Beat gesture generation rules for human-robot interaction

P. Bremner, A. G. Pipe, M. Fraser, S. Subramanian, C. Melhuish

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

16 Citations (SciVal)


In order for anthropomorphic robots to communicate with people in a human-like way they need to produce gestures along with speech. Beat gestures are a key category of gestures, accompanying emphasis and timing of talk. The standard approach for autonomously adding gestures to speech for artificial agents to perform, is to identify when gestures should occur, and then select appropriate movements from a prewritten library. However, selecting naively from a library is unlikely to result in particularly human-like gesture sequences. In order to obtain examples of engaging human beat gestures, we studied videos of chat show hosts. Our analysis reveals rules for the creation of human-like beat gestures. We have combined these rules with hand scripted non-beat gestures, to produce a monologue with a complete set of accompanying gestures; it is designed for performance by our humanoid robot BERTI. In order to test the gestures produced we carried out a pilot study at the London Science Museum. The results of the study indicate that having correctly designed gesture sequences improves observer engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRO-MAN 2009 - 18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Event18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive, RO-MAN 2009 - Toyama, Japan
Duration: 27 Sept 20092 Oct 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication


Conference18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive, RO-MAN 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Beat gesture generation rules for human-robot interaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this