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Detection of tactile-based error-related potentials (ErrPs) in human-robot interaction

Su Kyoung Kim; Elsa Kirchner
In: Frontiers in Neurorobotics, Vol. k. A. Page K.A. Frontiers, 11/2023.


Robot learning based on implicitly extracted error detections (e.g., EEG-based error detections) has been well investigated in human-robot interaction (HRI). In particular, the use of errorrelated potential (ErrP) evoked when recognizing errors is advantageous for robot learning when evaluation criteria cannot be explicitly defined, e.g., due to the complex behavior of robots. In most studies, erroneous behavior of robots were recognized visually. In some studies, visuo-tactile stimuli were used to evoke ErrPs or a tactile cue was used to indicate upcoming errors. To our knowledge, there are no studies in which ErrPs are evoked when recognizing errors only via the tactile channel. Hence, we investigated ErrPs evoked by tactile recognition of errors during HRI.In our scenario, subjects recognized errors caused by incorrect behavior of an orthosis during the execution of arm movements tactilely. EEG data from eight subjects was recorded. Subjects were asked to give a motor response to ensure error detection. Latency between the occurrence of errors and the response to errors was expected to be short. We assumed that the motor related brain activity is timely correlated with the ErrP and might be used from the classifier. To better interpret and test our results, we therefore tested? ErrP detections in two additional scenarios, i.e., without motor response and with delayed motor response. In addition, we transferred three scenarios (motor response, no motor response, delayed motor response). Response times to error was short. However, high ErrP-classification performance was found for all subjects in case of motor response and no motor response condition. Further, ErrP classification performance was reduced for the transfer between motor response and delayed motor response, but not for the transfer between motor response and no motor response. We have shown that tactilely induced errors can be detected with high accuracy from brain activity. Our preliminary results suggest that also in tactile ErrPs the brain response is clear enough such that motor response is not relevant for classification. However, in future work, we will more systematically investigate tactile-based ErrP classification.

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