Effects of speed, cyclicity, and dimensionality on distancing, time, and preference in human-aerial vehicle interactions

Brittany A. Duncan, Robin R. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This article will present a simulation-based approach to testing multiple variables in the behavior of a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (sUAV), inspired by insect and animal motions, to understand how these variables impact time of interaction, preference for interaction, and distancing in Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). Previous work has focused on communicating directionality of flight, intentionality of the robot, and perception of motion in sUAVs, while interactions involving direct distancing from these vehicles have been limited to a single study (likely due to safety concerns). This study takes place in a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) to maintain a sense of scale and immersion with the users, while also allowing for safe interaction. Additionally, the two-alternative forced-choice method is employed as a unique methodology to the study of collocated HRI in order to both study the impact of these variables on preference and allow participants to choose whether or not to interact with a specific robot. This article will be of interest to end-users of sUAV technologies to encourage appropriate distancing based on their application, practitioners in HRI to understand the use of this new methodology, and human-aerial vehicle researchers to understand the perception of these vehicles by 64 naive users. Results suggest that low speed (by 0.27m, p < 0.02) and high cyclicity (by 0.28m, p < 0.01) expressions can be used to increase distancing; that low speed (by 4.4s, p < 0.01) and three-dimensional (by 2.6s, p < 0.01) expressions can be used to decrease time of interaction; and low speed (by 10.4%, p < 0.01) expressions are less preferred for passability in human-aerial vehicle interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Biologically inspired motion
  • Human-robot interaction
  • Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
  • User studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Artificial Intelligence


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