Socializing Robots: The Role of Functional Affordances


Just as humans behave according to the social norms of their groups, autonomous systems that become part of these groups also need to behave in socially-expected and accepted ways. For humans these social norms are learned through interaction with members of the group. In this work, we propose that the functional affordances of objects, what objects are meant to be used for, provide us with a starting point for the socialization of such agents. We model these functional affordances in Description Logics (DL) and show how this enables the socially-expected human behavior of substituting objects as needed to achieve a goal. In addition, we propose to combine these affordances with conceptual similarity and proximity in order to make more complex substitutions, which are socially acceptable in their given context. Finally, we describe how their use would allow the agent to take advantage of opportunities and how they are modified and extended through interaction with humans.

In Intl. Workshop Developmental Social Robotics (DevSoR 2013) at IROS 2013, Nov 7, 2013, Tokyo