Assessing Collaborative Physical Tasks via Gestural Analysis using the "MAGIC" Architecture

2020-07-29T17:09:48Z (GMT) by Edgar Javier Rojas Munoz
Effective collaboration in a team is a crucial skill. When people interact together to perform physical tasks, they rely on gestures to convey instructions. This thesis explores gestures as means to assess physical collaborative task understanding. This research proposes a framework to represent, compare, and assess gestures’ morphology, semantics, and pragmatics, as opposed to traditional approaches that rely mostly on the gestures’ physical appearance. By leveraging this framework, functionally equivalent gestures can be identified and compared. In addition, a metric to assess the quality of assimilation of physical instructions is computed from gesture matchings, which acts as a proxy metric for task understanding based on gestural analysis. The correlations between this proposed metric and three other task understanding proxy metrics were obtained. Our framework was evaluated through three user studies in which participants completed shared tasks remotely: block assembly, origami, and ultrasound training. The results indicate that the proposed metric acts as a good estimator for task understanding. Moreover, this metric provides task understanding insights in scenarios where other proxy metrics show inconsistencies. Thereby, the approach presented in this research acts as a first step towards assessing task understanding in physical collaborative scenarios through the analysis of gestures.