2011 年 6 巻 4 号 p. 1269-1281
This paper proposes a video communication assist system using a companion robot in coordination with the user's conversational attitude toward the communication. In order to maintain a conversation and to achieve comfortable communication, it is necessary to provide the user's attitude-aware assistance. First, the system estimates the user's conversational state by a machine learning method. Next, the robot appropriately expresses its active listening behaviors, such as nodding and gaze turns, to compensate for the listener's attitude when she/he is not really listening to another user's speech, the robot shows communication-evoking behaviors (topic provision) to compensate for the lack of a topic, and the system switches the camera images to create an illusion of eye-contact, corresponding to the current context of the user's attitude. From empirical studies and a demonstration experiment, i) both the robot's active listening behaviors and the switching of the camera image compensate for the other person's attitude, ii) elderly people prefer long intervals between the robot's behaviors, and iii) the topic provision function is effective for awkward silences.