Generative Expressive Robot Behaviors using Large Language Models


People employ expressive behaviors to effectively communicate and coordinate their actions with others, such as nodding to acknowledge a person glancing at them or saying “excuse me” to pass people in a busy corridor. We would like robots to also demonstrate expressive behaviors in human-robot interaction. Prior work proposes rule-based methods that struggle to scale to new communication modalities or social situations, while data-driven methods require specialized datasets for each social situation the robot is used in. We propose to leverage the rich social context available from large language models (LLMs) and their ability to generate motion based on instructions or user preferences, to generate expressive robot motion that is adaptable and composable, building upon each other. Our approach utilizes few-shot chain-of-thought prompting to translate human language instructions into parametrized control code using the robot’s available and learned skills. Through user studies and simulation experiments, we demonstrate that our approach produces behaviors that users found to be competent and easy to understand. Supplementary material can be found at this https URL.

In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2024