez Garcia | Weronika Sieińska | Angus Addlesee | Christian Dondrup | Oliver Lemon | Jose L. Part | Yanchao Yu
Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

Socially Assistive Robots (SARs) have the potential to play an increasingly important role in a variety of contexts including healthcare, but most existing systems have very limited interactive capabilities. We will demonstrate a robot receptionist that not only supports task-based and social dialogue via natural spoken conversation but is also capable of visually grounded dialogue; able to perceive and discuss the shared physical environment (e.g. helping users to locate personal belongings or objects of interest). Task-based dialogues include check-in, navigation and FAQs about facilities, alongside social features such as chit-chat, access to the latest news and a quiz game to play while waiting. We also show how visual context (objects and their spatial relations) can be combined with linguistic representations of dialogue context, to support visual dialogue and question answering. We will demonstrate the system on a humanoid ARI robot, which is being deployed in a hospital reception area.


Conversational Agents for Intelligent Buildings
Weronika Sieińska | Christian Dondrup | Nancie Gunson | Oliver Lemon
Proceedings of the 21th Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

We will demonstrate a deployed conversational AI system that acts as a host of a smart-building on a university campus. The system combines open-domain social conversation with task-based conversation regarding navigation in the building, live resource updates (e.g. available computers) and events in the building. We are able to demonstrate the system on several platforms: Google Home devices, Android phones, and a Furhat robot.


Sympathy Begins with a Smile, Intelligence Begins with a Word: Use of Multimodal Features in Spoken Human-Robot Interaction
Jekaterina Novikova | Christian Dondrup | Ioannis Papaioannou | Oliver Lemon
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Language Grounding for Robotics

Recognition of social signals, coming from human facial expressions or prosody of human speech, is a popular research topic in human-robot interaction studies. There is also a long line of research in the spoken dialogue community that investigates user satisfaction in relation to dialogue characteristics. However, very little research relates a combination of multimodal social signals and language features detected during spoken face-to-face human-robot interaction to the resulting user perception of a robot. In this paper we show how different emotional facial expressions of human users, in combination with prosodic characteristics of human speech and features of human-robot dialogue, correlate with users’ impressions of the robot after a conversation. We find that happiness in the user’s recognised facial expression strongly correlates with likeability of a robot, while dialogue-related features (such as number of human turns or number of sentences per robot utterance) correlate with perceiving a robot as intelligent. In addition, we show that the facial expression emotional features and prosody are better predictors of human ratings related to perceived robot likeability and anthropomorphism, while linguistic and non-linguistic features more often predict perceived robot intelligence and interpretability. As such, these characteristics may in future be used as an online reward signal for in-situ Reinforcement Learning-based adaptive human-robot dialogue systems.