Symmetric evaluation of multimodal human-robot interaction with gaze and standard control

Ethan R. Jones, Winyu Chinthammit, Weidong Huang, Ulrich Engelke, Christopher Lueg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Control of robot arms is often required in engineering and can be performed by using different methods. This study examined and symmetrically compared the use of a controller, eye gaze tracker and a combination thereof in a multimodal setup for control of a robot arm. Tasks of different complexities were defined and twenty participants completed an experiment using these interaction modalities to solve the tasks. More specifically, there were three tasks: the first was to navigate a chess piece from a square to another pre-specified square; the second was the same as the first task, but required more moves to complete; and the third task was to move multiple pieces to reach a solution to a pre-defined arrangement of the pieces. Further, while gaze control has the potential to be more intuitive than a hand controller, it suffers from limitations with regard to spatial accuracy and target selection. The multimodal setup aimed to mitigate the weaknesses of the eye gaze tracker, creating a superior system without simply relying on the controller. The experiment shows that the multimodal setup improves performance over the eye gaze tracker alone (p < 0.05) and was competitive with the controller only setup, although did not outperform it (p > 0.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number680
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Empirical evaluation
  • Eye tracking
  • Human-robot interaction
  • Multimodal interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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