Over the past years, human-robot interaction has been established as a useful methodology to investigate various aspects of communication. Especially the interactional functions of linguistic features can be investigated very well using human-robot interaction experiments since robots can be manipulated and controlled in ways humans cannot – without being reductionistic; that is, in contrast to other methods, human-robot interaction preserves the dynamics of interaction (at least to the extent implemented).
We have built up an infrastructure for human-robot interaction experiments for our students to use to test the functions of selected linguistic features in controlled interactional scenarios. On site, students may use our robots for experiments involving real robots. However, much of this work can actually be done online; a step-wise guide to this kind of work can be found under Resources.