"Let's meet up at that station tomorrow!" For friends who are living together such information is enough to understand. This is because both people understand the relationships between them and repeat the answers or phrases based on such understanding. This makes people feel more close and familiar to each other. However, what if people talk to smart speaker instead? In that case they will do their best to speak as clear as possible in order to let everyone understand them. So people understand what information they are conveying. However, would not be their utterances make people feel more close and familiar despite personal agents? In this paper we propose and evaluated an interaction design that creates a sense of familiarity with smart speakers, based on conversations through the use of pronouns between people. We come to a conclusion that pronouns work in intimacy even in the scenes when the robot tells a schedule to humans.
We investigate whether an image-based avatar with motions smoothly directs a target person whose order of guide has come. Existing methods using an avatar assumed one-versus-one interaction and did not fully consider how to direct a target person, which is important for interaction with multiple users. The target person feels that the image-based avatar faces to the person and feels that the avatar directs the person, so that the person judges the order of guide has come. The nontarget person feels that the image-based avatar does not face to the person and feels that the avatar does not direct the person, so that the person judges the order of guide has not come. To smoothly direct the target person, the motion of the image-based avatar and the motion of the video sequence are important. We conducted subjective assessment whether the target person and the nontarget person feel about the direction by comparing the cases of adding motions and not adding motions. The results show that the image-based avatar with motions is effective for the target person but is not effective for the nontarget person.
The complexity of robot programming is an obstructive factor for the introduction of industrial robots to production sites. Human operators have to teach individual motion segments one-by-one to the robots to t their behavior in the work environment, which is one of the most tedious and time-consuming tasks in robot programming. This study elicites user interface requirements to streamline the motion-point teaching by the hierarchical task analysis of off-line robot programming, and proposes UI functions that can meet these requirements. The proposed UI functions consist of the four-view display feature that generates orthographic views suitable for teaching motion points according to the operator’s selection of the reference plane and the pointing-based robot operation feature. As a result of the verification experiment conducted using a Peg-in-Hole assembly task, the four-view display feature demonstrated its effectiveness in making the motion-point teaching much more efficient.
Vection is a visually induced self-motion illusion caused by observing a moving pattern in certain direction. Vection is classified into two types based on its moving direction: linear vection (LV; rectilinear motion sense) and circular vection (CV; rotational motion sense). In our previous study, we found a negative relationship between forward LV and counter-clockwise CV strength from the spiral-motion stimulus. Additionally, the integrated vection strength (i.e., the direction of self-motion to be evaluated is not specified) from the identical stimulus was consistent with a vector sum of LV and CV strength measured separately. In this paper, we investigated whether such tendency would be observed in other radial and rotational direction combinations. From the result, there was a negative correlation between LV and CV the negative relationship regardless of the combination of perceived LV and CV. The integrated vection strength was has a consistent tendency with the vector sum of LV and CV strength measured separately but there were slight difference according to the motion-direction of the stimulus.
The integrated thermal control method was proposed for office workers to improve cognitive abilities for concentration. The proposed method controls temperature both in working and breaking spaces. In authors conventional studies, the proposed control method was estimated by an experiment and the results showed that integrated thermal control improved intellectual concentration significantly in summer season but not in winter. In this study, an analysis framework to get varied mechanisms intellectual concentration affected by working environment was conducted to discuss the difference of summer and winter. Results showed possibility that the intellectual concentration was changed by similar mechanisms both in summer and winter.
This paper proposes an automated expert review method to estimate the usability of information terminals where users use different operation screens depending on their progress of work. The proposed method evaluates interface designs from two points of view. One is a distributed cognition view looking at the compatibility of information resources distribution and examines whether individual screens provide just enough amount of knowledge and information for the user task. The other concerns the compatibility of transition structure and examines whether screen transitions are consistent with the flows of work to be performed by the user. Two different experiments were conducted to test the proposed method using information terminals whose design differed in their information resources distribution and screen transition structure. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method can generate usability scores close to the participant users’ feeling of use when the weight for the two compatibility aspects are adjusted appropriately.
This paper proposes a multimodal browser designed to t the characteristics of an important utterance detection model based on co-occurrence of verbal and non-verbal information expressed by discussion participants . The multimodal browser aims to support its users to understand discussion accurately by implementing functions such as visualizing important utterances and displaying verbal and nonverbal information. We conducted an experiment to compare the multimodal browser condition with control conditions in terms of the degree of understanding and task completion time, and understanding of the roles of participants in discussions. In control conditions, we built two browsers: a text-based browser that doesn’t t to the characteristics of the model, and a simple browser that is similar to a simple movie player without any support for understanding a discussion. We found that the multimodal browser enabled the users to accomplish the correct understanding of discussions even in a shorter time, compared to the simple browser. In addition, it enabled the users to accomplish more accurate understanding than the text-based browser. Furthermore, in terms of understanding the role of discussion participants, in some tasks, the multimodal browser enabled the users to understand the role of discussion participants more accurately than the text-based browser.
In this research, we developed a communication learning support system to learn appropriate dialogue methods with people with pragmatic language disorders. People with pragmatic language disorders tend to have problems with interpersonal relationships with typically developing people because they cannot understand the meaning of ambiguous utterances. As a solution to this problem, we propose a communication learning support system for learning the dialogue methods which are easy to be conveyed to people with pragmatic language disorders, targeting typical development. This learning support system uses a humanoid robot that mimics a person with pragmatic language disorders and allows the user to experience the dialogue with such a person. The user can actively learn while participating in such a dialogue with the robot. Experiments using 16 subjects showed the usefulness of the system.
