Florida Atlantic University (FAU) scientists have developed Virtual Partner Interaction (VPI), a hybrid system capable of examining real-time interactions between humans and machines.
The researchers say that VPI is a major step toward understanding the laws of coordinated behavior, known as coordination dynamics. The equations of coordination dynamics describe how the coordination states of a system change over time.
The researchers submitted the equations of human coordination dynamics to the machine and studied the real-time interactions between the human and virtual partners.
They say their findings create a new possibility to explore and understand a variety of interactions between people and machines, possibly leading to a completely new type of machine. "With VPI, a human and a 'virtual partner' are reciprocally coupled in real time," says FAU professor J. A. Scott Kelso. "The human acquires information about his partner's behavior through perception, and the virtual partner continuously detects the human's behavior through the input of sensors.
Our approach is analogous to the dynamic clamp used to study the dynamics of interactions between neurons, but now scaled up to the level of behaving humans."
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