Reading a robot's mind: a model of utterance understanding based on the theory of mind mechanism

Tetsuo Ono, Michita Imai, Ryohei Nakatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to construct a methodology for smooth communication between humans and robots. Here, focus is on a mindreading mechanism, which is indispensable in human-human communication. We propose a model of utterance understanding based on this mechanism. Concretely speaking, we apply the model of a mindreading system to a model of human-robot communication. Moreover, we implement a robot interface system that applies our proposed model. The characteristic of our interface system is its ability to construct a relationship between a human and a robot by a method of having an agent, which interacts with the person, migrate from the mobile PC of the person to the robot. Psychological experiments were carried out to explore the validity of the following hypothesis: By reading a robot's mind based on such a relationship, a person can estimate the robot's intention with ease and, moreover, the person can even understand the robot's unclear utterances made by synthesized speech sounds. The results of the experiments statistically supported our hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-326
Number of pages16
JournalAdvanced Robotics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications


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