Recently, wearable systems that can routinely acquire and manage biological information such as heart beat, pulse, brain waves, blood pressure and the like more easily without going to a hospital has attracted attention. However, their acquired data are less accurate and less reliable than those of medical devices. On the one hand, it takes time and effort to measure when high accuracy is required, and stresses such as sense of incongruity and sense of restraint is also large. Therefore, in this research, we have tried to develop the sensor integrated ware which can measure respiration all the time more easily and comfortably using printed electronics. Furthermore, the sensor integrated ware can accurately capture the data by printing the sensors at the positions where breathing motion.
We propose a method to improve ultrasound-based in-air gesture recognition by altering the acoustic characteristics of a microphone. The Doppler effect is often used to recognize ultrasound-based gestures. However, increasing the number of gestures is difficult because of the limited information obtained from the Doppler effect. In this study, we partially shield a microphone with a 3D-printed cover. The cover alters the sensitivity of the microphone and the characteristics of the obtained Doppler effect. Since the proposed method uses a 3D-printed cover with a single microphone and speaker embedded in a device, it does not require additional electronic devices to improve gesture recognition. We design four different microphone covers and evaluate the performance of the proposed method on six gestures with eight participants. The evaluation results confirm that the recognition accuracy improves from 60.4% to 75.7% on average using the proposed method. We also discuss the velocity of the hand gesture and the effect of the cover for conventional usage of the microphone.
We propose a novel indoor item-finding system using radio frequency identification (RFID) passive tags attached to various items, furniture, and walls. The proposed system assists the user in finding a missing item by indicating the estimated distance from the user’s location to the target item’s RFID tag. The distance to the target is estimated by using detected tags near the user, and their detection history. Our system is low cost because the system uses passive RFID tags without battery and it is not necessary to record the object and the position every tag is attached to manually. The system has wide range of tag-detectable areas because the system can estimate the long distance by using the pseudo distance of nearby tags to each other. We simulated and confirmed that our algorithm for calculating the pseudo distance could adequately approximate the real distance after a sufficient number of RFID scans. We also conducted a user study in an actual room and confirmed that our system reduced the amount of time to find the target, the quantitative physical movement, and the subjective workload.
This paper describes a feasibility study of using wearable bracelets which vibrate and emit light to support call and response behavior between teachers and children. They were worn by teachers and children of special needs classes of public schools, mainly children with autism and intellectual disability, with the aim to let the children pay attention to them in the gymnasium, and also to support communication among the teachers and children wherever they are in the school. By focusing on five children who had problems to follow the teacher’s instructions, it was found that four showed significant difference in following the instructions more when using the devices than without using the devices, which indicates the effectiveness of the device to support communication among the teachers and children.
We are developing screening tools for dementia using character input BCI (Brain-Computer Interface). In previous study, Spelling-Error Distance Value (SEDV) could be an index of the low attention with dementia in the limited MMSE average group. However, it was not statistically clear whether classification between normal group or MCI group and dementia group was possible. Therefore, we used FAB and MOCA-J to regroup the elderly with the initial cognitive decline level and to determine if early discrimination was possible. Furthermore, we compared the elderly people who were judged as NC or MCI or DLB or AD. As a result of comparing SEDV divided into two groups by the sub-item 10 points to examine the frontal lobe function of MOCA-J, a difference of 0.80 characters was found in SEDV. Furthermore, as a result of comparing SEDV in the NC group, MCI group, DLB group and AD group, there was a difference of SEDV 1.01 characters between MCI group and AD group. In addition, there was a difference of SEDV 0.79characters between NC group and AD group. Therefore, it was shown that NC group, MCI group and AD group can be distinguished by using SEDV.
In this study, we investigate performance of children with ADHD on normal Go/Nogo task and Go/Nogo task with video. In the task with video, it is found that the commission error has significantly decreased, suggesting that a combination of video and game-like elements are effective in suppressing behavior of children with ADHD. However, considering the characteristics of the participants in this study, the results obtained may have been attributed to ASD and may have influenced the attention direction rather than the behavior suppression.
Nowadays, touchscreens have been increasingly used as human interface of devices. Their usage varies from personal devices to public ones, such as ATMs and vending machines. However, the use of touchscreen machines for visually impaired people is challenging because these machines have only few physical clues and less somatosensory feedback. Hence, by using accessibility functions (e.g., VoiceOver), the number of visually impaired users of touchscreen devices has been increasing recently. In a survey of visually impaired users, the difficulty in operation method was discussed. To clarify the strategy of operation method when using touchscreen devices with VoiceOver, we performed an experiment for visually impaired users. This experiment involved menu selection task with three screen patterns, namely, grid, list, and random, which is simulated from menu screens that we use daily. The participants (i.e., visually impaired people) searched and selected the target menu item that they had listened to prior to performing the tasks. The experimental results are as follows. Based on the finger behavior, the participants tend to repeatedly flick at the same position on the screen. They selected the correct answer in most of the tasks; however, regarding the required operation time, finding contents at the top of the menu screen is time consuming. Hence, they may skip reading unintentionally. In this experiment, the participants already had an idea on what to search. Nevertheless, when visually impaired users use website and application for the first time, they may not obtain necessary information from these tools. Therefore, a discrepancy among the intended input operation by flicking, double tapping, and tapping and the accepted information operation of devices by users with only a somatosensory feedback clue exists. To address these problems, the information that a user should perform on the screen or the content continuity must be added.