Explicit vs. Implicit - Communicating the Navigational Intent of Industrial Autonomous Mobile Robots

Nicolas Niessen, Gioele Micheli, Klaus Bengler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The coexistence of humans and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) in intralogistics is a growing reality. To enhance the usability of their interactions, AMRs can communicate their future trajectory to humans. This communication can be either implicit through their driving behavior, or explicit through additional signaling. We conducted a real-world participant study with 32 participants and a robot to compare two different communication tools: a floor projection as an explicit tool and a specific driving behavior as an implicit tool. We tested them in three scenarios: intersection, crossing, and bottleneck. We measured the interaction’s efficiency, legibility, and trust using quantitative data and questionnaires. We also asked participants to draw the expected trajectories of the AMR at the time of interaction. Our results showed no significant difference in the interaction time between the two communication tools. However, explicit communication increased the trust in the AMR and was perceived more easily by humans. On the other hand, explicit communication is more prone to misinterpretation by humans. Therefore, the design of explicit communication is crucial. The implemented implicit communication does not seem suitable for narrow corridor-like environments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHCI International 2023 – Late Breaking Posters - 25th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2023, Proceedings
EditorsConstantine Stephanidis, Margherita Antona, Stavroula Ntoa, Gavriel Salvendy
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783031492143
StatePublished - 2024
Event25th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2023 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 23 Jul 202328 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume1958 CCIS
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference25th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2023


  • augmented reality
  • automated guided vehicle (AGV)
  • autonomous mobile robot (AMR)
  • communication tools
  • human robot interaction
  • implicit communication
  • legibility
  • motion intent
  • projection
  • trajectory
  • usability


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