Robots can be perceived as goal-oriented agents
Understanding the goals of others is fundamental for any kind of interpersonal interaction and collaboration. From a neurocognitive perspective, intention understanding has been proposed to depend on an involvement of the observer’s motor system in the prediction of the observed actions (Nyström et al. 2011; Rizzolatti & Sinigaglia 2010; Southgate et al. 2009). An open question is if a similar understanding of the goal mediated by <i>motor resonance</i> can occur not only between humans, but also for humanoid robots. In this study we investigated whether goal-oriented robotic actions can induce motor resonance by measuring the appearance of anticipatory gaze shifts to the goal during action observation. Our results indicate a similar implicit processing of humans’ and robots’ actions and propose to use anticipatory gaze behaviour as a tool for the evaluation of human-robot interactions.