WoZ4U: An Open-Source Wizard-of-Oz Interface for Easy, Efficient and Robust HRI Experiments

Frontiers in Robotics and AI Volume 8, pages 213, doi: 10.3389/frobt.2021.668057 - Jul 2021 Open Access
Associated documents :  
Wizard-of-Oz experiments play a vital role in Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), as they allow for quick and simple hypothesis testing. Still, a publicly available general tool to conduct such experiments is currently not available in the research community, and researchers often develop and implement their own tools, customized for each individual experiment. Besides being inefficient in terms of programming efforts, this also makes it harder for non-technical researchers to conduct Wizard-of-Oz experiments. In this paper, we present a general and easy-to-use tool for the Pepper robot, one of the most commonly used robots in this context. While we provide the concrete interface for Pepper robots only, the system architecture is independent of the type of robot and can be adapted for other robots. A configuration file, which saves experiment-specific parameters, enables a quick setup for reproducible and repeatable Wizard-of-Oz experiments. A central server provides a graphical interface via a browser while handling the mapping of user input to actions on the robot. In our interface, keyboard shortcuts may be assigned to phrases, gestures, and composite behaviors to simplify and speed up control of the robot. The interface is lightweight and independent of the operating system. Our initial tests confirm that the system is functional, flexible, and easy to use. The interface, including source code, is made commonly available, and we hope that it will be useful for researchers with any background who want to conduct HRI experiments.


 	 author =  {Rietz, Finn and Sutherland, Alexander and Bensch, Suna and Wermter, Stefan and Hellström, Thomas},  
 	 title = {WoZ4U: An Open-Source Wizard-of-Oz Interface for Easy, Efficient and Robust HRI Experiments}, 
 	 journal = {Frontiers in Robotics and AI},
 	 number = {},
 	 volume = {8},
 	 pages = {213},
 	 year = {2021},
 	 month = {Jul},
 	 publisher = {Frontiers},
 	 doi = {10.3389/frobt.2021.668057},